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Rignano sull'Arno

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Inhabitants in 1991: 6.359

The municipal territory of Rignano sull'Arno extends for 54,21 square kilometres in the Valdarno Superiore. A small Medieval fortified centre it was made capital of the community in 1773 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo.

Probably a settlement of Roman origin, as shows the derivation of the place name, Rignano is first noted in a document in 1066. Near the parish church of San Leolino in the first decade of the year 1000 a castle developed over which the monks of Sant'Ellero and successively the monks of Vallombrosa claimed the rights towards the end of the XII century (confirmed by Emperor Arrigo VI in 1191). In documents of the first half of the XIV century the ancient settlement had already been degraded to small castle, but at the same time a new hamlet was developing near the bridge over the Arno erected by the Fiorentina republic. The meagre surviving news of the municipal's history is mostly connected to this bridge, frequently swept away by the floods of the Arno and then rebuilt (in 1422, in 1459 and in the XVII and XVIII centuries). In the meantime the surrounding territory taking advantage of the relative nearness to Firenze and for the fertility and pleasantness of the place, had become Seat of numerous "villas" of Fiorentini landowners. With the Grand Duchy ruling of 1773, Rignano became one of the seventy communities of the Fiorentino county and there were thirteen parishes annexed which previously belonged to the jurisdiction of Pontasseive. Among its celebrated sons Rignano honours the humanist man of letters Vespasiano da Bisticci (1421-1498) and the painter and writer Ardengo Soffice (1879-1964).

Places to visit:
The 1900 parochial houses the precious works from the Roman parish church of S. Leonino.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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