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Towns of the area

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Santa Maria a Monte

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Inhabitants in 1991: 10.373

The municipal territory extends for 38,29 square kilometres in the Valdarno di Sotto, near to the Cerbaie hills. Comprising hilly and flat land. Lordly land, then Seat of Podesta office and Leopoldina community, in 1868 it was enlarged with the aggregation of the entire territory of the suppressed municipality of Montecalvoli.

Cited from the X century as “place” under the Lordship of the Lucca Bishops, who exercised their political power and Ecclesiastic jurisdiction on them, Santa Maria was only fortified in the XI century, becoming successively a bastion fort in the war conducted by Lucca against Firenze. Even though the rights of the Bishops were confirmed by Imperial certificate by Enrico VI in 1194, and Ottone IV in 1209, a document from 1258 demonstrated that the authority over the territory was however confirmed with the municipality of Lucca. In 1261, however the reduced Ghibellino army who had fought at Montaperti took it away from the jurisdiction of the Lucchesi Guelfi and, together with all the Valdarno Inferiore lands Santa Maria a Monte was sworn to the Pisa Ghibellino government, which kept it until 1327 the date in which the castle passed to Firenze. Rebelling in 1343, Santa Maria remained independent until 1348 when it made an act of submission to the Firenze republic. Until 1774, the year of the Leopoldina reforms, it was administrated by a Fiorentino Podesta. During the second world war repeated bombardments provoked numerous victims and grave damage.

Places to visit:
S. Giovanni Evangelista, ancient collegiate which has as bell tower of the towers from the fortified establishment. The interior of the church preserves frescoes by Aldermollo and other works of art from diverse artists.

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

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