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Sesto Fiorentino

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Inhabitants in 1991: 47.406

The municipal territory of Sesto Fiorentino extends for 49,04 square kilometres between the so called Fiorentina plain and the pre-Apennine culminating with Monte Morello. Ancient Medieval Podesta Office it reached its present day aspect in 1928, when part of the territory was detached from it and aggregated to the municipality of Firenze and replaced by another belonging to the suppressed municipality of Brozzi. The capital took its name from the seventh - Sesto - mile in distance (ad sextum lapidem) from Firenze along the municipal Roman road.

From the XIII century the Fiorentini Bishops were the Lords over the little village and its adjacent lands, and they claimed annual tributes from the inhabitants, subsequent to the oppression exercised in the name of the Episcopate by their agents, the men of Sesto rebelled in 1260: for this protest there was actually an excommunication pronounced against them. Towards the end of the 1200 the domination of the Bishops ceased, Sesto came under the Fiorentina republic as capital of a league of Fiorentino counties and together with Fiesole constituted a Podesta Office whose Judge resided alternatively in the two places.

Part of the territory was however unhealthy because of the ponds and marshes which surrounded it and Sesto only saw development after the land reclamation which the Fiorentini republic performed: after which the nearby locality became popularised with country houses belonging to some of the most powerful Fiorentine families. But Sesto owes its importance to the modern era when, between 1700 and the first fifty years of the 1800s various factories were opened there, the first and the most noted of these was the Manifattura della porcellane di Doccia (Manufacture of porcelain for the shower) founded by Carlo Ginori in 1735. At the end of the 1800 the Sesto working classes managed to take over the municipal administration, which from 1898 to 1922 had a socialist mayor; Sesto was defined thus "the first socialist municipality of Toscana". With the arrival of Fascism the population suffered losses and retaliations and gave its valid contribution to the struggle for Liberation.

Places to visit:
Museum of Shower Porcelain, inaugurated in 1965 contains, other than the first collection exhibited since 1754 on the site of manufacture, also work of contemporary artists together with a library, a photographic library and archive.
Etruscan Tomb La Montagnola, discovered in 1959 in the park of the Villa Manfredi; it is in optima state of conservation. The furnishings can be seen in the Museum of Archaeology in Firenze.
Villa Medicea della Petraia, erected in the XIV century by Brunelleschi, came to the Medici around 1530 who restructured it. A part of the interior has murals worked in 1636/48 with the pageantry of the house of Medici. Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia chose this location as hunting residence. The splendid garden on three levels goes back o the 1500 but was remade in 1800.
Villa Medicea di Castello, the first fortified residence, then transformed after 1477 by the Medici family. The Buontalenti and the Tribolo (to whom the design of the vast garden is attributed) worked there. The building cannot be visited as it has been the Seat of the ancient Academy of Crusca (1583) since 1974.
S, Michele a Castello, church of Medieval origins, it was rebuild in 1817 at the will of Ferdinado III.
S. Lucia alla Castellina, the convent was founded in the XVI century while the church goes back to 1626 and is rich with 1600-1700 paintings.
S. Martino, ancient parish church recorded before the year 1000 it has been remade several times over the centuries. The three nave interior houses precious works from diverse eras.

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

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