img_coa = Firenzuola-Stemma.png
official_name =Comune di Firenzuola
name = Firenzuola
province = Florence (FI)
elevation_m = 422
area_total_km2 = 271.9
2004-12-31All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute Istat.]
population_total = 4939
population_density_km2 = 18
timezone = CET, UTC+1
coordinates = coord|44|7|N|11|23|E|type:city(4,939)_region:IT
frazioni = Borgo Santerno, Bruscoli, Casanuova, Castelvecchio, Castro San Martino, Coniale, Cornacchiaia, Covigliaio, Le Valli, Montalbano, Piancaldoli, Pietramala, Rifredo, S. Jacopo a Castro, San Pellegrino, Sigliola, Valle Diaterna, Visignano.
telephone = 055
postalcode = 50033
gentilic = Firenzuolini
St. John the Baptist
day = June 25
mayor =Claudio Corbatti
website = [http://www.comune.firenzuola.fi.it/ www.comune.firenzuola.fi.it]
mapy = 11.3833
mapx = 44.1167
Firenzuola is a "
comune" (municipality) in the Province of Florencein the Italian region Tuscany, located about 40 km northeast of Florence.
Firenzuola borders the following municipalities:
Barberino di Mugello, Borgo San Lorenzo, Castel del Rio, Castiglione dei Pepoli, Monghidoro, Monterenzio, Palazzuolo sul Senio, San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Scarperia.
The medieval jurist
Giovanni d'Andreawas born in the "frazione" of Rifredo around 1270.
hort Historical Description
Firenzuola is one of the largest communes of the so-called “Tuscan Romagna”. Its territory includes the mountain valley of the
Santernoriver, beyond the Appenines. A popular rhyme calls it "Il bel paese che il Santerno bagna" (The beautiful country that the Santerno river bathes), where "Si parla Tosco in terra di Romagna" ("People speak Tuscan in a place which is Romagna").
The town was an objection of attention from powers like Florence due to its strategic location as guardian of the road that connected Florence to Bologna, in a territory until then in the hands of the powerful
Ubaldinifamily, hostile to the Florentine Republic. It was Giovanni Villanigave Firenzuola its name, which means “small Florence” and to propose as its symbol a half lily(symbol of the Commune of Florence) and a half cross (symbol of the people). Its city plan, drawn by the engineers of the Republic, who planned it around the year 1350 (the first stone was set in 1332), seems similar to the “new lands” of the late 13th century, beginning of the 14th century in the “Valdarno Superiore” area, not far from Florence and Arezzo, with walls and a mighty Fortress endowed with a tower (1371). Another characteristic of this small late-medieval "ideal town" is the presence of porticos that involve all the principal parts of the town center. The events of the Second World Warmade Firenzuola a sad protagonist: these mountains were crossed by the Gothic Line, the strengthened defensive line predisposed by the German troops to face the advance of the Allied armies. On September 17 1944, after long and bloody clashes, the Allies broke down the Gothic Line, with the conquest of the AltuzzoMountain, next to the Giogopass. Firenzuola had already been completely destroyed by the bombardments of the Allies on September 12th 1944. In memory of the dead soldiers and warning for the future generations there are two cemeteries: the “Germanic Cemetery” (at the Futa pass), planned by the architect Oesterlen, that guards over 31 thousand soldiers of the Wehrmacht, and the “Santerno Valley War Cemetery”, near the village called Coniale, that contains about 300 corpses of Allies of various origin. The reconstruction of Firenzuola immediately started as soon the war was over. 98% of the inhabited area had been destroyed, so that the Prefecture of Florence declared Firenzuola the most damaged town in the province because of war events. With the reconstruction, the modern style won against the possibility to reconstruct buildings with the recovery of materials among the ruins; nevertheless the road alignments, and the original porticos were respected. Also the main church of the town, the “Propositura di St. Giovanni Battista”, completely destroyed in the bombardment, was rebuilt in modern style, both in the lines and in the materials, by the project of two protagonists of the architectural outline of the Postwar period, Carlo Scarpaand Edoardo Detti, and it was inaugurated in 1966.
Parish church of St. John the Baptist, “San Giovanni Decollato”
Romanesque parish church that represents one of the most important works of art in the territory
The parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, “San Giovanni Decollato”, is one of the most important works of art in the territory and dates back to the Romanesque period (10th-12th centuries), as shown by the structure with a nave and two aisles, by the apse’s shape, by the external hanging with wedges and stone rows, and by the decorations on the main door and on the capitals. On the external right wall of the parish church you can see a triangular decoration, a chessboard-shaped marble intarsia made of green serpentine from Prato and white marble. The parish church has been recently subjected to a pictorial and structural restoration, that has exploited and consolidated its structure, and to a very attractive technical illumination intervention.
Fortress of Firenzuola
Historical building of late medieval derivation, reconstructed in the Postwar period.
The Fortress of Firenzuola is a late medieval fortification, whose building began in 1371, on the Florentine Republic’s will, inside an expansionistic plan in the territory of the so-called Alpe Fiorentina, threatened by the powerful Ubaldini family. Together with the Fortress strong walls were raised, to defend the castle. The construction was completed in 1410, under the direction of Antonio da San Gallo il Vecchio. Destroyed during the Second World War on September 12th 1944 by aerial bombings, the Fortress has been reconstructed in the Postwar period, following the native configuration of the building. Currently it is the town hall, and the basement it is the seat of the Museum of “Pietra Serena” (the typical stone of the region).
t. John the Baptist’s church, “San Giovanni Battista”
The new church was inaugurated in 1966 and was built by architects Carlo Scarpa and Edoardo Detti, two protagonists of the Italian architectural renewal of the Postwar period.
St. John the Baptist’s church in Firenzuola is situated on the ruins of the ancient church, which was completely destroyed by the 1944 aerial bombardments. The new building was created with the collaboration of two Italian architects, the Venetian Carlo Scarpa and the Florentine Edoardo Detti, protagonists of the architectural outline of the Postwar period. Inaugurated in 1966, it is characterized by a modern and essential style both in the materials and in the lines. The building has a longitudinal structure with a unique nave. The interior of the church is big and bright, very simple and linear, dominated by few but well calibrated signs. The church guards a rich patrimony of sculptures in ceramics by Salvatore Cipolla and the Crucifix of Camaggiore, wooden sculpture of the 12th century, object of a recent restoration, that constitutes an important Romanesque testimony in central Italy.
. Annunziata’s church
The building, originally dating back to the 15th century, had been entirely been destroyed in the 1944 aerial bombardment. Today the reconstructed building is a place of worship and welcomes cultural and artistic events of the territory.
SS. Annunziata’s church already made part in 1436 of the monastery founded by the Fathers of the order of the “Serviti” from Florence and faced, in the following centuries, a succession of periods of splendour and periods of desolation and ruin, until when, in 1869, thanks to the intervention of the Martini family from Firenzuola, the church was internally restructured with new liturgical furnish, and the actual bell tower was built with “Pietra Serena”, the local stone. The church, inaugurated in 1882, was almost entirely destroyed in the 1944 aerial bombardment: the bell tower only was saved. Reconstructed in the Postwar period, it was seat of the Parish up to 1966, year of the inauguration of the new “Propositura”; today it is place not only for worship, but also for art exhibitions and cultural events.
Abbey of “San Pietro a Moscheta”
Included in a strongly impressive naturalistic context, the abbey hosts the Museum of the historical Landscape of the Appennino, the regional mountain.
Founded in 1034 by
Giovanni Gualberto, a Florentine knight, later founder of the order of the Vallombrosiani, the abbey of Moscheta has been destroyed and reconstructed many times. Around 1788 it was suppressed through “granducal” decree and submitted, as parish, to the cares of the Florentine diocesan clergy. The actual parish church is an enough recent work that, for the sobriety of its lines, is pleasantly inserted in the marvellous natural context. The abbey hosts the Museum of the historical Landscape of the Appennino (the regional mountain) that belongs to the “Sistema Museale Mugello, Alto Mugello, Val di Sieve”, a widespread system of interesting local museums.
Parish Church of St. John the Baptist “S. Giovanni Battista a Camaggiore”
Ancient 13th century parish church, situated along the “Via Montanara”, in a strongly impressive natural context, next to a stretch of the river called Santerno which is particularly proper for bathing. The first foundation of the church is not documented: the only certain news we have are about the patronage gotten about it in 1257 from Cardinal Ottaviano from the Ubaldini family; besides an incision on a slab made of “Pietra Serena”, the typical local stone, in the courtyard of the presbytery shows the date of MCCIV (1204). In 1276 the church had an important role in the ecclesiastical structure and guarded works of art of notable quality and historical interest; the following historical news on the parish are very few. In 1991 the parish church was involved in a big theft and was deprived of most of the artistic patrimony and of many liturgical and devotional objects. What escaped to this raid is the old wooden Crucifix, which faced an accurate restoration that revealed the chromatic lines and the iconographic formula, both belonging to the Romanesque sculpture of the late 12th century. Currently the wooden Crucifix is kept in the “Propositura di San Giovanni Battista” in Firenzuola.
The Museum includes archaeological finds, customs and traditions of the country civilization, finds from the Second World War, all arranged by the “Archaeological Group from Bruscoli”. The “Archaeological Group from Bruscoli” (G.A.B.) arranges and studies, from a historical-archaeological point of view, the mountain territory and the high valleys of the Futa local area. The museum allows the visitors to know the history of these areas, the stories of which they have been witnesses in the centuries and the traces they have left, everything with the aid of documents and plastic reconstructions (over thousand objects have been arranged in the museum). The museum itinerary includes three sections: 1) Geo-archaeological finds from the excavations made along the ancient pavements and on the ruins of the medieval Alberti family castle, in Bruscoli; 2) Customs and traditions of the country civilization, utensils and reconstructions of different environments; 3) War instruments from the Second World War related to the Gothic Line that involved these territories.
“Museo della Pietra Serena”, museum of the typical local stone
The Museum includes the testimonies from the ancient stonecutters tradition and about the importance that the Pietra Serena industry has always had for the development of the local community.
The “Pietra Serena” Museum, founded on December 19th 1999, is a tribute to the ability of the stonecutters from Firenzuola and a celebration of the local “Pietra Serena”, a material that played a fundamental role in the history and in the stonecutters’ tradition of Firenzuola. The museum is visible in the basements of the Fortress, which were rediscovered thanks to a restoration of the whole building, and it welcomes the visitors with an exhibition of contemporary artists’ works. The path begins with a section dedicated to the “Landscapes made of stone”; and it goes on with the section “Job in a quarry”, explaining the extraction of the stone; the following section about the “Objects from the daily life”, includes things used in the country houses and in the country job; finally a “Virtual Space” section shows a country house, focusing on the architectural elements typical of this area. The Museum also devotes a sector to the excavation job and to the restoration of the fortress, that allowed the recovery of important ceramic finds. To the “Pietra Serena” as “stone for artistic works” have been reserved the conclusive spaces, through the exposure of manufactured articles, made possible by the technical ability of the stonecutters from Firenzuola that have been operative for centuries with few and effective utensils, to decorate monuments and buildings. The museum is part of the “Sistema Museale Territoriale Mugello, Alto Mugello, Val di Sieve”, a widespread system of local museums created to optimize the use of local resources, whose programmatic part is managed by the “Comunità Montana del Mugello”, while the local organization belongs to every individual town hall that is part of this system. Museum of the historical landscape of the “Appennino”, the regional mountain. Hosted in the ancient Abbey of “St. Pietro a Moscheta”, in a pleasant natural context, the Museum offers a resume of the peculiar aspects of the landscape of the “Appennino Mugellano”, the regional mountain. The Museum is inside the historical Moscheta Abbey. The museum itinerary is organized so to allow a progressive reading of the peculiar aspects of the landscape of the “Appennino Mugellano”, the regional mountain; a particular space is then reserved to cognitive-perceptive experiences in the natural world, including geology, fauna and flora. The first section is devoted to the “History of the Abbey of S. Pietro a Moscheta” and to the effects that the action of the monks had on the wooded organization and settlement; the second section “The perceived landscape” allows to explore the landscape from inside. The proper elements to define the peculiarity of the landscape are identified through a temporal itinerary that selects the signs engraved in the environment by the action of the man, organized in the 5 scenarios corresponding to specific historical times: “The landscape of forests and castles”, “New lands, cultivations and woods”, “The invention of the landscape of the Appennino: roads, villages and countries in the 18th and 19th centuries”, “The landscape of the villa-farms in the 19th and 20th centuries, “From the uninhabited mountain to the repopulated mountain”.
The Roman Road
Near the Futa pass, after long searches, the remains of the Via Flaminia have been discovered; the road had been built on the consul Flaminius' will, in 187 B.C., to connect Bologna to Arezzo.
The “Flaminia Militare”, wanted by the consul Caius Flaminius in 187 B.C., was an important road that connected Bologna to Arezzo. The principal historical source where some news about it can be found is the 39th book of the Roman historian Titus Livius, who tells about the construction in 187 B.C. of a road that connected Bologna to Arezzo, without giving any other indication either of the itinerary or of the crossed cities. The searches, conducted by a group of impassioned and expert people from the territory, encouraged by authoritative historical sources and essays of ancient road conditions, show that the Futa pass was the “Appennino” mountain border crossed by the Roman Road to reach Tuscany. In 1979 an intense recognition activity took place and many reliefs brought to a first discovery of a part of pavement, perfectly preserved, near the Futa pass; the technical characteristics, the width and the disposition itself regarding the stones, according to some adepts at ancient roads, are a clear index of a Roman work. Hypothesis made even more acceptable by the discovery, in 1997, of a much longer part of the road, over 20 km, connecting “Madonna dei Fornelli”, not far from Bologna, to “Santa Lucia” in Tuscany. The excursion itineraries to visit the Roman Road are nowadays signaled in the Futa pass area, in Bruscoli, and in the area towards Bologna.
The “Gothic Line”
anterno Valley War Cemetery/English Military Cemetery
In the area around Coniale, a town near Firenzuola along the “Via Imolese”, there is the English Military Cemetery called “Santerno Valley War Cemetery”, which contains 287 corpses of soldiers including English, Canadian and South African men, dead in the territory during the last world conflict.
“Brento” Ancient country village, with the typical buildings in stone, the “Pietra Serena” typical of the area, nowadays in state of abandonment. Brento is a small ancient village consisting of two housing nucleuses called “Brento Sanico” and “Brento La Volpe”, today in state of abandonment. The village is on the left side of the Santerno river, in a particularly uncomfortable position; nevertheless during the second world conflict it represented a sure shelter for many people escaped from Firenzuola. Nowadays it is completely uninhabited and it is inserted in one of the principal areas of excavation of the “Pietra Serena” from Firenzuola. Anciently there was a castle of the Ubaldini family, of which today few traces have remained. The church, in which the date 1527 has been engraved in the stone, is devoted to St. Biagio and contains some works of art dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The structure of the buildings shows the characteristics typical of this territory, with the roof made of slabs of stone and the walls built with blocks of stone superimposed to one another. “Castiglioncello”Ancient ghost town on a hill near “Moraduccio”, on the left side of the Santerno river. This village, situated on the left side of the Santerno river, in proximity of Moraduccio, has the characteristics typical of an ancient castle, provided with the natural defenses of the river and of the ditches surrounding it almost entirely. Today it is totally uninhabited and in state of abandonment, with precarious ruins, but in 1833 it counted up to 85 inhabitants. The structure of the buildings is entirely made of “Pietra Serena”, typical of the territory, and the church, devoted to the Saints John and Paul has a bell tower made of stone that stands triumphal over the whole village, and challenges the degrade and the carelessness. Reaching Castiglioncello is particularly easy: from the “Strada Montanara Imolese”, near Moraduccio, a little road goes in the direction of the river, ending in an area where it is necessary to leave the car and continue on foot. From here, crossing the river (have a look at the beautiful fall of the “Rio dei Briganti”) just go on walking for about 1 km in direction of the village, visible already from the provincial road. “Rapezzo”Ancient rural village, rich in chestnut woods, today still inhabited. The village, once castle, stands on a hill on the right side of the Santerno river; the housing nucleus dates back at least to 1145, while the native church had already been built in 1518. Today the village counts about thirty inhabitants, but among ‘700 and ‘800 it had almost 300 of them and it was an important center. It’s an area rich in chestnut woods that produce precious fruits. The Santerno river “a Camaggiore” Every summer the Santerno river welcomes swimmers coming from the neighboring communes, particularly from Romagna. The stretch of river near the parish church of Camaggiore is one of the most impressive and ideal place for bathing. The Santerno river has its source near the Futa pass and flows after a 99 km path into the Reno river, near the southern part of the main road #16 Ravenna-Ferrara. In the stretch of river along the “Via Montanara” from Firenzuola to Imola, after the village of San Pellegrino, there are some ideal places for bathing, with natural swimming pools, falls, white and smooth rocks, perfect as “solarium”. Among the most impressive places there is the stretch of the river near the parish church of Camaggiore, with a beautiful bridge made of stone and with ideal places for the bathing and the relax. Just before the parish church, where the Diaterna river flows into the Santerno river, there is an ancient bridge in stone, wanted in the 18th century by Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to impede the number of accidents and drowning, which had taken place while people were looking at the river in flood. In that part the Diaterna river, for the wild context where it is set, is traditionally popular among nudists that, every year, on May 1st, organize a meeting for the cleaning up of the river. The Fortress (“Rocca”) of Cavrenno Cliff of calcareous rock, ideal for climbing. Near the Raticosa pass, on the border with the Emilia Romagna, the nature offers a characteristic spur of calcareous rock, that sprouts from the gentle hills of the “Appennino Tosco-emiliano” offering an ideal site for the climbing enthusiasts. The rocky conformation of the cliff called “Falesia del Rocchino” is particularly proper for middle level climbers and beginners. The altitude and the rigidity of the winter climate make this cliff particularly suitable for the summer and spring period. It is advisable to pay a lot of attention and to protect oneself with helmet, because the calcareous rock is not always compact. The Customs of Filigare – aka “Dogane Lorenesi”The Customs of Filigare, completely restored, is a testimony of the “Dogane Lorenesi” wanted by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, to penetrate the social and commercial system of the territory. In 1788 Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany began the building of the customs of Moraduccio, of Piancaldoli, and of Filigare, on the borders with the Pontifical State. The Customs of Filigare, made on project by L. Cambray Digny in 1818, have been recently restored and are well recognizable along the provincial road S.P. 65 of the Futa pass that runs to Monghidoro near the homonym town from Firenzuola. The new “Dogane Lorenesi”, risen along the main roads, mark the borders of a Grand Duchy addressed, according the sovereign, not to the suspicious closing toward feared external enemies, but to the confiding opening to the surrounding political and economic reality. The Customs represent some peaceful means devoted to the commerce and they show the increasing importance attributed by the new economic Lorenese politics to commerce, to the free exchange of products, but also of ideas. Moscheta Moscheta, in the middle of a large area owned by the state, is a place of great charm and naturalistic interest, ideal for the lovers of trekking, for riding and for the observation of many species of animals in their natural habitat. Moscheta is a territory rich in tourist and naturalistic attractions, situated in the middle of a large area owned by the state (where the hunting is then forbidden), rich in woods and pastures, among the 600 and the 1200 meters. From Moscheta a beautiful net of paths unravels along the GEA (Grande Escursione Appenninica – Great Appenninica Excursion), in an area where you can find mixed woods, in prevalence of broad-leaf trees as beeches, oaks and chestnut trees and pastures, once used for cultivations and now partly re-conquered by the wood. The chestnut woods, with their enormous secular trees and the small constructions used for the desiccation of chestnuts (here called “Seccatoi”), are, among the many kinds of wood you can find here, the most fascinating and rich in wild fauna. Here, in October, it is possible to pick up the chestnuts (here called “Marroni”) paying them with a price reduction at the end of the harvest. In the woods and pastures of Moscheta there are many kinds of wild animals, including many ungulate ones (roe deer, wild boars, fallow deer and deer) carnivorous ones (foxes, wolves) and many birds of prey, as the eagle and the peregrine falcon. The area is ploughed by two marvelous torrents: the Rovigo and the Veccione. These two streams deeply boxed in the mountains, constitute one of the torrential complexes of the area, where the crayfish, the trout (fishing is allowed), and the blackbird called “acquaiolo” still live. In the grasslands around Moscheta a big population of fallow deer lives, and they can be easily watched by the lovers of this activity. Moscheta offers an equestrian Center that organizes many activities for the horse-lovers, the Museum of the historical Landscape of the “Appennino” in the historical abbey of St. Pietro a Moscheta, a Farm holidays structure, a Hostel and a mountain Refuge. Public Swimming poolThe sports facility, inaugurated in 2005, is just out of Firenzuola city center, in a green and airy area. The public Swimming pool was inaugurated in 2005. Currently it is managed by the association “New Energym” from Bologna and it is open in the Summer period between June and September. Besides the normal swimming activities, New Energym organizes, in collaboration with the Commune of Firenzuola, Summer vacations organized for children, with different playing activities and courses for all the ages: swimming, acquagym, aerobics, step, stretching, etc. The structure includes two heated pools with a large solarium, a cafe, a fitness gym with sauna, a playing area for children. Besides, near the swimming pool, you will find the polyvalent sports facility and a football field. Equestrian Center Moscheta offers many horse-trekking itineraries in a natural context of extraordinary beauty. The Abbey of Moscheta, is the ideal starting point to have horse-trekking from few hours to some days, followed by Equestrian Environmental Guides authorized by the Region Tuscany, with Haflinger horses, particularly proper for this kind of trekking mounted the English way or the American way. Along the itineraries there are mountain refuges where it is possible to have a break or to sleep. The Santerno river and its tributaries The Santerno river, with its numerous tributaries offers ideal inlets for bathing and aquatic sports. The Santerno river, with its numerous tributaries offers ideal inlets for bathing and aquatic sports as canoeing; in some (signaled) stretches of river fishing too is allowed. The water of the torrent Rovigo is so icy to offer a sure refreshment in the warmest summer months; the landscape here has a rare beauty and the quiet surrounding nature guarantees a sure moment of rest. It’s possible to follow impressive trekking itineraries that run along the rivers and torrents of the territory (Biscione, Canaglia, Diaterna, Riateri, Rovigo, Sillaro, Veccione, Vincarolo, and obviously the Santerno river). The “Ufficio Valorizzazione” situated in Firenzuola offers to the visitor the guide “Verdeacqua, dieci percorsi lungo fiumi e torrenti – Verdeacqua, ten itineraries along rivers and torrents”. “Casanuova”Village which is part of the district of Firenzuola, along the road to the Giogo pass. Casanuova is a village with very ancient origins (there are documents about it which date back to 1043). The actual church was built in 1880 and it keeps a precious Madonna with Her Child, from the Florentine School, dated 16th century. Up to some time ago the church also kept four wooden sculptures representing the “Dolenti della Pietà” and dating back to the 14th century, now guarded by the church of “Santo Stefano al ponte” near Ponte Vecchio in Florence. About two kilometers away from Casanuova, following the municipal road there is the characteristic ancient village called Corniolo, inserted in a great environmental context, where one can find woods, meadows, cultivated fields, chestnut woods, creating an area of extraordinary beauty. “Castro San Martino” Village in the district of Firenzuola, situated along the Futa road. The village called “Castro San Martino”, situated near the sources of the Santerno river and along the road that reaches the Futa pass, was anciently dominated by the powerful family of the Ubaldini. In 1330 the Florentine Republic purchased its jurisdiction and created a defensive fortification on the Futa pass. The parish church of Castro San Martino preserves a beautiful Crucifix from the 17th century and an interesting Madonna with Her Child dated 16th century. “Cornacchiaia” The name of this village presumably derives from the Latin "cornua clara", that is to say from the acute point of its knolls.The inhabited area of Cornacchiaia, a few kilometers away from Firenzuola, along the provincial Futa road, was once a territory belonging to the Ubaldini family and a connection with the Mugello area through the road called “Strada dell’osteria bruciata” that climbed up from here to the mountain pass, then going down to Sant'Agata. Here you will find the millenary parish church devoted to St. John the Baptist “Decollato”, which has recently faced a pictorial and structural restoration that has delivered us the parish church in its original impressive shine. Less than a kilometer far from Cornacchiaia, going to Firenzuola, there is the nice village called Sigliola, with its particular houses made of “Pietra Serena”, the typical stone of this area. “Frena”Village in the district of Firenzuola having very ancient origins: it is named in a document dated 1086. The origin of the name seems to date back to the ancient people of the “Freniti” that from Liguria settled in this area. Situated a few kilometers away from Firenzuola, Frena is surrounded by a suggestive environment, covered with secular chestnut trees and large woods of oaks and beeches. Today it is poorly inhabited but between the 16th and the 19th centuries the number of inhabitants was almost 300. “San Piero Santerno” This small village, situated not far from the main town, along the street going to Romagna, dates back to the 12th-13th century. San Piero Santerno is a small village situated along the street going to Romagna, but near the main town, so that its population is supposed to have built the castle of Firenzuola, whose construction began in 1332. The actual church of St. Peter, restored in 1922 and joined to the parish of Firenzuola, already existed in 1243.“Le Valli”Small village situated in a panoramic and sunny position along the road that goes to Covigliaio and Pietramala. Once territory belonging to the Ubaldini family, Le Valli is a village situated on a hill and surrounded by large fields and meadows toward the Santerno river and the torrent Diaterna. Anciently, for its strategic position, it hosted an important market and was place of meetings and commercial exchanges. In 1300, year of the Jubilee, a Congress for peace took place between the cities of Bologna and Florence, always against each other for matters of borders and possessions. “Rifredo”Village near Firenzuola, and near the Giogo pass. Rifredo is a small village along the Giogo road that, through the homonym pass, goes to Scarperia. Its church was already named in a paper of the 10th century. The landscape of this place is impressive, rich in fir-trees and pastures and it is not rare to see fallow deer or other ungulate animals that populate the area in a large quantity. In Rifredo Giovanni D’Andrea was born, in the 13th century; he was the teacher, among the others, of Francesco Petrarca and Cino da Pistoia, important Italian literary masters. Between Rifredo and the Giogo pass, following the provincial road, there is the small inhabited area called “Barco”, the place of the meeting between the poet Dino Campana and the writer Sibilla Aleramo in 1916. “Moscheta” Famous for the millenary Abbey of Moscheta it is one of the most remarkable places, from the naturalistic point of view, in the territory around Firenzuola. Moscheta, with the neighboring villages called Osteto and Fognano, is one of the most impressive places in the whole territory of Firenzuola. Surrounded by a large area owned by the Italian state, with its woods and secular chestnut woods, pastures and meadows, Moscheta offers a large series of tourist attractions: trekking, horse/mountain-bike excursions. Besides there are cultural itineraries such as the Museum of the historical Landscape of the “Appennino” (the regional mountain), which can be visited in the historical Abbey of St. Pietro a Moscheta, wanted in 1034 by St. Giovanni Gualberto. “Bruscoli”Bruscoli, absorbed in a suggestive environment made of pastures and fir-woods, is the most reachable village in the territory of Firenzuola, as it’s next to the tollgates of Roncobilaccio and Pian del Voglio. The whole area of Bruscoli anciently made part of the county belonging to the “Alberti” family from “Vernio and Mangona”. From the ancient fortifications today there are still some traces which have been recently brought to the light. In Bruscoli you will find an interesting historical-ethnographic Museum, created by the local Archaeological Group, that has carefully searched and organized a big quantity of objects of historical and archaeological interest: archaeological finds, utensils and daily things from the rural and artisan civilization, war objects from the 2nd World War and documents about the famous “Gothic Line”. “Filigare” Ancient small fortress, once property of the Ubaldini family, in direction of the province of Bologna. Filigare includes the small villages of Cavrenno and Montalbano. It’s an ancient small fortress once belonging to the Ubaldini family, who gave it to the city of Bologna in 1294. It was destroyed and then reconstructed many times at the age of the conflicts between the Ubaldini family and other Florentine, Bolognese and Modenese families. In the 19th century Filigare lived a period of development and growth with the creation of the main road called “Bolognese”, the foundation of the Tuscan Grand-Ducal Customs, and the Post-office building. The construction of the Customs, the ancient “Dogana”, wanted by Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany and planned by the architect Cambray Digny (1818), gave a new impulse to the exchange of goods, products but also ideas. The Customs is now visible (completely restored) along the provincial road, the S.P. 65, near Filigare. An interesting piece of news: in Montalbano Giosuè Carducci, famous Italian poet, used to come on vacation during Summer, from Bologna, where he was an Eloquence teacher in the famous Bolognese university. “Covigliaio” Health resort and famous holiday resort already in the 19th century, when it used to have many famous personalities as guests. Covigliaio, situated along the main road called “Bolognese”, among the Futa and Raticosa passes, is a famous health and holiday resort in a sheltered position between the “Sasso di Castro” and the Monte Beni”. In the 19th century it became a famous place because the local hotel called “La Posta” hosted illustrious personalities, as: King Ferdinand I “Di Borbone”, Charles Albert prince of Carignano, the czar Nicholas I from Russia, Pope Pius IX, the English poet George Gordon lord Byron, the British writer sir Walter Scott. In 1912 the Church of “San Matteo a Covigliaio” experienced the theft of a valuable work of art: a group of objects made of “terracotta invetriata” (glazed baked clay) attributed to Luca Della Robbia. Another interesting place to visit in the village is the naturalistic oasis of Belvedere, founded in 1970 for its valuable naturalistic characteristics. “Pietramala” Pietramala is one of the largest villages in the territory of Firenzuola, typical for the presence of “perennial fires” that inspired Alessandro Volta. Situated near the Raticosa pass, at the foot of “Monte Canda” and “Montoggioli” (1290 m, the tallest peak in the territory), Pietramala is a famous holiday resort, particularly loved by Florentine and Bolognese people. Anciently part of the Bolognese district, in 1403 it became part of the “Vicariato di Firenzuola”. The project of the imposing religious building, the parish church of “S. Lorenzo”, dates back to 1882, thanks to the architect Baldi Delle Rose and the inauguration was in 1902. The territory of Pietramala is characterized by the presence of “perennial fires” that are emitted by the subsoil and that inspired many illustrious personalities, as the Saxon traveller from the 16th century, Lawrence Shrader, Alessandro Volta and the Marquis de Sade. Another famous personality that was periodically guest in Pietramala on Summer vacation was Telemaco Signorini (Florentine painter from the School of those who are better known as “Macchiaioli”) that drew the village in many paintings and drawings.“Traversa”The village called “La Traversa” is situated by the Futa pass and to the foot of the “Sasso di Castro”, in a panoramic position easily reachable. “La Traversa”, with the near Forest, is an important holiday resort in the territory of Firenzuola, for its panoramic position, for the mild climate, and for the closeness to the main roads connecting Firenzuola to Florence and Bologna. The local church, devoted to S. Jacopo, dates back to 1788 and contains a baptismal source with a precious Majolica realized by the “Manifatture Chini” from Borgo S. Lorenzo. Up to the first part of the 19th century the church kept a precious “Madonna with Her Child”, a “terracotta invetriata” (glazed baked clay) made by the famous artist “Andrea Della Robbia”, stolen in 1912, later discovered and again escaped during the 2nd World War, when the Americans stayed in “La Traversa” for some time. “Belvedere” Oasis Naturalistic oasis founded by the Province of Florence in 1970, considering the precious naturalistic characteristics of this territory. The oasis of Belvedere has a surface of about 623 hectares and is characterized by the presence of modest reliefs among which the most important are the “Sasso di Castro (1276 ms) and the “Monte Beni” (1264 ms). The oasis is managed by the Province of Florence and by a local Management Committee. The site is really interesting for the presence of many species of animals and trees: among the amphibians, the “Tritone Apuano” and “Tritone Crestato Meridionale”; among the birds, the buzzard, a hawk called “Falco Pellegrino”, another hawk called “Falco Pecchiaiolo”, the Eagle Owl and the Eagle (this one doesn't nest in the oasis, but it can be frequently seen in the highest territories, on the grasslands, looking for food). Some mammals that live here are roe deer, wild boars, foxes, stone martens, badgers and hares. Besides the “Muflone” has lived here since thirty years, and he’s become a symbol of the oasis. Finally it’s interesting to highlight the gradual reappearance of the species of wolf called “Lupo Appenninico”. “Brento” “Brento Sanico” and “Brento La Volpe” constitute a unique ancient village, today in state of abandonment. The ancient village of Brento is situated on a hill on the left part of the Santerno river, reachable on foot from the village called “S. Pellegrino”. We’re talking about a particularly interesting and impressive place for the presence of rural buildings entirely made of “Pietra Serena”, the typical stone from Firenzuola, today in decadence and in a state of abandonment; from the censuses of the period it seems that between the 16th and 18th centuries Brento and other small mountain villages (as Castiglioncello for example), despite the uncomfortable position, were enough populated. The most frequent source of food, which was also the main economic resource of the place, was certainly the chestnut tree (“the bread's tree”) from which the local inhabitants took the sweet flour and consumed the fruits (the so-called “Marroni”) in many savory recipes. “Camaggiore” Camaggiore is situated near one of the most fascinating stretches of the Santerno river, very frequented during Summer. The village called Camaggiore, together with the near villages of “Coniale” and “Pieve Di Là”, can be found along the road called “Via Imolese Montanara” near the Santerno river, in a stretch particularly proper for bathing and frequented in Summer by many tourists and swimmers from the near Romagna and the province of Florence. The parish church of Camaggiore, whose building period is unknown, was entirely reconstructed in 1912; the artistic patrimony of the parish church has been almost entirely stolen, except the Crucifix, sculpture made of polychrome wood dated 12th century, important testimony of the Romanesque art in the territory. The precious Crucifix has been restored and is now guarded by the “Propositura di San Giovanni Battista” in Firenzuola.“Castiglioncello”Ancient village with the typical buildings made of “Pietra Serena”, the local stone, near Moraduccio, by the border with the region Emilia Romagna. Following the main road called “Strada Montanara Imolese” by the place called Moraduccio, last village in Tuscany, on the left side of the Santerno river, you will see on a hill the ancient village called Castiglioncello. Today uninhabited and in a state of abandonment, Castiglioncello still keeps the typical buildings in “Pietra Serena”, testimony of the rural life that characterized these mountains. You can reach this village on foot from Moraduccio, going down to the shores of the Santerno river and crossing a brief steep path. From Castiglioncello the tourist will have an incomparable view and a healthy air; from here it is possible to have a walk following a path organized by the Italian Alpine Club. “Monti” Small village situated in an extreme part of the territory around Firenzuola, next to the forest of Santa Cristina. The small village of Monti is situated on a hill by the left side of the Santerno river; today it is poorly inhabited but it was once largely populated: just think that in 1551 there were up to 306 inhabitants (while in Firenzuola there were only 250 inhabitants!). Near Monti there is a large area covered with chestnut woods: the whole area of Firenzuola is part of the zone of cultivation of the so-called “Marrone del Mugello”. Monti is easily reachable by car, following the “Via Montanara Imolese”.“Rapezzo” Ancient village situated in a panoramic and sunny position, in the Santerno river Valley. Rapezzo is an ancient village situated in the Santerno Valley, on the right side of the river: it is named in a document dated 1145. As the neighboring villages of Tirli and Monti, also Rapezzo was anciently very populated while today there are just few inhabitants. The village is near a large area of chestnut woods producing an appreciated fruit, and in the lowest part, descending toward the river, there are ample pastures and meadows. “S. Pellegrino”S. Pellegrino is situated to few kilometers from the main town, not far from the Santerno river. The village of S. Pellegrino can be reached by following the road that goes to Imola; a few kilometers from the main town and next to the river, the ancient village is today involved in the area for the construction of the high speed railway. Near the place denominated Castello the actual parish church devoted to the Saints Domenico and Giustino was built, in the place where once there was a Hospital (devoted to St. Pellegrino). From here, following a path, the tourist can reach the ancient village of Brento. In S. Pellegrino there’s an old water-mill active still today: the Mill of Valtellere, visible on booking and well recognizable on the shore of the Santerno river (not far from the parish church). “Tirli” Tirli is situated along the provincial road that goes to “Palazzuolo sul Senio” and it is an area particularly rich in chestnut woods producing an appreciated fruit. The village of Tirli was in the past one of the most populous towns of the whole territory: from the 1551 census it results that while the main town counted only 250 inhabitants, Tirli had 756 people. It was therefore a zone of a certain importance: here the “Ubaldini di Susinana” family had built a castle, later given to the Florentines in 1372 (just a few ruins are today visible). The native religious building too was very ancient, dating back to the year 1000; the actual one, devoted to St. Patrizio, has been completely reconstructed, and inaugurated in 1929. Tirli is covered by large woods: beech trees and, particularly, chestnut trees from the appreciated fruit. Among the chestnut woods there are still some well visible “Seccatoi”, ancient buildings in “Pietra Serena” used for the desiccation of the “Marroni”.“Bordignano” Bordignano is an ancient village situated in the Diaterna Valley. Bordignano is a place with ancient origins dominated for along time by the Ubaldini family, until it was given to the Florentine Republic in 1332. The actual parish church, devoted to S. Giovanni Battista Decollato, is recent: it was entirely rebuilt in 1926; in the village there are also many oratories, that after many years of abandonment and carelessness have been robbed of every liturgical furnish. “Caburaccia” Village situated along the provincial road that goes to Piancaldoli, poorly inhabited today. The origin of the inhabited area seems to date back to the 14th century, considering that the native parish church is dated 1337. That actual one was rebuilt in 1838 and guards some liturgical objects of particular historical-artistic interest. “Castelvecchio” The characteristic village of Castelvecchio, dating back to the 14th century, is near the sources of the torrent Diaterna. The village of Castelvecchio, situated near the sources of the torrent Diaterna, next to the villages called Bordignano and Visignano, seems to date back to the 14th century: it is mentioned in a document written in 1385, in which the local church of St. Giorgio is named and it is said that anciently it belonged to the parish of the Castle of the Malavolti family, Bolognese nobles in constant conflict with the Florentines. The church still has today some artistic objects, among which the large windows with glass produced by the “Chini” Furnaces from Borgo S. Lorenzo. “Giugnola” Divided in two parts by the border with the Emilia Romagna region, Giugnola is situated a few kilometers far from Piancaldoli. The ancient village of Giugnola, dating back to the 14th century, is well preserved today. The village is divided in two parts by the border with the Emilia Romagna region, and it is therefore many kilometers far from the main town, so that the language spoken here is very similar to the dialect spoken in Emilia Romagna. A few kilometers away from Giugnola on a hill there are the rests of a rural building where a bloody fighting took place between Italian partisans and Germans, during the Second World War. “Peglio” Very small village in the territory of Firenzuola, next to Pietramala. Peglio was anciently Dominion of the Ubaldini family: at least from 1100, then confirmed by the emperor Frederick II in 1220. For the airy, sunny and comfortable position, and for the proximity to the main town, it is a privileged holiday resort. “Piancaldoli” One of the most distant villages from the main town, it is situated near the sources of the Sillaro river. The village of Piancaldoli, situated near the Emilia Romagna border, next to the Raticosa pass, has ancient origins: a document dated 1101 mentions the “Castro di plani Aldoli”, origin of the name of this village. It was a strengthened place owned by the Ubaldini family until, at the end of the 14th century, it became a land contended between the two Communes of Bologna and Florence. The Commune of Florence got its possession only at the end of the 15th century. On a hill, situated over the inhabited area of Piancaldoli, there is still the Caterina Sforza’s Fortress. The actual “Propositura di S. Andrea” is recent, in Romanesque-lombard style, with a nave and with a Latin cross shape. Today the village is a privileged holiday resort which is particularly dear to people from Emilia Romagna. “Visignano” Small village, poorly inhabited, next to the villages of Bordignano and Castelvecchio. Visignano is today a poorly inhabited village; next to Bordignano and Castelvecchio, it includes a parish church, entitled to St. Jacopo and St. Giorgio, of recent building (1911) but interesting to visit: Greek-cross structure and ample windows with glass produced by the “Chini” Furnaces Bends from Borgo S. Lorenzo, representing the Four Evangelists.
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* [http://www.flaminiamilitare.it/ Flaminia Militare/]
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