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Impruneta

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Inhabitants in 1991: 15.028

The municipal territory of Impruneta extends for 48.76 square kilometres in the hills to the south which belt the Fiorentina basin between Val di Greve and Val d'Ema. Impruneta became autonomous municipality in 1928 raising a part of the suppressed municipality of Galluzzo upon which the Podesta Office depended since the Medieval era.

It was feudal to the Buondelmonti, who had their ancestral castle at Montebuoni. Defeated by Firenze in 1135 it was forced to urbanise itself; but the development of the centre of Impuneta (for the first time cited in a document of the middle of the XI century) is tied to its parish church, named for the Madonna and holder of a miraculous image of the Virgin. Around the sanctuary there developed a well populated village, while in the surrounding fertile hills sprang up a series of small rural agglomerates (called villas in the terminology of the time) which today still characterise the countryside of the municipalities of Bagnolo, Pozzolatico and San Gersolè; The nearness to Firenze and the amenity of the territory favoured the construction by the proprietary citizens of various "Manor Houses".

With Galluzzo, Impuneta was elected capital of a league of the county and the hills to the south of Firenze; and Firenze made many appeals of faith to the venerated image of the Madonna , which involved carrying it in solemn procession to the city every time there was some catastrophe which distressed it, should it be a plague epidemic or an atmospheric inclemency. The sanctuary, because of its continual flow of public and private donations, acquired a substantial patrimony and was several times enlarged and restructured from the XII to the XVIII centuries; grave damage was suffered throughout all the town by the bombardments during the last war.

Places to visit:
Basilica - Sanctuary of S. Maria all’Impruneta, a building position in the centre of the town, facing Piazza Buondelmonti, has a 1600 arcade in the front. The actual basilica was founded on a preceding Roman parish church. In the XIV century it was enlarged, but reached its present day dimension around 1450 . There followed other modifications and its perimeter was fortified by surrounding walls. The single nave interior suffered severe damage during the allied bombardment in 1944 and was reconstructed in the renaissance style. The basilica is rich in works of art by various artists coming from different eras. In 1987 the adjoining Museum of the Treasures of S. Maria all Impruneta was inaugurated, where there is a collection of precious testimonies and donations relative to the importance and history of the basilica.

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


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