Inhabitants in 1991: 17.416
municipal territory of Signa, positioned entirely on the left bank of
the Arno in the Valdarno Inferiore, extends for 43,06 square kilometres
in low and medium hills. Allowing for small variations, the present
day territory is more or less the same as that of the ancient Medieval
rural municipality of Gangalandi, a locality overlooking the capital.
Instituted as community in 1774, Lastra a Signa united 12 small municipalities
and populations; in 1833 one of its parishes was detached and given
to Carmignano and at the same time it added three which had belonged to
the community of Casellina e Torri.
The origins of Lastra are unsure, we find it attested in documents
until the middle of the XIV century as a locality on the road which
unites Firenze to Pisa, having a hospital. There were no traces of
fortifications until 1377 when the municipality of Firenze after the
sackage suffered by the town by Pisa and the English mercenaries (1365)
provided walls that encircle it, most of which can still be seen
today, particularly in the part parallel to the course of the Arno.
The hypothesis that the agglomerate seems to have risen in the
XII century based on the connection with the Castle of Gangalandi
and that of Lastra is wrong and without foundation. The
latter, for the position in which it finds itself and its linkage to Signa,
is often cited as an example of the central post of defence of a bridge
(that over the Arno a few kilometres downstream of Lastra), also one could
think that its origins sprung from a market, placed on a
heavily trafficated road developing until it obliged the municipality
of Firenze to construct an enclosing wall. In 1397 Lastra was "wasted"
by the soldiers of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, while we know that in 1529
during the siege of Firenze, a Fiorentino garrison remained in
the town to allow a connection between the city and Francesco Ferrucci
stationed at Empoli.
|Places to visit:
The Enclosing Wall, practically
intact, it was constructed in 1424 and still preserves two of its
S. Maria alla Lastra, built in 1404 in substitution
of a preceding building. It has suffered several transformations over
the centuries. There are interesting works of art inside.
di S. Martino a Gangalandi, is to be found outside the town in
the direction of Empoli. The church of Romanesque origins is noted
from 1108. The interior houses precious paintings.
Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford