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Towns of the area

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Poggio a Caiano

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Inhabitants in 1991: 7.941

The municipal territory of Poggio a Caiano extends for 5,97 square kilometres on the slopes of Montalbano, in the valley dell’Ombrone Pistoiese. Its origins go back to 1962 when the districts of Pogetto and Poggio a Caiano were detached from the municipality of Carmignano and made autonomous municipality.

Poggio a Caiano is the most recent and the second to smallest municipality of the region. The locality, already inhabited in the Roman era was important in the Medieval for the presence of a small fort built between the XII and the XIII century by Prato to defend the bridge over the Ombrone, and for the fact of being from XIII to XVIII century the internal gate of Prato, and for being the departure point by river on the Ombrone and the Arno for the barges of the merchants going to Pisa and Livorno.

But the main reason for the notoriety of the municipality (whose fertile land for many generations had been in possession of certain powerful families like the Cancellieri from Pistoia and the Strozzi and the Rucellai from Firenze) was the Medicea Villa, built for Lorenzo il Magnifico by the architect Giuliano da Sangallo in 1479. Here was celebrated all the pomp of the Laurenziana Court, the dismal tragedy of Francesco I and Bianca Cappello in 1587,and when Firenze was capital of Italy, the villa was the residence of the “bella Rosina” morganatic wife of Vittorio Emanuele II.

Places to visit:
Villa Medicea, ordered by Lorenzo il Magnifico, it has the central salon splendidly frescoed by Alessandro Allori, Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo.

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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