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Castelfranco di sopra

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Inhabitants in 1991 : 2,657

The Municipal territory of Castelfranco di Sopra extends for 37,64 square kilometres in the Valdarno Superiore, on the slopes of Pratomagno, occupying for the most part terraces, and being deeply incised by the Faella gorge and by a network of small valleys, which are made up of characteristic erosions. In Etruscan times it was crossed by the road which linked Fiesole and Arezzo and then by the Ancient Via Cassia, a Podesta office since the beginning of the 1300s it took on its present form in 1809, when it was detached from the territory of Pian di Scò and constituted as an autonomous community.

The foundation of Castelfranco di Sopra was established in 1299 by the Fiorentina Republic (being one of the so called “terre nuove” [new lands] among the first of the time) in the place where the Soffena Castle had been constructed, with the intention of defending the surrounding territories from the raids of the Ubertini, the Guidi and the Pazzi, powerful feudal lords in that area. It had like this, the aspect of a fortified village right from the start and became capital of the Lega Fiorentina ; populated, thanks to the offer by the Fiorentino government of a ten year tax exemption by all those who wanted to take up residence ; in the XIV century Castelfranco was already the market place of some importance on the road which joined Pratomagno to the centres of Valdarno Superiore and a Podesta Seat of Office, having civil jurisdiction also on the nearby municipality of Pian di Scò. Since the XI century there had been an Abbey of Soffena near the castle, part of the order Vallombrosano, noteworthy place of culture until modern times, then suppressed by Pietro Leopoldo

Places to visit :
S . Tommaso, parish church erected in the centre of the built up area in the XI century and amplified in 1700.
Oratorio di S. Filippo Neri, constructed in the XVIII century, and internally preserves exquisite paintings.
Soffena Abbey, erected by the Vallombrosani monks in the XIV century, dedicated to S. Salvatore, abolished in 1776 it was transformed for use as a farm, subsequently, it became the property of the State and was declared a National Monument. Its interior is Greek cross and the walls are embellished with valuable frescos.
In the surrounds of the Abbey archaeological digs have brought to light burial grounds from the Dark Ages and the Renaissance.

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

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