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Pisa > San Miniato > La Città e i suoi Cittadini

San Miniato: La Città
e i suoi Cittadini




La Città e i suoi Cittadini

La Città e i suoi Cittadini

La Città e i suoi Cittadini


 

The people of San Miniato are an odd type: frank and open as the Tuscans, but serious and reserved like one who is convinced that they have been privileged to be born there. Since San Miniato is a crossing of winds, so their community has opened itself to commerce and contacts with the outside world.



Frederick II of Swabia was a friend to San Miniato, and stayed there more than once, as mentioned before. The early building of the Franciscan Convent, one of the most imposing and important buildings in the city, was said to be the work of the same St. Francis when he was just over thirty years old. It was built over the ruins of the protoromanesque church of San Miniato, that gave origin to the city around the year 700.



Repetti, in his Choreographic Dictionary of Tuscany, defines San Miniato as the “breeding-ground of illustrious men”. Matilde di Canossa and Francesco Sforza were born there, the latter giving rise to the Visconti family of Milan. Five centuries later another man from San Miniato, the senator and famous oncologist Pietro Bucalossi, will become mayor of the Lombard city.



In 1559 Ludovico Cardi, the Tuscan Correggio, also was born in San Miniato. Known as “il Cigoli”, his works hang in the Uffizi, Louvre, Prado and Hermitage museums.



The Corsican branch of the Bonaparte family is descended from a noble San Miniato family as well. Twice the young Napoleon lived in San Miniato with relatives, and he returned again in 1797 during the Italian Campaign, when he interrupted his advance and held a council of war in his Monsignor uncle’s house in the square having the same name. Newspaper articles of the time kept in the archives excitedly reported this extraordinary fact.



San Miniato was where Giosuè Carducci, a young secondary school professor, started his career as a poet which would eventually earn him the Nobel prize. Here, on the top of the hill, he published his first collection of verses: The Resources of San Miniato al Tedesco, printed by Ristori. Seventy years later another great poet, Mario Luzi, will take the place Carducci once held as a teacher.



Art and history, culture and poetry. An unusual combination that still produces effects. The Taviani brothers’ motion pictures, (both were born in the city centre), have more than once told the story of San Miniato as a metaphor of the world, such as the microcosm of the fratricidal war in their film “Notte di San Lorenzo” (Nights of San Lorenzo).

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