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IN AND AROUND PISA
MONTOPOLI IN VAL D'ARNO
Montopoli is located on the back of an outcrop of volcanic rock between the rivers dell'Egola and Chiecina and not far from the course of the Arno River, which flows northward.Montopoli was one of the most important castles in the Lower Valdarno, described by Boccaccio as "Illustrious Castle" for its powerful fortifications. Originally under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Lucca and subsequently, because of its important geographical location, the object of contention between Pisa, Florence and Lucca, Montopoli feel in the first half of the twelfth century the pressures of the Municipality of Pisa, which he saw recognized as having in 1162 the German Emperor Frederick I. In 1222, defeated the Pisans in Castel del Bosco, the Florentines imposed the restitution of the castle to the Bishop of Lucca. A new crushing defeat was inflicted by the Florentines of Pisa Pontedera fifteen years later. After a few years of relative peace there are other feats of arms: in 1274 Giovanni Visconti, powerful Guelph citizen of Pisa, in alliance with Florence and Lucca laid siege to Montopoli, yet in 1315 it underwent a Montopoli occupation by Uguccione Faggiola, lord of Pisa and Lucca, but it seems that did not suffer serious damage thanks to the protection of the Florentine troops. In the face of these continuous sieges it was therefore possible to delineate the orientation of the submission of the Castle in Florence. There were some new attempts of the enemies of Florence to get back Montopoli, until the "12 July 1349 the population of the whole county, solemnly agreed in the public square in general parliament, spontaneously and is perpetually subjected to the City of Florence." In anticipation of new conflicts, Sir John Hawkwood, the service of Florence, built massive fortifications in San Romano, digging a deep ditch defense and a mighty tower of apponto "Torre del Fosso." These fortifications proved truly providential June 1, 1432 when the army of Filippo Maria Visconti clashed with the Florentine army led by Niccolò da Tolentino.Vinsero the Florentines and this event was remembered as the Battle of San Romano. In 1494, Montopoli was occupied by the troops of Charles VIII and in 1512 received the walls Niccolò Machiavelli, who came to organize city bands.
MONTOPOLI IN VAL D'ARNOIn and around article by:
BORGO BUCCIANO, San Miniato