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Torre dei Belforti in Montecatini Val di Cecina

A building from the 11th century that dominates the surroundings

Map for 43.394886,10.7484665
Montecatini Val di Cecina

The tower of the Belforti rises unchallenged on the highest point of Montecatini Val di Cecina and represents what was the town's emerging defensive system, confirmed by other, smaller towers and a round form which probably marks the outline of the walls and the way of access to the castle.

The tower is a quadrilateral construction dating back to the 11th century, with coursed rubble masonry in extraordinarily thick black stone. Considering that it has sunk by two and half metres, one can well believe that it originally stood at more than thirty metres tall. The lower section alternates in black and white bands.

The tower, which now lacks crenellations on top, belonged to various families from Volterra (Belforti, Pannochieschi and Inghirami) and it was a post of the Captains of Volterra and Florence until it passed into the hands of the French Barons de Rochefort. It has numerous small windows and two larger, horizontal apertures opened by order of the Belforti, from which you can gaze at two other fortresses, the Mastio di Volterra and Rocca Sillana.

Montecatini Val di Cecina
From the medieval centre to ancient mines, an unsual corner of Tuscany
Before the 11th century, the village of Montecatini Val di Cecina was known by the name Monte Leone (Castrum Montis Leonis); this is how it appeared in a bull by Pietro, Bishop of Volterra in 1099. Over the centuries, the territory was a point of conflict between Pisa and Volterra, and was finally brought under Florence’s control in 1472. ...
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