Strada in Casentino
Piazza Piave, 11, 52018 Strada AR, Italia
Strada in Casentino, “The roadside village”, started as a market place in the Solano valley, (the largest tributary of the Casentino part of the Arno), on the plain near the bridge to Castel San Niccolò. Tightly linked to the town, in the nearby area of a parish church dating back to the start of the 11th century (San Martino in Vado gives onto a ford over the Solano river), Strada has become over the course of some centuries a largely expanded and developed village. Recognised in 1776 as the administrative seat of the Castel San Niccolò council, it was the first mayoral seat and subsequently the administrative centre and council headquarters.
The built-up area of Strada has many things to see and do. Visit the parish church of San Martino in Vado (dating from the beginning of the 11th century), one of the most important Romanesque churches in Casentino and supposedly built by Countess Matilda of Canossa. The church has a typical Romanesque appearance with three naves and is divided into seven aisles by six pietra serena monolithic columns, each with a capital different from the other; these were completed by skilled workers from 12th century Lombardy. The frescoes that decorate the internal walls come from the Parish Church of San Niccolò adjacent to the castle and they portray a Crucifixion and St Nicholas with Saints. On the left wall, next to the entrance, there is a 17th century oil on canvas of St Simon Stock receiving a scapular from the Madonna.