La Chiesa romanica di San Leonardo ad Artimino


Nestled in the Montalbano hills

Read the story of Carmignano on logo toscana ovunque bella Carmignano Carmignano in the heart of Tuscany, near Pistoia and Florence Colours and aromas guide visitors in discovering Carmignano and its treasures. Among culture, history, and traditionRead the story
The City of Carmignano, with its 40 square kilometres of territory, begins at the confluence of Arno and Ombrone Pistoiese rivers, extends on the hills of the north slope of Montalbano.
Today it is one of the most famous areas in Tuscany where we find the production of D.O.C.G. wine and olive oil.

There are also numerous works and monuments which document the history from the Etruscans to the modern art like the "Museo Acheologico Comunale" ( the Municipal Archaeological Museum), the Rocca and the medieval village of Artimino, the "Visitazione del Pontormo", and the "Museum-Park Quinto Martini".

The name Artimino derives, according to the Nineteenth-century historian Emanuele Repetti, from the Latin "arctus minor". Already inhabited centre in Etruscan and Roman age, the first document which mentioned it is a licence of February 998 in which Ottone III gave it, with other estates, to the Bishop of Pistoia . In the first centuries after the year one thousand it was an important frontier castle, thanks to the strategic position, of the commune of Pistoia.
In 1204 the Florentine Republic removed Artimino from the Pistoiese dominion . Pistoia reconquered it in 1219, but lost it again in 1225, when the Florentines took it back. In 1226 the Fabbroni family seized the castle. Later Artimino followed the events of the neighbouring Carmignano during the wars between Florence and Pistoia.
Fortified by Castruccio Castracani, the castle was besieged again and conquered by the Florentines in 1327. In the Renaissance age became a Medicean property with the estate and the annexed game preserve . Agricultural village of remarkable importance under the Medicean and Lorenese dynasties,
Artimino has maintained the medieval urban system, testified by the concentric planimetry, the enclosing-walls still existing and especially the large gate with barrel-vault, surmounted by a massive crenellated quadrangular tower.

Situated on the eastern slope of Montalbano, Bacchereto was in the Medieval age a commune depended from the Potesterate of Carmignano. The life of the rural village, in ancient times furnished of a small fortress, was connected to that of Carmignano. It was centre of bloody battles during the fights between Florence and Pistoia, of which it was an important castle. In 1329 passed under the jurisdiction of Florence. The Romanesque parish church was built in the Medieval age on the ruins of the ancient fortress.
From the end of the 14th century until the half of the16th century Bacchereto was an important centre for the production of majolica. The development of this activity in these places, far from waterways and road communications (essential for the pottery development, as proved by Montelupo and Capraia), appears enough exceptional, and is reasonable to suppose that the monks of the nearby Abbey of San Giusto would have started off the local craftsmen on the ceramics.
The ceramics of Bacchereto belong mostly to the 15th century. This centre produced from the beginning beautiful and valuable objects, and already in the early 14th century it supplied the majolicas to the "Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova" in Florence and later also to the "Ospedale degli Innocenti". The decorative patterns of the ceramics of Bacchereto resemble those of Florence and Montelupo. Unfortunately we know almost nothing of the craftsmen who realized such elegant works. Instead an ancient ceramic-kiln has been located and restored conserving the original aspect of the building.

Cover image credit: Ippolito Manetti



Art and nature walks and excursions
The hills where genius Leonardo da Vinci was born are part of a unique landscape that is identified with Tuscany all over the world. They cover an area called Montalbano. ...