Terracotta figures - Montaione


Close to the Sacred Mount which is also known as Tuscany’s Jerusalem

Read the story of Montaione on logo toscana ovunque bella Montaione Montaione, the secrets and stars of a hidden part of Tuscany Camporena woods near Montaione: discover what Jerusalem, salamanders, Francescan monks and truffles have in common… There’s even a disappearing painting!Read the story
Montaione is in the province of Florence but is easily reached from all the main Tuscan cities. It is at an altitude of 342m and has a population of 3400 inhabitants.
Visitors to Montaione can enjoy the San Biagio Oratory and the eighteenth century San Regolo Church. Not far from Montaione is the Sacro Monte (the Sacred Mount) which is also known as Tuscany’s Jerusalem. At Sacro Monte there is a group of temples and chapels built by Fra’ Tommaso in which there is a series of terracotta works of art depicting the stations of the Passion of Christ.
The town’s origins are not really known and subject to legend and myth. It is said that the town was founded by a young man named Ajone who had just married a woman who he had freed from the clutches of a wicked brigand. What is known for sure is that the area has been inhabited since Etruscan-Roman times and that in the year 572, after the barbaric invasions, the region became part of the Longobardi Duchy. One of the last Dukes was called ‘Allone’ and it is highly probable that the town’s name comes from ‘Mons Allonis’ – this appellation is mentioned in a document from the year 988 to indicate the hill where Montaione stands today.
In 1118, the Romanesque San Regolo church was built. Until the middle of the thirteenth century the town was ruled over by the nearby town of San Miniato. During the twelfth century, the local glass blowing industry developed. Local glass working masters continued this craft in and around the town for centuries.

Around the year 1268, Montaione rebelled against San Miniato and offered itself to the municipality of San Gimignano. The town wasn’t able to rid itself fully of San Miniato though until it came under Florentine rule in 1369. In 1395 the town suffered the consequences of this new association when its castle was destroyed by Pisan forces during a battle between Florence and Pisa.
Midway through the Fifteenth century, Montaione became a destination for religious pilgrimage. The town had been home to San Vivaldo da San Gimignano in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Legend has it that the tree that came to contain the spirit of the dead saint was literally torn to shreds by pilgrims who wanted to claim their own relic of the saint. The tree had all but disappeared when an Oratory was built over its roots. This Oratory was enlarged in 1416 and renovated in 1426. At the end of the century it was given to the Franciscan order.

The Counts Filicaja ruled over the Montaione and its surrounding area from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century. Towards the end of their rule they also made donations that helped the area’s development, such as the construction of an electric network and the introduction of new technology in the farming industry.
Real industrialisation only began after the Second World War.

Cover image credit: TOB

Le campagne di Montespertoli

Empoli area

Brings together many of Tuscany's most beautiful cities
The Empoli territory brings together many of Tuscany's most beautiful cities, including Empoli itself, which has Roman origins. ...