Montemignaio, Casentino

Montemignaio

One of the smallest hamlets in the province of Arezzo, overlooked by the Leone Castle

Originally, near today’s village, there was an ancient Roman route that linked Florence to the Casentino area and therefore Arezzo. This road stayed in use even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, in the period of “battlement-building” in Tuscany, the first fortified nucleus of Montemignaio was built. The first mention of this dates back to a Papal Bull by Pasquale II, in 1103. This document shows the existence of the parish of Saint Mary, at the time under the control of the Diocese of Fiesole. Such parish, a Romanesque-style building that conserves the “Madonna with Child and Saints” by Ghirlandaio, is one of the must sees in town.
 
The area of Montemignaio, on the other hand, was protected by the Empire and entrusted to the Guidi Counts both in Henry VI’s time (end of the XII century) as well as Frederick II’s time (first half of the 13th century). In this period the Castel Leone, or Castiglione, was built. Nevertheless the Guidi government was not appreciated by the local population.

Halfway through the XIV century a revolt of the inhabitants of Montemignaio and Castel San Niccolò ousted Galeotto Guidi and gave the two towns to the Florentine Republic. And so the podestà jurisdiction of the Florentine Mountain is founded, sanctioned by the deed signed by Galeotto’s descendent in 1359, denouncing his dominion. Unfortunately Montemignaio did not gain from its Medicean domination those advantages that many other Arezzo-based towns did. In the 19th century Montemignao still had no usable roads and was deprived of the most basic structures, such as schools and medical departments. This, together with the tragedy of the massacres and the “mopping up” of the Second World War, did not allow the village to ever live an authentic demographic development, but did allow it to keep its ancient medieval beauty and many of its local traditions unaltered, kept alive today by its 500 inhabitants.
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Foliage in Casentino

Casentino

A forested valley surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, lined with spiritually significant places
A land of forests and monuments to the Christian faith, of profound silences and soulful revolutions, Casentino inspires a spirit of meditation and reflection. ...
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