Let yourself be rocked by the natural beauty of Figline Valdarno: enchanting village that lies at the foot of Mount Chianti, close to Florence. This charming town, situated at 126 metres above the sea level, boasts the important presence of precious fossils dated at the Pleistocene Era.
During the stone age, the area of Valdarno was already populated, as displayed in the extremely rich collection of tools and flints found nearby Soffena, San Giovenale, Cascia and Cancelli.
Anyway the Figline Valdarno's history starts around the year 1008: there is a document that attests the existence of the stronghold of “Fegghine”, belonging to the rich feudal family of Uberti. One hundred years later, some locals founded the “forum” of Figline: a commercial outpost overworking the closeness of river Arno, where people suddenly built houses and warehouses. After the destruction of Fiesole, at the hand of Florence, Figline increased more and more its strategical and economical importance.
The town drew up with the pro-imperial Ghibellines, during the long contest among free Tuscan communes, and for that reason it was burned to the ground by the Florentines, in 1250. Between 1353 and 1375, Figline got fortified and became the ideal hideout for refugees coming from the ancient feudal castles barricaded and pulled down by Florence.
In 1800, Napoleon founded the Kingdom of Etruria in Tuscany and chose Figline as seat of “Accademia Valdarnese del Poggio”: a real temple of naturalism collecting and exhibiting many fossil's collections found in the area of Valdarno. In that period the village was even frequented by Georges Cuvier, one of the founders of paleontology. The fossils have been later moved to Montevarchi, whose museum is still preserving them.
Figline Valdarno is a small village and nonetheless offers an appreciable range of lovely tourist attractions, like:
- Piazza Marsilio Ficino elegant, surrounded by porticoes, a typical example of a Market square;
- Serristori Hospital, the villa of St Cerbone, with an ancient pharmacy where are preserved Majolica vases dated at XVI-XIX centuries;
- The Church of St Francesco, built in 1229 and renewed in 1300, preceded by a portico which leads to the convent. Inside you will find a notable fresco named Madonna col Bambino, painted by Ghiberti;
- The Collegiate of St Maria, founded in 1257, throughout the centuries has undergone several transformations, the last in 1933: there is a unique nave that preserves precious works of art of the past, which have been marvellously kept as well as the other masterpieces, that you can admire in the Collegiate Museum.
Events in Figline Valdarno
- 16/17 June "Palio di Primavera": a celebration of medieval folklore and traditions. During this happening the four local quarters – contrade - challenge themselves, dressed in clothing characteristic of the Middle Ages, in order to win the annual Palio. Moreover, another unmissable show taking place on the Palio's day is the one where flag-wavers perform in the old town centre.
- 22 June "Figline in musica", with pop, jazz, soul music concerts.
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