lunedì 14 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Tonda

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Tonda and Castelfalfi
 
Tonda
The hamlet of Tonda lies between Montaione and San Vivaldo, about three km east from the Sacro Monte (Holy Mount). Both the village and its castle probably adte back to the beginning of 13th century, when, according to a document, the german emperor Otto IV gave the feud and the castle, the bearby houses and all their inhabitants to some noblemen from Pisa.
Purchased in 1267 by the town of San Miniato and subdued to the Medici family, the Lords of Tuscany and Florence in 1370, the castle of Tonda featured hamlet walls, within which stood a church, a tower, a cistern for rain waterand the Town Hall.
In 1379, after being annexed to the town of Montaione, Tonda included a small hospital and a podesteria (the tenure of Podestà).

Castelfalfi
Situated to the west of Montaione, the hamlet of Castelfalfi stands out among the fortified villages of the region for its dimensions and singularity. It originated in the 8th century, probably taking its name form a certain longobard called Faolfi. In 754 Walfredo of Watgauso della Gherardesca mentions Castelfalfi on the occasion of a gift to the Abbey of Monteverdi. In 1139 the castle was sold by Ranieridella Gherardesca to the Bishop of Volterra. in the 13th century the castle parish church of San Floriano had some thirteen subsidiary churches. In 1475 Giovanni di Francesco Gaetani and his wife Costanza de' Medici restaured the castle and had a noble residence built right in the centre of the village. Castelfalfi was plundered and set on fire by the troops of Piero Strozzi in 1554, at the time when Florence and Siena were at war.
The high medieval settlement was reconstructed at the end of the 14th century, after the original langobard structures had been destroyed.
The mighty defensive buildings are enhaced by the volumes of the round big tower of the walls and by the high quadrangular keep, open on three sides, that rises up close to the short, yet composite, hamlet walls , featuring well-preserved brackets. Inside the castle stands the church of San Floriano, today appearing with late romanesuqe structures, a single nave with a false transept and a rounded archivolt and with a dichromatic white-green facade.

(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also:
http://www.comune.montaione.fi.it/
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/en/town/Montaione/

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi, near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione




Photo of Tonda near Montaione in Tuscany


Photo of Tonda near Montaione in Tuscany

Photo of Tonda, near Montaione in Tuscany

Photo of Tonda, near Montaione in Tuscany
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