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Fucecchio

Description

The origin of Fucecchio (whose name derived from the latin word "ficetulum", that means place with fig trees) is linked to Counts Cadolingi, a very powerful family from Pistoia, which, around the year Thousand, possessed lands and castles in Valdinievole, Valdarno-lnferiore and other areas in Tuscany.
As the power of the Bishop of Pistoia grew, they looked for new places to estabilish their authority and in "the spot called Fucecchio" they found the best conditions to build the centre of a "Signoria" near the most important towns (Pistoia, Lucca and Florence), at the crossings between important roads (Via Francigena) and waterways (the rivers Amo and Gusciana, an effluent of Padule di Fucecchio). Around the year Thousand the first settlement in Fucecchio was built: the Salamarzana castle; it was by a ford of the Arno, probably on the hill now occupied by the "rocca" (fortress).
The Collegiata Church of St. John the Baptist lies in the same place where the ancient parish church had been built and it already appears in documents from the XIth century; it was founded by Pope Urban II on request of Counts Cadolingi. It was demolished at the end of the XVIIIth century to build a new and larger church.

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