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Piombino - Populonia


Piombino rises on the homonymous promontory, facing the Tuscan Archipelago, on the Etruscan coast. Of Etruscan origins, whose remains are still preserved in the Baratti-Populonia Archaeological Park, it was called "Falesia" by the Romans, becoming an important trade harbour.
The place name probably derives from "Populino", meaning "small Populonia", as the refugees called it, after theafter the devastation of the close town of Populonia caused by the Longobards.
Between the XII and the XIII century, Piombino was subdued to Pisa’s domination and, after the defeat of Meloria, during the war against Genoa, it became an autonomous commune. In the following centuries Piombino was conquered by several families, such as the Appiani, the Ludovisi, the Buoncompagni, Elisa Bonaparte and, after the Treaty of Vienna, it was annected to the Tuscan Grand Dukedome.
The Cathedral of Sant’Antimo, built in 1377, is characterised by a brick façade with a portal and mosaic lunette depicting San Michele Arcangelo. It preserves valuable works of art by Andrea Guardi, such as a marble baptismal font (1470) and the Appiani’s tombstones. Near the church it is possible to admire the Renaissance cloister (second half of XV century), the Diocesan Museum, with marble and wooden manufacts and old reliquaries from Populonia.
The Church of Misericordia is the oldest religious monument of the town, in Romanesque style and built in the XIII century. There is a XV century wooden crucifix inside.
The Piombino castle is the result of different phases of construction: it is a Medici’s fortress built on a Pisan "cassero", which was the eastern gate of the city in origin. Today it houses the "Museo del Castello e della Città".
We also mention the remains of the city walls, the Palazzo Comunale (1444), the Casa delle Bifore (XIII century) and the Palazzo Appiani.


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