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Surroundings
» Montaione and surroundings

Montaione is one of the most developed cities in Tuscany in the sector of “Agriturismo” for its structure, art and organization.
The small town (3.779 inhabitants) has important artistic and natural beauties. Several years ago the town began to build a series of accommodation facilities that allows Montaione to be chosen by those who love spending their vacation in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.



History
The country side surrounding Montaione confirms tangible evidence of the presence of the Etruscans, and with no doubts contributed to the history of the town. After the Longobard domination, Montaione became a free town from 1257 to 1369 when it was forced to surrender to Florence. From then, Montaione shared its history with that of Florence.
From 1200 onwards, Montaione is famous for its glass industry which was the main economic activity of its inhabitants until the last century, when the glass firms moved down to the valley particularly, to the town of Empoli. Today Montaione is a village with an agricultural activity.



Art
Since the year 500 AD the town is surrounded by a large wall which, after heavy damages during WWII, was supplanted in the 60s as an external development of the town.
The most relevant sites to see are: the former City-Hall (now the Archaeological Museum) and the San Regolo Church.
If time allows, pay a visit to the San Vivaldo Convent (7 km away) who’s name comes from the Franciscan Friar, Vivaldo Stricchi, from San Gimignano. He came here to pray at the beginning of the 13th century and was found dead inside a tree that he used as his house. At the end of the 15th century a convent was built on this site whose main peculiarity resides in the series of chapels surrounding the Church which were built around 1515. At the beginning the chapels were 30, but now only 18 are left.



» St Regolo Church

This little but beautiful church, belonged from the 12th century onwards to the Volterra episcopate. St Regolo is located in the historical Centre of Montaione, overlooking the picturesque Piazza della Republica.

Here in this church in 1369 and after many fights it was decided that the Castle of Montaione had to be subjected to Florence.

In 1816 the church was dedicated to San Regolo (an African Saint who died in 781 and buried in the Dome of Lucca), named after the parish church located just a few kilometers away from Montaione. (Today we can only admire some ruins).

Over the centuries the church has been extended and refurbished many times.

The façade of the church is composed by two buttresses from 1765 and by the bell tower (which was the clock tower during ancient times) built in 1795. On the right of the façade, a commemorative stone remembers Francesco Chiarenti (1766 – 1828), an expert in medicine and agriculture.

The interior of the church has been restored in 1635 which was financed by Scipione Ammirato il Giovane. (Il Giovane is buried beneath the altar). The church houses a wonderful polychrome wooden crucifix and the painting “Madonna del Buon Consiglio” by the Florentine school of Cimabue. Both works are from the 13th Century. Inside the two chapels, located at the side of the church, it is possible to admire two paintings by Francesco Rosselli “Vergine in trono tra San Regolo e San Giovanni Battista” and the painting “Tobia e l’Angelo”.

The “Madonna dei Sette Dolori” on the altar is used for processions on holy Fridays.

In 1787 the grand duke Leopoldo financed the renovation of the parish house, located behind the church. Here you can find some neoclassic decorations and some valuable works of art from various centuries.

San Regolo is celebrated on the 1st of September.

Opening times: Every day from (8am to 7pm)

Did you know:
Scipione Ammirato il Giovane, (1582 – 1656) pseudonym for Cristoforo del Bianco, after earning a degree in Theology, became the secretary of both the Tuscan grand duke and the prince Lorenzo De’ Medici. He performed diplomatic assignments for the French court.
Il Giovane loved his birthplace and re-established this every year on Holy Friday: tradition has it that a poor but good mannered girl from Montaione, who would have married within 1 year of Holy Friday, should receive a dowry of 60 old coins.
This custom was carried over until the end of the 18th century.

Romantic Villa Italy





Villa Ostignano
Società Agricola Ostignano di Roberto Romagnoli & C. in a.s.
Via delle Colline, 23 - 50050 Montaione - Florence
Tuscany – Italy

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