Castelfranco di Sopra


Foto del valdarno superiore scattata dal prato...

Foto del valdarno superiore scattata dal pratomagno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Castelfranco di Sopra, la Torre di Arnolfo

Castelfranco di Sopra, la Torre di Arnolfo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The ciborium over the high altar of St. John L...

The ciborium over the high altar of St. John Lateran is derived from a design by Arnolfo di Cambio and decorated with paintings by Barna da Siena in 1367-1368. The cage above contains silver reliquaries which are said to hold the heads of SS. Peter and Paul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Coat of arms of Castelfranco di Sopra

Coat of arms of Castelfranco di Sopra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Castelfranco di Sopra

 

Castelfranco di Sopra (1591 m. above sea level) lies at the foot of Pratomagno, on the right edge of

 

a terrace deeply incised into the mountain by the torrent Faella and the minor water courses and

 

rivulets which account for the characteristic landscape of the “Balze”. The fortified centre, according

 

to Villani’s evidence, was constructed from 1299, at the same time as San Giovanni Valdarno, in an

 

area previously controlled by powerful feudal landowning families, the Pazzi and the Ubertini. In fact

 

the decision to set about the construction of a fortified centre, planned, as tradition has it, by

 

Arnolfo di Cambio, appears in the resolution of 1299.

 

There remains of the old fortified centre parts of the walls, and of Porta Fiorentina and Porta Aretina.

 

The town lay-out is distinguished by its square form, the lay-out of which is contemporaneous with

 

those of San Giovanni and Terranuova. A coherent system of orthogonal roads is organised around

 

the large well-conserved central piazza. Important palazzi and interesting examples of fourteenth-

 

century terraced houses are still to be seen in the historic centre.

 

Not far from the village walls, Badia (‘Abbey’) di Soffena, once the castle of the Ubertini and then a

 

Vallombrosian Monastery, houses interesting fresco cycles by Paolo Schiavo, Liberato da Rieti and

 

Giovanni known as “Lo Scheggia” (‘The Splinter’), Masaccio’s younger brother.

 

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