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Inside the wall

The ancient town centre of Barberino Val d’Elsa is situated only a few kilometres away from another important town in the Chianti, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, also built Cialis along what was once the ancient Cassia road.

Barberino is an area with ancient origins and settlements and several important Etruscan discoveries from the archaic and Roman periods have been brought to light in various places on its territory, as at Sant’Appiano and Petrognano.
Sant’Appiano was probably the first of these ancient settlements to develop in importance during the early Christian era.

Barberino can be first found mentioned as one of the towns in the Parish of San Pietro in Bossolo in a document of 1054 which was found among the huge “archives” at Passignano. The town’s development as a fortress can however be dated as from the early decades of the XIII century, after the growing power of the city of Semifonte had been destroyed by the Florentines in 1202.

In fact Barberino seems to have already been completely under Florentine control by the following century, when it was surrounded with strong walls and supplied with a military garrison; Villani, the chronicler of the period, includes it among the fortresses that were later conquered by Emperor Henry VII. However it was not long before it found itself, with San Donato in Poggio, under Florentine rule again and it successively became the seat of the Podestas under the Vicariate of Certaldo.

The old town hall, with the coats of arms of the Podestas until the XIV century, can be admired in the central square together with Palazzo dei Barberini (Pope Urban VIII was a descendant of this family).

The elliptical shape and structure of the mediaeval town is still intact and encircled by its walls, with two entrance gates, one pointing in the direction of Florence, and the other, which is much better preserved, in the direction of Siena. The church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew has undergone considerable alterations and been reconstructed in neo-mediaeval style.

The interior is divided into three naves and contains some interesting works of art, like a fragment of a 15th century fresco of the Annunciation and a bronze bust of the Blessed Davazato by Pietro Tacca.

The modern town hall, which stands outside the walls, also contains several archeological remains of great value, including a collection of Etruscan cinerary urns and ceramics, which all come from San Martino ai Colli nearby, and a 15th century table of Sienese school.

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