Montelupo Fiorentino Travel Guide

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Since ancient times Montelupo, which lies between Montalbano and the river Arno, has been an important cross-roads for communication between the Florentine area, the Apennine world and the Tyrrhenian coast.

Its location and the presence of waterways helped to develop numerous craft activities, especially ceramics, which reached its greatest splendour in the course of the 15th and 16th centuries.

This art is still alive in the numerous artistic ceramics workshops. Every year in the month of June there is the Festa Internazionale della Ceramica (International Ceramics Festival) where the area’s history and traditions are re-enacted in a series of exhibitions and artistic events. The origins of Montelupo probably coincide with the building of a castle at the end of the High Middle Ages.

When the Florentine republic conquered this area in 1204, rebuilt and enlarged the ancient military stronghold.

In the 14th century (1333-36) a new city wall, which can still be made out, was erected to protect the inhabitants.

At the end of the 1500s the Medici built a large villa on the left bank of the river Arno in the nearby locality of Ambrogiana, which has been the seat of the Judiciary Psychiatric Hospital since the last century.

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