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Rignano sull'Arno, Florence

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rignano sull'arnoThe territory of the municipality of Rignano sull’Arno is situated in a zone that is prevalently hilly, south-east of Florence, in the Upper Valdarno, in the curve created by the river Arno on the left bank of which the administrative centre is located.

Probably a roman settlement (hence of toponym), informations regarding Rignano were found starting in the year 1000, as a town that arose in the vicinity of the parish church of San Leolino, and as the ruined castle in the 12th century, in its present location in the village of Casa Rignano on the hill that dominate the administrative centre.

The development of the present settlement probably derives from the building of the bridge over the river Arno, a bridge that has marked the life of the town and that floods have often destroyed. It became a commune in 1773 by decision of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, who formed the new entity of Rignano by detaching thirteen “masses” from Pontassieve.

The modern parish Santa Maria Immacolata, in the centre of the town, founded in 1954, conserves in the right nave an Assumption by Matteo Confortini of 1603, coming from the old church of the town. So, near the hill that dominates the administrative centre is the ancient parish church of San Leolino. Designed with three naves supported by ponderous pillar the bell tower remains as it was originally. Today the church is divided into five bays (two from Romanesque design; others derive from the 18th restructuration). The facade has been rebuilt because of crumbling. Inside, a 1380 fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin, a Madonna del Latte by Bicci di Lorenzo of the second decade of 15th century, and a precious 16th century baptismal font with terracotta relieves of the life of St. John the Baptist of Buglioni family. This church has been completely restored in 2000.

Rignano sull’Arno is birthplace of Lapo da CastiglionchioVespasiano da Bisticci and of the painter Ardengo Soffici.

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