Lamporecchio, Province of Pistoia, Tuscany
The town is located on the western slopes of Mount Albano, just 30 km west of Florence, and is famous as the hometown of Francesco Berni. The territory is intensively cultivated with olive trees and vineyards. In 1774 it was joined to Serravalle, then in 1810 made one commune with Larciano, from which it was separated in 1897.
- Altitude: 55 mt a.s.l
- Population: about 7,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 51035
- Phone Area Code: 0573
- Patron Saint: Santo Stefano, celebrated on 26 December
- Frazioni & Localities: Borgano, Cerbaia, Fornello, Mastromarco, Orbignano, Papiano, Porciano, San Baronto, Spicchio.
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Provinces of Tuscany
The area was inhabited already in Roman times, and in the Middle Ages was a fiefdom of the bishops of Pistoia. In 1224 it was under the jurisdiction of the Commune of Pistoia. After the wars among Pistoia, Lucca and Florence (1306-1328) Lamporecchio was finally under Florentine rule. The economy in the past was based on agriculture, thanks to the great fertility of the land, and the mountain area was used as pastures and for timber. In the 18th century a flourishing weaving trade developed, that provided cloths for the area of Prato.
- First Tuesday in August : the "Fiera d'Agosto e sagra del brigidino", with music, dance and a market fair, in the past was also an event for the cattle trade. A typical cake of the place, the brigidino is a wafer made with eggs, sugar flour and anise liquor, probably a tradition originated by the nuns of Santa Brigida, a Swedish saint who often visited Tuscany.
- Late May and June: the Martedì musicali, every Tuesday concerts of classical music at Villa Rospigliosi.
What to see
- The Church of Santo Stefano, rebuilt in the early 20th century with a project by Bernardini di Pescia, on a previous 14th-century building, is mainly in the Renaissance style. Inside the church preserves an important work in the altar, a Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elizabeth, made in coloured glazed terracotta, by Giovanni della Robbia. On the second altar along the right nave is also a fine wood-carved crucifix.
- The Church of San Baronto, reconstructed after World War Two, has an impressive Crypt of the 9th century AD, with an ancient sepulchre in white and green marble, the resting place, according to the tradition, of Saints Baronto and Desiderio.
- The Palazzo Littorio, built during the Fascist regime, it was with its beautiful architecture and multi-functional spaces the center of the social life of the town. It is currently under restoration to be turned again into a theatre and Cultural Centre. The architecture is a fusion of neo-classical and art-nouveau styles.
- The Villa Rospigliosi, a majestic 17th-century villa, ordered by Giulio Rospigliosi who became Pope Clemens IX in 1667, on a project ascribed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a Baroque villa whose entrance is a long boulevard sided by leech trees. In the gardens around the villa is a chapel dedicated to Saints Simon and Judas. Many of the rooms are covered with frescoes, possibly authored by Ludovico Gemignani, among which is an interesting representation of Apollo with Aurora on the sun chariot surrounded by allegories representing the Zodiac signs.
- The Villa dell'Americana, inside a fine garden with tall trees, this Renaissance mansion belonged to the powerful Torrigiani family. It was renovated in the 19th century by an American lady, the owner at the time, Ms Laura Joanne Merrick. Especially impressive is the top lodge, supported on all sides by column, and open on all sides with fine views of the surrounding landscape.
- The Mulino di Rimaggio, near the bridge over the Rimaggio stream, this water mill, dated 1693, all made in stone, is an extremely interesting example of the ancient agricultural traditions and architecture of Tuscany. On three floors, each of them reached by an outside stairway, it is built over a steep sloping site.
- The Porciano Towers, two towers locally called "torre di sopra" (=upper tower) and "torre di sotto" (=lower tower), dating back to the 12th century, almost an icon of the hamlet of Porciano, belonged to a defensive system which also included the towers at Collececioli and on the Colle of Montefiori, as a protection to the whole valley. The hamlet of Porciano developed in the centuries in the area between the two towers.