Quarrata, Province of Pistoia, Tuscany
Quarrata is the seat of the commune - previously in Tizzana - only since 1959. The town lies at the foot of the Montalbano hills, an area full of Etruscan settlements and fine medieval boroughs, used by the Medici in the Renaissance as their private hunting reserve, called the Barco reale, where beautiful villas were established, such as the Villa Magia near Quarrata. The Montalbano hills also produce excellent red wines, such as the Carmignano, the Chianti Montalbano, the Barco Reale DOC. The town is known as the "Città del Mobile" for the many small and medium sized industries specialized in furniture.
- Altitude: 48 mt a.s.l
- Population: about 23,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 51039
- Phone Area Code: 0573
- Patron Saint: Madonna della Cintola
- Frazioni & Localities: Barba, Buriano, Caserana, Casini, Catena, Ferruccia, Forrottoli, Lucciano, Montemagno, Montorio, Olmi, Santonuovo, Tizzana, Valenzatico, Vignole.
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Provinces of Tuscany
The name probably goes back to the time of the Roman occupation, when the land was divided into plots called "centuriae" of regular geometric forms (a plot of land was called "quadrata" in Latin). The frazione of Tizzana was an important fortified borough in the Middle Ages, thanks to its strategic position dominating the plain between Florence and Pistoia.
During the war between these two towns, Quarrata was finally conquered by Florence in 1306. The castle of Tizzana lost importance, and in the early 20th century the municipality seat was moved first to Vignole and then to Quarrata.
What to see
- The Villa Màgia, an ancient castle founded by Vinciguerra Panciatichi in the early 14th century and purchased in 1583 by Francesco I de' Medici who changed it into a country mansion to be used during hunting periods. The last heir finally in 1999 alienated the Villa to the Comune.
- The Barco Reale Mediceo, a game reserve established in 1626, and at the time all enclosed by a 50-km long wall in bid sandstone blocks in the Montalbano hills; presently only traces of about 30 kilometers of the walls can be seen. The area is of great naturalistic interest, also because the Medici took great care in protecting the forests where still a great variety of trees and shrubs are extant.
- Early September, a traditional fair on the occasion of the patron festivity.
- Marcia per la Giustizia, a pacifist march against oppression organised since 1994 every year
- Good Friday, once every 3 years, a costume procession re-enacting the Passion of Christ.