Travel and Culture in Tuscany

San Giovanni Valdarno: history

The chieftown has got an evident medieval origin. It rose with the name Castel di Piano Alberti...


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HISTORY

The chieftown has got an evident medieval origin.
It rose with the name Castel di Piano Alberti on previous settlements, that had been well-grounded since 1131, and, later, it took the name San Giovanni in Altura.

The chieftown has got an evident medieval origin.
It rose with the name Castel di Piano Alberti on previous settlements, that had been well-grounded since 1131, and, later, it took the name San Giovanni in Altura.

This was one of the “new lands” wanted by Florence in order to control better the powerful feudal Ubertini and Pazzi families, who lived in the Arno Valley (Valdarno). In the medieval period the centre underwent several battles and its territory was conquered by the Visconti in 1409 and later devastated by the Aragonesi, who fought against Florence.

Concerning the facts happened in the centuries of the modern age, we would like to underline, as considerable episodes, the numerous attempts of the community to optimize the Arno water course, to avoid its frequent floods.

In ancient times, the economy of San Giovanni was based on agriculture (wheat, vegetables, olive trees and grapevine cultivation), while industry was based on the silk spinning and on the production of rich wool and linen fabrics.

Then, in the first half of the 19th century, these industries would produce table clocks and rifles.

Nowadays the agricultural production is less important than the industrial one. On this territory there are steel and iron industries, kilns, industries for the production of glass and crystal, textile and clothing industries, besides some shoes factories and other various companies, that produce ceramics and wooden objects.

So the commerce concerning above all the industrial products is quite active.
According to the 1991census, San Giovanni has got 17.732 inhabitants, with a density of 829 inhabitants per square Km.





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