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Castelfranco di Sopra


Castello Franco is the name of this Florentine "new land" founded by the Republic at the end of the 13th century as the outpost with a defensive role and supplying source. To populate this region, Florence decided to all those from taxes, who choose to move there. Besides being "free of taxes", the castle was called "di Sopra" (up there) because of its location above Florence.
As well as other "new lands", Castelfranco di Sopra has an urban plant that recalls the roman castrum, with its orthogonal streets and central square where almost all important buildings are assembled: the Palace of the Supreme Magistrate and the Church of St. Peter (no longer present). The lots have multiple measure expressed in "Braccio fiorentino" unit (58cm), and as you slowly leave the centre, you see the heights of palaces declining and the width of streets decreasing. According to Vasari, it was famous architect Arnolfo di Cambio to project this town. Florentine imprint still can be seen, not only in the town streets but also on its houses, especially in the first part of via Maestra, originating from the founding period of the "new land", and completely similar to the line of houses in Florence city centre.
At a short distance rises the Badia di San Salvatore at Soffena, XI cent, which houses beautiful frescoes, carefully restored, painted by Bicci di Lorenzo and Giovanni di Ser Giovanni called Lo Scheggia, Masaccio's brother.


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