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Montecatini Val di Cecina


Montecatini Val di Cecina is a small town in the province of Pisa, founded in 960 with the name of Castrum Montis Leonis, by the Belforti family, coming from Germany following emperor Ottone I. The actual place name is already mentioned in a document dated back to 1099.
After entering the "comunitas" of Gabbreto in the XIV century, Montecatini became one of Volterra's direct properties in 1351. Its geographical distance from Pisa caused the territory to be marginally interested by the battles that had involved many towns of the Pisan territory against Florence since the beginning of the XV century. In effect, only in 1472 the Florentines conquered the town when most of the modern province of Pisa had been under their dominion for more than half a century.
Among the most important monuments we have to mention the Church of San Biagio, built in 1356 in Romanesque style, with a XV century belltower, the Belforti tower, built shortly after the year 1000, the XIV century Palazzo Pretorio, having a porch with arches and vaults set on columns in Ionic style, and the Oratorio di Santa Barbara, near the mine of Caporciano.
In the nearby Sassa, the stone that keeps "Christ's footsteps" can be observed: according to the legend, Christ appeared to Peter who had looked for a refuge in those places to avoid Roman persecutions.


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