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Pontedera

Description

Pontedera, in the province of Pisa, is set at the confluence of the Era river and the Arno one, in an area inhabited since the Etrusca period. The village developed during the XIII century and the place neme derives from the bridge that used to cross the river Era in that period.
It immediately appeared as on of the Pisa ramparts at the border with the Republic of Florence and this is why it was at the centre of numerous fights, sieges and pillages. Its castle was razed to the ground in 1256 after a successful incursion by troops from Lucca and Florence, which had formed an alliance. Twenty years later, the town was annexed to the Florentine territories.
The Cathedral of Pontedera was built in Neoclassical style in the second half of the XIX century, but the belltower dates back to 1958. It is divided into three aisles and preserves many important works of art, such as the "Annunciazione" by Jacopo Chimenti and frescoes by Dilvo Lotti, in addition to the relics of San Faustino, patron saint of the town.
Other monuments: the Palazzo Pretorio with its Tower of the Clock, the XIII century church of Santa Lucia, rebuilt after the Second World War after being destroyed by the German troops, the church of Santissimo Crocifisso, with works by Pisano, Cigoli, Riccomini and Gagini, the Oratory of Madonna della Ripa, in Romanesque style, and Palazzo Stefanelli (XIX century), today seat of the town hall.

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