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Pratovecchio

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Pratovecchio (ZIP code 52015) is 45,4 kilometers far from Arezzo, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Pratovecchio has a population of 3.091 inhabitants (Pratovecchini) and a surface of 75,39 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 41,00 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 420 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via Garibaldi 3, phone ++39 0575 - 583762, fax ++39 0575 - 504366: the E-Mail address is ilsindaco@pratovecchio.net.

Population: The municipality of Pratovecchio had a popolation of 3.068 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 3.091 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 0,75% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 1.327 families with an average of 2,33 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 376 and 1.520 metres above sea level.

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The altimetric spawn is thus of 1.144 metres.

Work and workers:There are 115 industrial firms employing 769 people that are the 59,80% of the total of the workers. There are 47 service firms employing 113 people that are the 8,79% of the total of the workers. There are also 75 firms employing 284 people that are the 22,08% of the total of the workers. There are also 29 administrative offices emplying 120 workers that are the 9,33% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 1.286 workers, that are the 41,60% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Pratovecchio rises in the high Valdarno area, along the left bank of the homonymous river.

The local economy is based on the activity of numerous textile, wood, paper making and watch building industries.

The place name is quoted for the first time in an official document dating back to 1054: it comes from the compound of the two words "prato" (grass) and "vecchio" (old).

The origin of the village occurred on the Early Middle Ages around a castle, being this latter under the jurisdiction of the influencial family of the Guidi Counts, as testified by an official document issued in 1191 by the emperor Enrico IV who confirmed the property of the village of Pratovecchio to the Guidi's family.

Up to the end of the XIV-th century the village was under the influence of different branches of the Guidi's family, like the Davola's branch, during whose domination the village was fortified by building a ditch around the residential settlement and equipped with a circular ring of walls.

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In the second half of the XIV-th century Pratovecchio was sold to the Poppi's family, another Guidi's branch. At that time the Poppi struggled against the Guelphs from Florence, belonging this latter to the political faction supporting the Papacy, against the Ghibellines ones who supported the Empire.

In 1440 owing to the Guelphs' victory in the whole Casentino area, the village of Pratovecchio was annexed by the Republic of Florence to its domains.

During the Florentine domination, first under the Medici's family and then under the Lorena's Dukes, Pratovecchio increased its importance becoming a market from which the wood coming from the close pine-woods was exported.

Pratovecchio got such an economic influence at the end of the XVIII-th century that the Lorena's Dukes annexed all the pine-woods to their property.

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In 1861 Pratovecchio was annexed to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Pratovecchio we point out here the Chiesa di Santa Maria a Poppiena (Saint Mary Church in Poppiena), the Parrocchiale (Parish Church), the Chiesa di Tutti i Santi (All Saints Church) and the Convento delle Monache Camaldolesi (Camaldolesi Nuns Convent).

Among famous people who were born in Pratovecchio we remind here the painter Paolo Uccello (1397-1475).

Among the numerous celebrations periodically taking place in Pratovecchio we point out here the traditional "Saint Michael's Fair" held yearly on September 29th, during which it is possible to admire the products coming from the local craftsmanship.