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Montopoli in Val d`Arno

Copyright © Apt Pisa The town of Montopoli in Valdarno

Montopoli in Val d`Arno (ZIP code 56020) is 37,2 kilometers far from Pisa, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Montopoli in Val d`Arno has a population of 9.648 inhabitants (Montopolesi) and a surface of 29,89 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 322,78 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 98 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via Guicciardini 61, phone ++39 0571 - 449811, fax ++39 0571 - 466327: the E-Mail address is montopoli@leonet.it.

Population: The municipality of Montopoli in Val d`Arno had a popolation of 8.870 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 9.648 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 8,77% inhabitants.

Copyright © Apt Pisa Chiesa del Convento Santa Marta

The inhabitants are distributed in 3.468 families with an average of 2,78 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 10 and 171 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 161 metres.

Work and workers:There are 399 industrial firms employing 1.907 people that are the 56,19% of the total of the workers. There are 187 service firms employing 416 people that are the 12,26% of the total of the workers. There are also 152 firms employing 564 people that are the 16,62% of the total of the workers. There are also 79 administrative offices emplying 507 workers that are the 14,94% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 3.394 workers, that are the 35,18% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Copyright © Apt Pisa Torre di San Matteo

Montopoli in Valdarno rises in the valley extending along the left bank of the Arno river.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of fruits, vegetables, olives, vine grape, tobacco, on the breeding of bovines and on the activity of numerous industries for the production of shoes and for the manufacture of leather and potter's clay.

The place name comes from the compound of "monte" (mount) and of the German proper name of person "Topoli", to which the specification "Valdarno" was added to indicate the position of the town in the homonymous valley.

The birth of the village of Montopoli in Valdarno occurred during the Early Middle Ages around a Parish entitled to Saint Peter. Later the local community moved to a fortress built during the X-th century for the will of the Bishop of Lucca.

Thanks both to its strategic position and the fortifications built along the years, the village of Montopoli in Valdarno became one of the most important one in the Valdarno area.

Due to the military importance achieved, the Castle of Montopoli in Valdarno was quarrelled for a long among the powerful cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, all of them wanted to conquer such strategic place.

Copyright © Apt Pisa Torre Giulia

In the middle of the XII-th century the Republic of Florence reached the property of the village of Montopoli in Valdarno thanks to the intervention of the German emperor Federico I, who later gave it to the Republic of Pisa.

After the collapse of this latter occurred on the next century, the Florentines gave the village to the Bishop of Lucca, who held the control until 1274, when Montopoli in Valdarno was besieged again by Florence and Lucca.

During the XIV-th century Montopoli in Valdarno subdued other sieges that devastated its territory, like that one operated in 1315 by the Pisan troops leaded by the commander Uguccione della Faggiola.

In the middle of the same century the inhabitants of Montopoli in Valdarno decided to subdue themselves to the Republic of Florence, in order to put on end the belligerant atmosphere. Thus Florence annexed the village to its domains.

The Florentines started the fortification of the village by building an imposing ring of walls, equipped with sighting towers.

Copyright © Apt Pisa Local products: pottery

Between the XV-th and XVI-th century, during the government of the Medici's Grand Dukes, the village subdued numerous sieges among them that one operated by the troops of the Visconti's family from Milan and the other one by the army of Carlo VIII.

At the beginning of the XVIII, by dieing the Medici's last direct descendant, the Lorena's Dukes came to the power and governed Montopoli in Valdarno until the next century, when the territory was invaded by the French army leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte.

The French occupation ended on 1814 and since 1815 Montopoli in Valdarno entered again the Tuscan Grand Dukedom up to the Unity of Italy, occurred on 1861 by the action of the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments in Montopoli in Valdarno we point out here the Chiesa di Santo Stefano (Saint Stephen Church), the Chiesa del Conservatorio di Santa Marta (Saint Marta's Conservatory Church), the Pieve dei Santi Stefano e Giovanni (Saints Stephen and John Parish) and the remains of the Medieval fortifications.

Among the several celebatrions periodically taking place in Montopoli in Valdarno we remind the "Fair of Birds" held yearly on the end of September and in which it is possible both to admire different species of numerous birds and of fine local crafts and also to taste some good typical local foods and wines.