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A trip to the town of antiquities, Etruscans and Romans

In 1 on February 14, 2010 by lamiatoscanablog Tagged: , , ,

The town of Bientina is situated in the Valdarno inferiore, in the lowland among the hills of Cerbaie and Monte Pisano. It has ancient origins. The area of the lake “Bientina”  is rich in archaeological finds, which date back to the Iron Age and the Etruscan period. The name of Bientina appeared for the first time on a map of the yaer 793. In the thirteenth and forteenth centuries, it was alternately under the dominion of Lucca and Pisa. From 1402 until the end of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1859, the town was under the rule of Florence.

Today it is famous for antiquities, antique shops, restauration workshops and exhibition of antiques, among which unique pieces can be found. Every fourth Saturday and Sunday of the month, there is a big open-air market, where antiques can be bought and sold. Moreover Bientina is rich in noteworthy buildings and monuments.

Particularly noteworthy is the parish church of St. Mary of the Assumption, which was enlarged in the period 1627-1640 and which in the inside, is decorated  with a lavish stucco from the eighteenth century. In addition it is decorated by nine altars and oil paintings of many famous Tuscan masters from the sixth and eighth century. In the church also rests the body of the martyr St. Valentine, patron saint of the city. In 1699 this holiness became famous for his miraculous exorcism. On Valentine’s Day he is not only remembered in Tuscany, but also in many other parts of Italy.

Right next to the church, there is the Museum of Sacred Art, which was opened in December 1993. Here a large number of ecclesiastical art and priestly garments from the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries can be admired. With the exception of the months of July and August, it can be visited every fourth sunday of each month from 10 am to 12 pm and from 4 to 6 pm.

The Church of St. Dominic, which was recently restored by the local authorities, goes back to the first half of the seventeenth century. It was built on the remains of a chapel near the Porta Fiorentina outside the city walls.

Despite the devastation from World War II, parts of the medieval city wall and its four towers Paracintolo, Mora, Giglio and Belvedere are still well preserved.

The Etruscan Museum is located in Via Marco Polo. It is housed in the Oratory Church of San Girolamo from the seventeenth century and contains many Etruscan and Roman finds, which were found during excavations at the ancient lake of Bientina.

Farm holidays in the Valdera

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