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La storia di Poppi è legata alla famiglia dei Conti Guidi e al loro Castello. La maestosità del duecentesco Castello di Poppi una struttura imponente voluta dai Conti Guidi, che fu teatro della storica battaglia di Campaldino tra guelfi e ghibellini Il Castello di Poppi, icona storica del Casentino con la sua struttura imponente e ben conservata nei secoli, si erge maestoso in uno dei borghi più belli d'Italia. Furono i Conti Guidi a volerne l'edificazione nel XIII secolo anche se la paternità architettonica della struttura ancora non ha trovato unicità di attribuzione. Sono in molti a credere che la parte più antica del Castello sia opera di Lapo di Cambio mentre la parte più recente, edificata intorno alla fine del XIII secolo è attribuita al più noto Arnolfo. Teatro della storica battaglia di Campaldino tra guelfi e ghibellini, avvenuta l'11 giugno 1289, il Castello ha subito nel tempo numerosi rimaneggiamenti ma è giunto ai giorni nostri in perfetta integrità. Visitabile tutto l'anno, vanta una biblioteca di oltre 25.000 unità. Fondata dal Conte Rilli Orsini nel 1828, conserva oltre 800 manoscritti. Aperte al pubblico anche la torre campanaria dalla quale si può ammirare una splendida visuale sulla valle del Casentino, le antiche prigioni del Castello e la cappella dove è possibile apprezzare un ciclo di affreschi di Taddeo Gaddi (XIV sec.) con storie della Vergine e San Giovanni Lasciare il castello senza aver visitato la sua biblioteca è però, come aver percorso un itinerario a metà. La collezione libraria, donata dai Conti Rilli-Orsini al Comune di Poppi, costituisce un immenso tesoro librario.


Poppi English version


The ancient medieval village of Poppi is one of the best-preserved examples of “walled city”, surmounted by the majestic castle of the Guidi Counts: also in excellent condition even today. In the XII century the name of Poppi started to appear in documents. The most important one is from 1191, an Imperial act with which Henry IV confirmed dominion of the Guidi Counts over a series of territories and castles between Tuscany and Romagna, including that of Poppi. For three centuries the Guidi family exercised undisputed dominion over Poppi and her population, finishing important fortification works such as the town walls, completed in 1261, and the stronghold. The powerful Guidi’s submission of Poppi to the Guelph Florentine Republic dates back to 1266. Before the end of the century Poppi enters Italian history due to the battle of Campaldino, fought just a few kilometres from the village. This was the 11th June 1289 and its outcome determined the beginning of the definitive supremacy of Florence over Arezzo on one side and the major force of the Guephs over the Ghibellines on the other. The passing of Poppi to Florence was however consolidated only in 1440, after the other decisive Florentine victory at Anghiari. So Poppi became the seat of a Vicariate that administered justice of the entire Casentino area. Fully part of the Grand Duchy state founded by the Medici family and maintained by the Asburgo-Lorena, Poppi finally lived centuries of peace and development, during which the economical traditions of woodland and pasture were joined by artisan wool and wood work, also linked to the activity of “strolling sellers” of utensils and other furnishings. The manufacture of wood products was then transformed into a tradition that every year is renewed in some areas of Poppi. Recently the town became a part of the National Park of the Casentine Forests, Monte Falterona, Campigna. Therefore, while visiting here you can opt for a full immersion into nature by choosing one of the many excursion paths that are open to the tourist. The Poppi Castle This imposing structure was built by the Conti Guidi family Poppi Castle is an historical icon in the Casentino area. Its imposing structure has weathered the elements well over the centuries and it still stands tall and majestic over one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It was the Conti Guidi family who built the castle in the XIII century although there is some disagreement between historians over who was responsible for the castle’s design. It seems that the most ancient part of the castle was built by Lapo di Cambio, while the most recent parts (that date to the XIII century) were built by the famous Arnolfo. The castle was part of the battle ground during the well known battle of Campaldino between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines on the 11th June 1289. Despite various renovations, the castle as we see it today has changed little since it was first built. It is open all year and boasts a library with over 25 thousand items. The library, which was founded by Count Rille Orsini in 1828, has over 800 manuscripts alone. The bell tower, with its fantastic view over the Casentino countryside, is also open to the public. Visitors can see the castle’s ancient dungeons and the chapel with its XIV century fresco cycle by Taddeo Gaddi, which tells the story of the Virgin Mary and Saint John. The Poppi Castle was an impressive medieval building erected around the turn of the first millennium probably as a fortress for the external defence of the town of Florence. It has been the property of the Guicciardini family for almost nine centuries, a claim documented by an inheritance act of 1199. Not surprisingly, the Poppi Castle has been linked with many events in the history of Florence. For instance, in 1369 Sir John Hawkwood the famous English Condottiere from Hendingham Sible (known in Florence as Giovanni Acuto), after the battle of Fosso Armonico near Cascina, had his headquarters in the castle. In 1529, the castle was damaged during the siege of Florence as mentioned by the historian Francesco Guicciardini (at that time owner of Poppiano) in his "Memorie". The Castle as you see it today is the result of restoration work after an earthquake in 1812 caused extensive damage. The building however returned to its former grandeur and authenticity thanks to frescoes in other Guicciardini houses in Val di Pesa and Val d'Elsa. From 1200 the Guicciardini family held a prominent position in the social, political and economic life of Florence. Piero G. was named "Conte Palatino" by the Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1416. The Guicciardini took part in the public life of Florence contributing 44 "priori", 16 "gonfalonieri di giustizia" and 12 senators. The most famous member of the family is the historian Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540) who, after having been entrusted with important appointments by the Medicis (Ambassador to Spain, Governor of Modena and Reggio, Head of the Cognac league) retired to Florence and Poppiano where he wrote a part of his masterpiece "Historia d'Italia" (the History of Italy)

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