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Home The “Montaccianico Vive” project Why a project on Montaccianico?
Why a project on Montaccianico?

The Montaccianico castle, together with the Ubaldini family and its most illustrious exponent Cardinal Ottaviano, are still present and alive in the collective memory and mindset and this is quite extraordinary if one considers we are dealing with events and characters of seven hundred years ago.

Unlike other places and episodes of equal or even greater importance which have fallen into oblivion or are known only to those with a specific interest in them, Montaccianico has remained in the public memory of various generations up to today. Its name evokes a special attraction and interest in wide areas of the population (and not just local), perhaps linked to the events of the long siege and its total destruction, followed by the lasting “damnatio memoriae” of the Florentine rulers and perhaps the widespread popular idea of Montaccianico as a symbol of the “resistance” of the community to the city’s rule.

The fame of Montaccianico is, however, also linked to the alleged presence of Dante there after the Convegno di San Godenzo in 1302, when the castle became the political and military centre of the Ghibellines and the exiled Whites to organise the war against Florence.

While these are valid reasons for the current interest in Montaccianico, the historic and documentary motives justifying the project are even stronger.

The position of the Castle was particularly strategic controlling the route to Emilia Romagna through the mountain passes of Osteria Bruciata and della Vecchia, including the Futa pass to the west and the Giogo pass to the east .After repeated, unsuccessful attempts over the course of half a century (second half of the 1200s and beginning of the 1300s), the Castle was besieged, conquered and destroyed by Florence in 1306., with the Florentine Republic prohibiting for centuries any further use of the site, which has in fact remained “ sealed” from the moment of its destruction up to today, thereby warranting such extraordinary archaeological and historic-documentary interest.


Montaccianico also represented the political-military stronghold of the last resistance of the nobles to the expansion of the city’s power (in this case Florence), the establishment of which at every level (political-institutional, economic and cultural) was to become a model for the whole of Europe. The power of the winning city state over feudalism was immediately repeated on a local scale with the founding of the new land of Scarperia in 1306. Montaccianico and Scarperia have thus become the two emblems of a momentous historic transition from feudal to urban, commercial society.

The importance of investigating the site, but also the walls dating to the period, present in Scarperia and in the territory at an archaeological and historic level springs from this, focusing on this historic transition towards modern Europe of fundamental importance with the help of new elements brought to light by research.