History | Reggello | Terre degli Uffizi
In prehistoric times the upper Arno valley was a lake, evidence of which can still be seen today in the Balze, picturesque ochre-coloured rock formations that can reach up to 100 metres in height, alternating with equally steep-sided canyons.
The area was subsequently inhabited by the Etruscans and the Longobards, but the first written evidence pointing to the existence of a settlement dates back to the 10th/11th centuries.
Reggello was later to grow in importance under the influence of the Florentine Republic. The Lega and the Podesteria, however, kept the name of Cascia until 1773, when a legislative decree issued by Grand Duke Leopold established the Community of Reggello.
The area’s artistic and architectural heritage comprises numerous treasures hosted in its churches and museums of religious art. The Museo di Cascia houses the San Giovenale Triptych, the painter Masaccio’s first work, dated 1422, and the earliest instance of the use of perspective in painting.
In addition to the Pieve di San Pietro, a fine example of Romanesque architecture, the Pieve di Sant’Agata in Arfoli and the Pieve di Pitiana are equally worthy of note.
The area’s numerous fortifications and castles include Poggio alla Regina, an archaeological site on the border with the municipality of Castelfranco-Pian di Scò, and privately-owned castles such as the Torre del Castellano or the Castello di Sammezzano, a unique example of the Moorish Revival style of architecture.