Palaia | Forcoli

Forcoli is the most important hamlet in the municipality of Palaia, a very lively and active locality due to the presence of important activities and its proximity to Pontedera as well as Ponsacco and Capannoli.

The oldest document in its history dates back to 1061. In the period from 1141 to 1153, part of the village passed from the archbishop of Pisa to the archbishop of Lucca. The village did not escape the consequences of the struggles between Pisa and Florence: in 1362 an army of Florentines, commanded by Bonifazio Lupo, destroyed ‘Mercantale di Forcoli’.

Its conformation is the typical medieval division: an older one at the top and a more recent one on the plain. The upper part clearly shows the remains of a castle, now incorporated into the Villa Brunner. The Villa is named after the Austrian Baron Guido Brunner (as is the main square and the stadium), a deserter from the Austro-Hungarian army who was killed in action in the Italian army in 1916.

The old entrance is evidenced by the one that today leads to the villa, located to the south and better exposed. On the other sides there are traces of ancient buildings and a series of arches, perhaps the remains of a patrol walkway around the wall that has now disappeared. The apse of the present-day church of San Frediano is carved out of a robust tower that must have been a bulwark of the castle.

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