At the center of the Lower Valdarno, in the plain between the right bank of the Arno and the course of the Usciana canal, Castelfranco di Sotto has a square plan structure (side of about 250 meters) divided into regular blocks by nine streets intersecting at right angles, typical of the centuria. Remains of its Roman but also Etruscan and medieval origins are on display in the Archaeological Museum of Castelfranco di Sotto and in the Archaeological Museum of Orentano, where original artifacts, plastic reconstructions, and didactic panels illustrate the life of the village near the Bientina marshes.

A peculiar urbanism

The two main roads continue beyond the four gates of the walls, now replaced by a ring road. The oldest nucleus, characterized by gate-towers, still features in the main square the 15th-century Palazzo Pretorio, former seat of the Florentine dominion. The Collegiate church with a baptismal font dating back to the 13th century, later renovated, still preserves traces of the pre-existing Romanesque-Gothic building, and is home to Mannerist pieces.

The Tanning Industry

In the second half of the 20th century, Castelfranco di Sotto saw its industries grow significantly, especially in the footwear sector, so much so that it is part of the tanning district of Santa Croce sull’Arno.

Oasis of nature

Despite its manufacturing importance, the area has considerable landscape value as it is part of the hilly area of Cerbaie within which lies the Montefalcone Nature Reserve, famous for its rare plants and animals despite being only a few km from highly urbanized areas. A small paradise for nature lovers, with pine and oak woods crossed by paths that partly retrace the trail of the Via Francigena, the medieval pilgrims’ road to Rome.

Vedi Castelfranco di Sotto in:

Geographical area
Valdarno Inferiore

over 13.000

Distance from Pisa
34 km

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