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The Via Francigena
The origin of Fucecchio and its first development are linked to the "via Francigena" or "strada Romea" , the most important way of Tuscany in the Middle Age. After crossing Lucca and Altopascio, seat of a very important hospital in the XIth century, it entered the woods of Le Cerbaie, passed the Arno to lead towards Siena through the Valdelsa, The original route of the Via Francigena in the territory of Fucecchio corresponds only to a small stretch of the actual Via Romana Lucchese. In fact this route has been changed many times, even if the villages crossed by the road are the same described by Sigeric from Canterbury or by the French sovereign Philip August Fucecchio (white Arno), Cappiano (very probably black Arno) and Galleno. In this last place it is still possible to see some hundreds metres of the original pavement of the Via Francigena by the parish church, west from the actual Via Romana Lucchese
South from here, following a small path hidden by the wood, the road reached the pilgrims' hospital of Santa Trinita in Cerbaia, also called "ospedaletto" and now destroyed, but still marked in the maps of the XIXth century, The main medieval route, after crossing the woods of Le Cerbaie, followed more or less the actual boundary between the provinces of Florence _ and Pisa (a stretch of the actual Via delle Sette Querci - seven oaks road), reached the village of Poggio Adorno (in the past called Rosaiolo) where another hospital (the hospital of "malatia" - disease) was situated.
Then the road went down to Ponte a Cappiano, where a bridge permitted the Usciana's crossing to the pilgrims already around the year Thousand. After reaching Fucecchio the road climbed the hill between Salamarzana castle and a knoll where San Salvatore Abbey was built in the XIIth century; finally it descended towards the Arno crossing it through a bridge. Along this route the castle of Fucecchio developed as well as the new villages during the XIIIth and XIVth century.
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