Barberino Val d'Elsa
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Founded by the Florentines in a strategic position to resist the expansion of the Semifonte castle, Barberino Val d'Elsa still preserves its medieval appearance with its fortified walls, tower-houses, the Pretorio Palace (XIV century), the Pilgrim's Hospital (XIV century) and the church of S. Bartolomeo.
From Barberino Val d'Elsa, following the road to Certaldo, one arrives at the remains of the Semifonte castle which was destroyed by the Florentines in 1202 after a long siege. Not long after the end of the 1500's the chapel of S. Michele Arcangelo was erected, according to a project by Santi di Tito, to commemorate Semifonte.
Continuing on in the direction of Certaldo the romanesque parish church of S. Appiano can be found, one of the oldest to be found in the Florentine countryside dated around the XI century. The interesting cross-shaped columns in front of the church bear witness to the existence of an ancient baptistry.
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