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Marliana rises up at an altitude of 460 metres above sea level on a hillside between the valleys of the rivers Vincio and Nievole. The village, surrounded by thick woods of chestnut trees, has ancient origins. Records dating back as far as the 12th century tell of a fortified castle which was then destroyed in 1177 during the armed conflicts with the nearby castle of Montecatini. In the following centuries, Marliana played a strategic role in the conflicts between Lucca and Pistoia: conquered in 1314 by the exiled Pistoiesi, with the help of Lucca, it passed under the rule of Castruccio Castracani in 1319.
Following the fate of Pistoia, Marliana gradually entered into the Florentine orbit, experiencing a long period of peace and a progressive demographic increase, following the decimation brought about by the epidemics of the second half of the 14th century. Today, the ancient castle preserves a brief stretch of the walls and traces of the gate which faces towards Montecatini. The residential part has maintained its intriguing urban layout, huddled around the church of San Niccol˛ which has recently been renovated.
The church, on record since 1373, was elevated to the state of parish church at the end of the 16th century. Facing it, rises up the Compagnia di Sant'Antonio Abate oratory dating from the sixteen hundreds, which the Municipality has recuperated and designated as an exhibition area and venue for public events.
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