Laterina

Hotels Laterina
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The territory where today the Laterina castle stands out was inhabited ever since very ancient times, as the Etrurian dwellings and the probable Roman settlements of the Augustan age testify. The development of the ancient hamlet started in the 11th century, when deep social transformations brought the populations settled on the planes or in clusters of houses scattered on the hill to gather inside the castle, for safety reasons as well as in order to be closer to the then completed main road, the most important communication and commercial traffic way of Valdarno. In 1272, Arezzo took possession of Laterina to hold up the expansion in Valdarno of the Florentines. Since then for over one century, the castle witnessed bloodshed between the Republic of Florence and the Town of Arezzo. After a series of ups and downs, exactly in Laterina, on the 5th November 1384, the treaty was signed that sanctioned the final defeat of Arezzo and the delivery of the territories of the old village to the Republic of Florence.
The historical centre is in perfect conditions and lies on a hill that dominates the Arno plain: the plan has a longitudinal pattern and adapted itself to the line of the ridge on which it lies. The circle of walls encloses the village that overlooks the rugged declivity of the hill. The ancient centre is made up of three parallel streets: the central one, the "Via di Mezzo" ends to the east with the Fortress and to the west with the tower Torre Guinigi. In the middle of Laterina there is the square with the church of San Ippolito and San Cassiano which took this name from the old parish that used to be in the surroundings. On one side of the church the remains of a Roman mosaic coming from the same parish are visible. Externally, a path unfolded along the circle of walls, recognisable today only here and there. In the part to the north-east there is the gate Porta di Ghianderino: this is the only gate of the three original ones that remains and it is the architectural element that mostly reminds us of the ancient walls, made with hewn sandstone and Arno river stones. A little downward from the circle of walls the sanctuary of Santa Maria in Valle can be found. Out of Laterina, along the Via Vecchia Aretina, the Villa Monsoglio is to be pointed out, one of the most magnificent villas around Arezzo. It has an extensive Italian garden and interiors decorated with frescoes.
The villa was built on an old hospital erected on the road (probably of Roman origins) that connected the Via dei Setteponti to the Cassia Adrianea, on the other side of the Arno river. It was the Peruzzi family of Florence that at the end of the seventeenth century turned the hospital into the present villa. Near Laterina there used to be the bridge Ponte Romito, so called because in the near hospital (founded in 1109 and now known as Villa Monsoglio) had settled one or more "repentants", usually Franciscan tertiaries, commonly called by the population "hermits". The bridge, whose ancient structures remain, was important for the communications between Arezzo and Valdarno.

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