Bandinella Tower

- Toscana Viva

Bandinella Tower

Bandinella TowerThe Tower of the Bandinella overlooks the town of Incisa Valdarno and it represents an important point of reference to see the landscape from the city. It is also an excellent testimony of the ancient splendour of small trade villages that throve along the banks of the Arno.

The Tower rises on the right bank of the river. Therefore, besides being an important defensive bastion it represents a remarkably important strategic construction. In effect, it was possible to control the "Gole" from the top. Around the Middle Ages, it was certainly among the most important roads for trade in Tuscany. In effect, the goods that came from every part of the Mediterranean and went to the Tyrrhenian ports and lastly to Florence crossed the Arno river.
The place where the Tower of the Bandinella was built was also near the crossroads of two important ways, the road of San Donato and the one of Fondovalle that linked Arezzo with Florence. Finally, the bridge on the Arno was visible from this structure. The bridge became sadly known for the suicide of Lucrezia Mazzanti during the Spanish invasion. At the beginning, it was a largely used junction to cross the river.
The XIV-century castle that once was overlooked by the tower, acting as its donjon, belonged to the family of the Bandinelli before Florence took possession of this area. Both the stronghold and the surrounding territory, that was very rich in links and resources, were the object of numerous invasions and continuous pillages. When the Pisan army and a group of English mercenaries invaded and looted the "mercatale" of Incisa in 1364, the Florentines decided to begin fortification works in the commercial village. They included the restoration of the walls and of other pre-existing structures and the rising of the tower.
The Tower of the Bandinella has a squared shape and has embattlements on its top. Unfortunately, today it is relegated to the role of pigeon house and it is included in the complex of a farmhouse. Yet, its architectural structure is still well preserved and Incisa's city planning that is almost similar to the one of the XIV century caused the tower to preserve its ancient prestigious position.
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