PRO LOCO TERRA DEL SOLE
TERRA DEL SOLE, "Ideal" town
Terra del Sole is an ex-novo planned town, founded in 1564 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
He decided here (as an old announcement evidences) «to build a new town with walls, its gates and ramparts, in a suitable and conform to its intentions place», that were to make of the new fortified town the administrative, military, judical and religious centre of Romagna-Toscana. It was not conceived as a simple fortress but as a “fortress town”, a ramparted rectangle in which the civic and military centre was inscribed. The town was designed and built by the best architects of the time: Baldassarre Lanci, as general architect, his son Marino, Camerini, Genga and Buontalenti as its collaborators.
The result of that humanism which put man at the centre of the universe, Terra del Sole is a rare attempt of realization of the «ideal town», longed for men of the Renaissance.
PLACES TO SEE
- THE MUSEUM OF MAN AND THE ENVIRONMENT: The Museum of Man and the Environment in Terra del Sole appears to visitors with a new look updated in mounting and contents, it was founded in 1972 by the Pro Loco with the aim to preserve the vestiges of the past.The museum, located in Palazzo Pretorio o dei Commissari Granducali, has been restored and enlarged (in 1989 there were 10 rooms), enriching its heritage and activities; it has never been a simple objects container. The museum wants to tell the landscape and geology of Acquacheta Valley and man evolution in the area from prehistory until the Industrial Revolution, the environment, human presence, family life, domestic activities, forms of aggregation, crafts, grain and wine cycle, tools): an attempt to go back over the history of which we are heirs, rebuilding it from the fragments of the past. With this mounting, organized into 25 rooms and two itineraries, we want to improve the cultural offer for schools. In Terra del Sole (charming Eliopoli, the "Ideal City" of the Renaissance), guided tour of Palazzo Pretorio and the Museum of Man and the Environment, by choosing between two itineraries, ethno-anthropological and historical-architectural.
- THE WALLS: High about 13 meters, surround the town developing on a rectangular plan for over two kilometers, on the four corners we find St. Andrea, St. Martino, St. Reparata, St. Maria ramparts.
- PALAZZO PRETORIO O DEI COMMISSARI GRANDUCALI: Magnificent quadrangular building, classic example of Renaissance architecture, built of local stone, with serena stone and brick elements. The facade and loggias are decorated with coats of arms carved or painted by the various Grand Ducal Commissioners that ruled the Romagna Toscana from 1579 to 1784. Seat of the Civil and Criminal Court, painted with ancient coats of arms and valuable decorations, still preserves the "segrete" decorated with drawings and inscriptions; a double-helix spiral staircase connects the cells. Today it houses the Pro Loco of Terra del Sole, Museum of Man and the Environment, and Tourism Office Information.
- CHURCH OF ST. REPARATA: Located in front of Palazzo dei Commissari, to underline the two powers that guarded the civil regulations and, isolated from the urban context, has an imposing size Latin cross framework. The terracotta and sandstone building, is a work of Mastro Raffaello di Zenobi of Fiesole. The front has two pilasters that extend beyond the medium cornice up to the tympanum, refined by two side scrolls. The portal is wrapped by an indented pattern and topped by a lunette.The apse is pentagonal and with slightly arches. Next to the Church the bell tower, completed between 1821 and 1825 and, under its arches, the Baptistery.
- PALAZZO DEL PROVVEDITRE: Located at the entrance of the Roman village, it was the seat of the Ministry of Finance of Romagna Toscana. It has interesting ceilings decorated in floral style.
- CASTLES: Castelli del Capitano delle Artiglierie e del Governatore, similar in the architectural lines, dominate Porta Fiorentina and Porta Romana, a time single access to the angled and stellar frame work town. Both above the canopy or loggia of the District, they had a brick web bell tower, with arch and scrolls, for the "campanon of Arms" and are crowned by an hanging arches balcony for the sentry patrol.
- Castello del Governatore o del Capitano della Piazza: La Rocchetta of Porta Romana included the Captain district, the gallery for the artillery crossing, the Guards "day and night" and the saltpetre warehouse, some cannonballs and stands for mortars. The entrance to the castle was by a drawbridge. Nowadays it is a public property and it houses, in the mezzanine, the Civic Historical Archives with more than 2,000 strings of important documents of Romagna Toscana Province, and in the main floor the seat of Palio’s Board and historical groups, (Roman Village District, Flag-Wavers Musicians and Arms Men, Crossbowmen Company), G. Rossini Music School, the Municipal Band, the Fire Group and the Choral one. Castello del Capitano delle Artiglierie: Porta Fiorentina (turned towards Florence), was defended by a drawbridge in the middle of the brick arches bridge, a strong iron door, portcullis and traps. The castle included the Captain District with painted wooden ceilings (1587), armory (arms wharehouse and workshop: arquebus, pikes, halberds, swords), the crossing gallery rising above the door, the day guards board (under the door) and the night one (in the jar above the door).Nowadays it is a private property.
- The Byzantine style parish church of St. Reparata, dates back to the year 549. It is the oldest church of Acquacheta Valley. Of the original building it remains some arches of the central nave supported by corner pillars, an ancient baptismal font with traces of frescoes and a sarcophagus.
- The fortress of Montepoggiolo – First Florentine fortress, with rhomboid plan, it was design by Giuliano da Majano (1471). It rises on the homonymous hill at about 2.5 km from Terra del Sole and at 220 m above sea level, overlooking the whole Romagna and the sea. It housed, in the casemates, the first firearms (mortars)
- Castrocaro Terme- with two separated town planning entities, the modern town crossed by the majestic avenue Marconi with the famous thermal baths and the medieval village, divided into three entities: - The Murata located in the upper part of the town, next to the fortress and placed in an elevated position and enclosed within the first circle of walls; - The medieval village, still enclosed in the second and third wall - and the District Santa Maria, the last expansion of the medieval town.