Chapter #1

A "soap opera" from the 1200s

The centuries-old feud between the famous Guelph and the Ghibelline families was started in Campi Bisenzio. A futile dispute erupted at a banquet held in 1200 in the Rocca Strozzi di Campi.

The protagonist was Buondelmonte dei Buondelmonti, a quarrelsome boy who wounded Oderico dei Fifanti’s arm. This is where the Campigiano episode ends and the Florentine story begins. In order to repair the damage between the two powerful families, a marriage was proposed. Buondelmonte was set to marry Fifanti’s niece, however, he didn’t show up on his wedding day and asked another young woman to marry him. This sparked rage from the Fifanti family and all those who supported them. Buondelmonti was killed the same day but the trail of blood that followed it lasted years.

Chapter #2

Thanks to the Count, a theatre was completed in a year

Count Giovanni Rucellai came from an exemplary family who were famed patrons for the arts. His ancestors had sponsored the Florentine Renaissance and it was his idea, in the mid-1800s, to give Campi Bisenzio a theatre. "Here, the cult of dramatic art is extraordinarily felt", reads the chronicles of the time. When the local authorities made an area available, Count Giovanni formed the organizing committee for the construction of the theatre and a location for the society was managed in a week. On July 2, 1871, the Perseveranti Academy was initiated for the Dante Alighieri theatre in Campi Bisenzio. On May 4, 1873, the structure was inaugurated. The Dante Theatre soon made itself an excellent reputation among the theatres of Tuscany. The quality of the performances and the high-calibre artists that trod the stage resulted in Campi being nicknamed "the little Parma". Today the theatre is named after Carlo Monni, heir to a rich tradition of poets and comedians.

Chapter #3

The pilgrim's tent in the modern crossroads

The architect Giovanni Michelucci had already amazed the world with the construction of the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence in 1932 and did it again with the project of the Autostrada del Sole Church. It was commissioned by the Autostrade company in memory of the workers that had lost their lives during the construction of the first large Italian motorway network. The place was chosen symbolically as it was located exactly halfway between Milan and Rome, the two cities connected by the impressive infrastructure. Inspired by its location, it was the architect's intention that the church be a metaphor for meeting. The idea is that the church is a "tent for the modern pilgrim who stops there in reflection and meditation”. In Michelucci’s words, “This church is a small city, a meeting space in which men, should, if the architectural language has achieved its effectiveness, find themselves”.

Photo by: Sailko