History

Rich in history and populated since ancient times, in Bucine area we can find fossils, anthropological artefacts, remains of Etruscan and Roman settlements, noteworthy medieval castles and churches.
Over the centuries utensils and arrowheads dating back stone age have been found.

Much more frequent are the proofs of the permanence of Etruscan and Roman people in Bucine territory. In many locations (Montebenichi, Campo Roma Vecchia, Capannole), utensils, fragments of different kinds
of ceramic and remains of buildings have been discovered; other evidence of these settlements can be found in some old routes. In Etruscan age, roads were built preferably on crests between hills, while Romans, by their roads, get close to the valley floor: Valdambra was crossed by Cassia Adrianea road.

Today it is possible to travel along these old roads by way of some itineraries set in the territory of Bucine: plunged into Nature, long since men have integrated themselves by shaping different landscapes, but always in respect and relation to their own land. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 a.C., Valdambra, like all the rest of Italy and Europe, became a land of conquerors for some barbaric tribes which lastly settled down, joined the native populations and converted themselves to Christianity. Indications from medieval period are much more diffuse. Remains of antique fortresses (Cennina, Galatrona), the topography of different places which once were fenced areas because of the need of safeguarding from Arezzo, Siena and then Florence, written documents depict us a land hosting castles, three extremely old parish churches: Santa Maria in Montebenichi, San Giovanni Battista in Petrolo and San Quirico in Capannole and two important abbeys: San Pietro a Ruoti and Santa Maria di Agnano.

At the end of the Age of Communes, Valdambra was included in the domains of the Florentine republic in the middle of XIV century: Pietro Leopoldo, grand duke of Tuscany, defined the Valdambra “a narrow valley full of finely cultivated houses”. Between VII and VIII centuries simple rural houses found an architectural environment which better answered to functionality, for being more articulated; a two-floors building, it showed some typical architectural elements, like loggias and dove rooms. Still nowadays we can find in the territory some restored farmhouses which leave the door open to people who want to visit this angle of Tuscany. Between the XIX and the XX centuries agriculture and wood cultivation kept being the most diffuse activities in this land. Different historical sources prove a high quality production of wine and oil, partially commercialized. During world war II Valdambra was the theatre of several killings at the hands of nazi and fascist soldiers: in the village of San Pancrazio 55 people, almost all men living there, were killed. Women, endowed by a deep strength and courage remained there and were able to make this place live again, thanks to memory. Since many years the municipal administration has documented these dramatic events through some events and cultural projects. In the wine cellar of Pietrangeli farmhouse, the place where the massacre was committed, now you can find the Museum of Memory and the digital archive of Memory, where all the documents of the carnage of San Pancrazio are contained, so that victims and their families can be part of a collective patrimony and so that new generations do not forget what happened, but become future citizens aware of their past and capable of building a peaceful world.

In the near building, bought and restored by the municipal administration, stands the intercultural Center “Don Giuseppe Torelli”, dedicated to the priest of the community who was himself victim of the massacre. In the garden behind the building a rose garden in memory of the civilians has been planted;  each rose bush has a plaque which recalls all people engraved on it. In the upper part of the garden a big marble statue of Firenze Poggi looks towards the horizon and on the lectern bears  the inscription: “Here, in eternal memory of the horrible deeds of history, in the place marked by tragedy, a mother affirms life like a lighthouse in the rose garden... towards the valley”.