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The city of Semifonte

And how it was wiped off the earth.

I learned about Semifonte from Lorenzo Lucii of Casa Lucii.

Semifonte was located between Certaldo and Barberino Val d'Elsa. It was a grand fortified city that was built in the late 12th century. There were two main routes that passed through Semifonte, Via Francigena and the Via Chiantigiana, this enabling it to control trade in Tuscany. Semifonte became powerful village, defended by 3 km of walls, with 7 churches and about 300 houses.

Siena and Florence had their eyes on taking control of the city. Semifonte prevented Florence from expanding its supremacy over the Francigena route. And Semifonte was besieged in 1198 after 4 long years of battles. After the city fell, the peace treaty required all the surviving townspeople to finish demolishing their city, exiled them all and forbade them to rebuild on their beloved city.

Despite the agreements, in the 16th century, a single chapel was built on the site. Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo was built by Santi di Tito in 1597. It is a 1/8 replica of Brunelleschi's dome from the Duomo in Florence. This chapel was commissioned by Giovan Battista Capponi, a pious man who was the owner of the Renaissance Villa of Petrognano. The chapel was able to built only after he wrote a petition to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando I de' Medici.

Today, very little remains of the city of Semifonte. The small chapel is dedicated to Saint Michael and various buried remains.
Cappella di San Michele Arcangelo a Semifonte

Semifonte is a place people pass by to light a candle inside, for weddings or for an afternoon visit.

I can't wait actually visit this forgotten place.

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