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Castel Focognano: ancient medieval castle

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Castel Focognano is a town in the Casentino situated 28 km from Arezzo, and about 12 km from Bibbiena, the main center and seat of the municipality is the village of Rassina, located in the plains along the valley of the Arno river. The town has kept the name of the old location, Castel Focognano, which until 1778 had been the medieval village of Castel Focognano. This village is situated on a hill 457 meters high, but in 1778 the seat of the mayor was moved to the village of Rassina, this center has become the largest and best positioned along the valley. The municipality as a whole has about 3,200 inhabitants.


The area was inhabited since Etruscan times, in fact many are the remains found in this territory. Later, around 1000 there was erected a fortified castle with double walls, hence the origin of the name, originally owned by the family Giannellini. In 1322, after a fierce siege by Arezzo troops, the territory of Castel Focognano came under the dominion of Bishop Guido Tarlati. Then in 1404 it became territory of Florence and important Podesta under the jurisdiction of the Grand Dukes de’ Medici and later of Lorraine, who in 1778 moved the seat of the municipality to Rassina.

In the ancient village of Castel Focognano are few remains of the original castle of the 11th-12th century, destroyed by the bishop Tarlati in 1322, the most important remain is the small Torre di Ronda where are the headquarters of the Documentation Center on Rural Culture of Casentino (Centro di Documentazione sulla Cultura Rurale del Casentino) which exhibits antique instruments for the processing of milk and wool.

Among the things to visit in the area is well worth a visit the church of Socana (Pieve di Socana) – located about 1 km from the town of Rassina – an important Romanesque church built in the area of an ancient Etruscan temple dating from the fifth century BC and of which there are visible some remains along with those of a large sacrificial altar. The present church, dedicated to Sant’Antonino, dating back to the Middle Ages (11th-12th century) was remodeled several times over the centuries and has a curious bell tower partly cylindrical and partly hexagonal.

Castel Focognano

Castel Focognano


Weekly Market Rassina: Wednesday Weekly Market in Piazza Mazzini Rassina every Wednesday from 8.00 to 13.30.

Tourist Information Offices – Castel Focognano Piazza Mazzini, 3 – Rassina (Ar) Phone 0575 51541


  • AA. VV. “Guida ai prodotti agroalimentari del Casentino. Itinerari tra cultura e tradizioni locali” Unione Comuni Montani del Casentino, 2012
  • AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
  • Caselli Giovanni “Casentino – Guida Storico Ambientale” Editrice Le Balze, Montepulciano 2003
  • Piroci Branciaroli Alberta “Casentino. Terra di santi e cavalieri” Aska Edizioni, 2008
  • Rombai Leonardo; Stopani Renato “Il Casentino. Territorio, storia e viaggi” Polistampa, 2012



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