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Vernio and its history

The Commune of Vernio covers a territory that is predominantly mountainous, rich in streams, rivers and vegetation, a pleasant summer vacation spot for relaxing and exploring nature. Today Vernio is a commune with 5,938 inhabitants, extending over an area of 63.28 km2, situated near the great curve in the Bisenzio River crossed by the watershed of the Apennines. The Romans were probably the first to settle in the Bisenzio Valley. In the decade 1924/1934, the construction of the Great Tunnel of the Apennines - 18 kilometres long on the Florence-Prato-Bologna direct railway line - created exceptional opportunities for work for the whole valley, putting an end to the seasonal migration in Maremma and Corsica that the men of this area had long been subjected to in order to support their families. In the 1950s the big farms disappeared, and along with them, the very idea of the peasant. Large-scale changes also took place in the valley's big textile factories, which closed their doors, leaving room for small manufacturing firms. The communal territory includes numerous localities: Terrigoli, Cavarzano, Costozze, Le Confina, Mercatale Vernio, Montepiano, a popular summer vacation place in which we find the Badia (Abbey) and, in a grassy plot near the Casa del Mulino, the sculpture of the Sun by Bruno Saetti. San Quirico is the administrative centre of the Commune. Here we find the Casone dei Bardi (now the Town Hall) and the Oratory of S. Niccolò. At Sant'Ippolito is the lovely Romanesque Country Church of Santi Ippolito e Cassiano. Between S. Quirico and Sasseta stands the Fortress of Vernio, now privately owned.

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