Parco Regionale dei Laghi di Suviana e Brasimone
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History and Landscape

Rugged mountainous areas and far from the main historical directions, the localities of the park have left few traces in the most ancient documents, and only starting from the feudal Middle Ages it is possible to draw a clearer picture of the territorial layout. For previous eras, in addition to important Etruscan finds in the Camugnanese area rather distant from the park , the knowledge on the visitors and the first residents of these high valleys are mainly linked to Roman finds  and clues that suggest a stable presence of Lombard garrisons in Stagno, Bargi and Castiglione dei Pepoli. Between the 12th and 14th centuries the high valleys of Limentra di Treppio and Brasimone, after having been partly Matildic possessions, were dominated by the Counts Alberti di Prato and Mangona, and by these entrusted to local nobles; the fortress of the Alberti, in the Cinghi di Mogne, was one of the few fortified structures in the area and a small sacred building was annexed to it. Other fortifications were found in the villages of Stagno and Bargi, considered strategic for this Apennine sector in controlling the connections with Tuscany. In the Communal Era, the mountain villages were a source of disputes between Pistoia and Bologna, with several clashes and a succession of oaths of loyalty by the local communities now at one hour to the other city. The first decades of the 1200s were the harshest period, then tensions faded and the dominion of the Alberti family, later supported by the Counts of Panico, lasted with ups and downs until the mid-1300s; they were taken over by the power of Bologna, which tried to administer the territory through the Captaincy of the mountain (up to the 1400s located in Castel di Casio) but, too far away and engaged in other fronts, always left ample space for local nobles and landowners. The nearby lands of Castiglione, then called Castiglione dei Gatti (perhaps from the Celtic gat, wood), were acquired in 1340 by Giovanni and Giacomo of the Bolognese Pepoli family and combined with the possessions that their father Taddeo had received in exchange for the services rendered in Florence in the war against Pisa. Over time, the Pepoli family increased their influence in the area and built their own residence in the town to better control the vast property. In 1478 Giovanni Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna, acquired many lands in the Camugnanese area, which he then granted in emphyteusis to the previous owners. After the expulsion of the Bentivoglio from Bologna, the beginning of the 16th century saw the birth of the counties: the papal government assigned Monzuno and other lands, including Camugnano, to the Manzoli, while the county of Bargi, together with Stagno, Suviana and Badi, it was assigned to the Bargellini; the latter was already abolished around 1530, while the first county was revoked by Gregory XIII in 1575. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the permanence of the papal dominion, made less present by the transfer of the Captaincy to Vergato and by the prolongation of the diplomatic disputes on the borders with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Bards of the county of Vernio, which ended only in 1795 with a new affixing of boundary stones. The passage of the Napoleonic troops marked a moment of particular ferment, with riots against French impositions (taxes and compulsory military service); the unrest due to the conditions of extreme poverty in the area continued even after the papal restoration, until, with the unification of Italy, the high valleys of the Camugnanese were united in a single vast municipal territory which in the following century was affected by impressive public works.
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