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LITTLE DOCTOR

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Sep 7, 2015
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Lionardo da Vinci, after the experience he had in Montenero, more than frightened, was confused, but also disappointed that he had not received the requested assistance from the local religious. The only help the religious gave was an overnight stay for him and the hunter. The next morning the two walked on the way back, but since the hunter noticed Lionardo's disappointment, he proposed a much longer alternative route through the forest that would take them to the village of Colognole where an ancient pagan people, according to an ancient legend, had built a temple dedicated to water. These people, who lived immediately after the prehistoric era, were worshipers of water, because they believed that water was the expression of a God who manifested himself on earth in liquid form in order to better reach every place, even the bowels of the man, in addition to those of the earth. Legend tells that the water of those places had marked magical-healing properties. To support this legend it must be specified that this water flowed from the mountains called Lecceta and Monte Maggiore. The waters that arise from these hills form a river that descends to the sea. In ancient times this river flowed right near the church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva. Unfortunately, in modern times, the natural river bed has been repeatedly deflected and buried to be able to build roads and build buildings: the current naval academy of Livorno is one of the main buildings involved. Located just behind the ancient church, it incorporated the tunnels that once led to the original source of the Acquaviva. The legend of the water temple has now been almost forgotten, but it was well known until the Middle Ages. In fact, even the Templars landed on the Livorno coast in 1221 later learned of this legend and having already ascertained the healing properties of the spring water of San Jacopo, they decided to verify the reliability of the legend. For this reason they wanted to go up the river called Rio Maggiore from the name of the apostle Giacomo called the "Maggiore" who crossed it in antiquity. A group of knights led by Roberto Martello, called da Volterra, went up the river in search of clues that could validate the legend and lead to the discovery of that lost temple. Legend has it that the Templars really found the temple of water, by that time reduced to ruins, but that's another story ...
A more modern history known by all is that of the famous Leopoldine aqueduct, built right there in the late 1700s. A majestic work that has its foundations resting on the last ruins of the water temple! The construction of the Leopold aqueduct definitively concealed and destroyed the ancient temple of water. During the works, the workers often found remains of buildings of considerable size such as stairways formed by huge stones and these findings made the aqueduct work stop for months, but in the end, in order to complete the aqueduct, it was decided not to interrupt anymore the works and to continue building even over the precious ruins left. Some of these ruins are still hidden by soil and vegetation, a magical vegetation that has safeguarded a part of the ancient temple of water from the inexorable passage of time and from the stupid neglect of man.
 

LITTLE DOCTOR

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Joined
Sep 7, 2015
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199
Leonardo da Vinci, arrived in Colognole, was welcomed and hosted for a day in the estate of the Gualandi family, wealthy landowners in the area. The Gualandi family had the opportunity in the past to meet Lionardo da Vinci, on the occasion of the feast of the patron saint of Florence San Giovanni Battista, an occasion for which Mr. Giorgio Gualandi gave the Saint a 10 pound candle to be paraded during the great procession. Lionardo learned useful information from the Gualandi about the ancient water temple built with the use of a particular gray-green volcanic rock called "gabbroso". The temple was fed by the numerous springs that flowed from the hills above, today called "Poggio Lecceta" and "Monte Maggiore". So that the memory of those places is not lost, I will try to describe what the Gualandi said to Lionardo. We will take a trip to a forgotten past that will soon be re-evaluated. For centuries, the area that separates the Benedetta valley from Colognole has been inhabited by an ancient and mysterious people to whom historians have not yet been able to give a historical-cultural identity. A people that rises in the mists of time which by modern scholars are classified as "Gentile people". Little is known about them, they thrived between the Iron Age and the Etruscan era. It was the Gentiles who built the temple of water. They lived not far from the temple, on a high ground where they had built a pyramid structure in which they had brought together the water that came down from Poggio Lecceta. Over time this pyramidal structure turned into a hill and it is on this hill that the church of the Valle Benedetta still stands. Over time the Gentile people died out, the only remaining nucleus was the one I'm talking about ...
 

LITTLE DOCTOR

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Joined
Sep 7, 2015
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199
Although the Gentile people had survived hidden among those hills, another important civilization was developing and expanding: the Etruscans. The two civilizations came to contend for those territories and the clash became inevitable. This happened when two Etruscan princes, twin brothers, who reigned in a location not far from Colognole, today called Montecalvoli, decided to wage war against the last descendants of the Gentiles. The two Etruscan princes lived on the slopes of Montecalvoli where at the time there was a large Etruscan village bordered and protected by a large city wall. The two princes decided to conquer the temple of water, but first they had to defeat the last Gentile warriors left to preside over the pyramidal structure that was in today's Benedictine Valley. There was a short but intense siege, then a bloody battle which saw the two Etruscan princes perish under a rain of arrows. The two princes were hit almost simultaneously as they wore helmets that were owned only by the Etruscan nobles. Those showy helmets attracted the attention of the Gentile archers who mercilessly struck the two. At the end the Gentiles were defeated and the survivors retreated to a hill, now called "Monte La Poggia". The Etruscans took possession of the pyramid structure and decided to bury the two principles there. Together with the two bodies, the weapons and the two helmets equipped with splendid crests were also buried. These finds were found centuries later, during excavations to plant a vineyard in the area, at the time of Colombino Bassi. But we will talk about this next time .... in detail!
 
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