Orbignano and Fornello

Following the provincial road and going past the village of Porciano, there is Fornello, a little village almost on the border between the provinces of Pistoia and Florence. Fornello is well known by bike lovers for its hard climb called “Fornello’s wall”. Fornello lies a short distance from Orbignano. The name of this little village is one of its kind, in the sense that there is noting like it in other areas, as Sabatino Ferrali wrote: «[…] exquisitely Latin and surely created to designate a unit of landed property assigned to a gens Urbino, or Urbinia, during the Roman colonization of the territory» (Sabatino Ferrali, “Tesori d’arte in una chiesetta di campagna”, Bullettino Storico Pistoiese, Fascicolo 2 – 1961). There is written testimony of Orbignano since the eighth century.

Around the middle of the thirteenth century Orbignano was a little rural municipality under the authority of Pistoia, but the authorization of the Bishop of Pistoia was needed in order to appoint the new Podestà. In 1351 Orbignano – like Lamporecchio – came permanently under the authority of Florence, to which it showed its loyalty and allegiance.