THE MAPS OF THE POPOLI DEI CAPITANI DI PARTE The Magistratura dei Capitani di Parte Guelfa came into being during the struggle between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions and, after merging with the Ufﬁ ciali della Torre, it became the body in charge of public building and water and road works, leaving us a highly important series of illustrated documents drawn up during the last decades of the 16th century. These maps were produced by ofﬁ cial draftsmen, including famous ﬁ gures such as Buontalenti (who, apart from other work, has left us surveys and proposals for regulating the course of the River Arno), and they provide us with an extremely valuable picture of the area. The maps apply to the Popoli, that is, the various districts around Florence which came under the authority of the higher ofﬁ ces of the Podesterie, in turn answerable to the Vicariati. This territorial organization was introduced by the Signoria in 1423 and remained in force until the reforms embarked on by Pietro Leopoldo in 1772. The particular area under study came under the Podesterie of Sesto and of Fiesole, both under the authority of the Vicariato of Scarperia. The Podesteria of Sesto was responsible for the popoli of Santa Maria a Quarto, San Michele a Castello, San Silvestro a Rufﬁ gnano and Santa Maria a Quinto, while the parish of Santo Stefano in Pane came under the Podesteria of Fiesole. The map survey, in two versions which are almost identical and practically contemporary, is accompanied by a document carrying information about the layout, boundaries and properties in the outlying areas. The map is of the planimetric type, drawn by eye, and measurements are included expressed in Florentine braccia (equivalent to a yard), to indicate the width of roads, besides every kind of landmark, such as shrines, springs, enclosing walls, the boundaries of every land division with the names of the proprietors and elevations of the principal buildings which help to identify the paths. Nevertheless, under close scrutiny some differences emerge, probably due to a more hastily produced drawing and less attention to detail. For instance, if we compare the two
Left: Plan of the Popolo di San Michele a Castello (A.S.F. Piante dei Capitani di Parte Guelfa, Popoli e Strade, Vol. 121). Above: Plan of the Popolo di San Silvestro a Rufﬁ gnano; plan of the Popolo di Santa Maria a Quarto.