Recent conferences have shown how since the XNUMXth century there has been evidently a greater circulation of goods, products and technological knowledge within an increasingly, although perhaps not completely, monetized market, where subjects are increasing and diversifying , the points of departure and arrival of trade, in a phase of general demographic growth and expansion of commercial horizons to areas that return to the Mediterranean and European.
Tuscan cities and rural centers participated fully in this phase of intense growth. But what variations did this development process have in the various territorial areas of the region and in particular in its northern part? Was it a continuous or discontinuous growth, characterized by moments of stasis and recession? What were the premises and consequences? What were the reasons and elements that accelerated or slowed down these processes? Did long-lasting phenomena act or did single events also play a role, linked to sudden changes in environmental and political frameworks? Were the times and rhythms of this growth the same in the city and in the countryside and in the different urban centers and in the different areas of the rural world? Was there a relationship between development and social conflict? Did the growth of city and countryside generate force actions aimed at conquering new areas to be exploited to support that same development?
In this volume, which collects the proceedings of the conference held in San Miniato (PI) in 2016, we have tried to give answers to these questions, creating an opportunity for comparison between researches, mostly interdisciplinary, concerning sites of different types recently investigated or reread: cities, large villages in the plains, new lands and castles. Starting from these contexts we wanted to re-discuss the rhythm and forms of growth that characterized the twelfth and thirteenth centuries by observing it in its urban declination (construction sites, building types, building materials), economic (production, circulation and consumption of goods) and of celebration and political propaganda (epigraphy).