The “borgo” of Ponteginori
Its past linked to salt
Built on the right bank of the Cecina river, this town owes its name to the bridge that was built between 1831 and 1835 under the marquis Ginori, ruler of Querceto, in order to connect his castle to the road in the Val di Cecina. However, the bridge that to this day crosses the river at its outflow into the Trossa stream dates back to the second post-war period, and has a very different architecture from the 1800s one, which the retreating German troops blew up in 1944.
The town was developed at the beginning of the 1900s, when the Belgian industry group Solvay started extracting salt from the underground. In the 1920s, the multinational built a town for the workers of the plant, which for decades has been the main source of employment.
The signs of the town’s past aren’t obvious at first sight, but visitors will see the unique characteristics of the “Solvay village”, which we can find in every town built under the same company in the same time period, such as Rosignano Solvay and San Carlo, once they walk around a bit. The houses of the workers are built with red bricks and are all lined up neatly, the directors had their villas and there were some service structures for the community, such as schools, clinics, community centers and sports facilities.
The factory’s siren still sounds everyday at 12 and 6pm, as it did when it marked the workers’ time. The San Leone Magno church, built in the 1960s, is more in line with the modern architecture of the town than with the other churches in the area. A smaller church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is located not far away.
Because of its location on the regional road (“Strada Regionale”) 68, Ponteginori now has all the services needed by the local community and the visitors. There are small shops, a bank, a post office and a clinic. In summer, one can also use the sports facilities, the tennis court and the outdoor pool.