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Pescia

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(PISCIENSIS)

Diocese in Tuscany, Italy, on the Rivers Pescia Maggiore and Pescia Minore, situated in a fertile plain; its textile industry is considerable. The cathedral is very ancient, but was restored by Ferri in 1663; it contains beautiful paintings by Gabbaini and the mausoleum of Baldassare Tunini. Other churches are S. Michele and S. Stefano, anterior to the twelfth century, and S. Francesco, which dates from 1211. The earliest mention of Pescia is of the eighth century; later it belonged to the Republic of Lucca until the fourteenth century, when it was conquered by the Florentines, who defended it effectively in 1430 against Francesco Sforza. In 1554 Pietro Strozzi, an exile from Florence, became master of Pescia, but he was compelled to surrender to Duke Cosimo de' Medici. Pescia is the home of the Ammannati family, and of the painter Mariano da Pescia. In 1519 Leo X withdrew it from the jurisdiction of Lucca, raising it to the dignity of a prelacy nullius ; and in 1726 it was made a diocese, suffragan of Pisa. Its first bishop was Bartolommeo Pucci (1728); among his successors should be mentioned Francesco Vicenti (1773-1801), who in 1784 founded the seminary. The diocese has 36 parishes, with 70,504 inhabitants; 5 religious houses of men, and 10 of women ; 2 educational institutions for male students, and 8 for girls; and 1 Catholic weekly publication .

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