The origins of Capannori
The first evidences of human presence in the territory of Capannori dates back to about 150.000 years ago.
During the Iron Age (900 - 640 b.C.), little settlements rose next to the course of the Auser river (as was originally called the Serchio river). During the V century, these settlements grew and became important thanks to commercial activities in Etruria and in the valley of the Po. In 180 b.C, about 3000 people settled in Lucca and founded a prosperous latin colony during the Augustean Age (43 b.C. - 17 a.D). In the last centuries of the Empire the territory was invaded by Barbarians (V century) and then divided by Teodorico, king of the Ostrogoths.
Also the Lombards settled up in the countryside of Capannori and built churches and parishes.
During the XII and the XIII centuries there was a huge population increase, especially on the hills, but the territory of Capannori became soon scenary of bloody battles between the armies of Lucca and Florence. Famines, floods of the Auser and plagues caused a considerable fall of the agricultural activities. In the first half of the XV century there was an economy recovery, as witnessed by various documents.
The first documentation about the existence of Capannori dates back to 745, when a monk affirmed he was settling "in finibus Lucensis loco dicto Capannole", where he founded a chaple and a hospital dedicated to Saint Quirico.
Capannori was within the jurisdiction of Lucca and followed its historical events.
Among the various fortresses dislocated on the hills of the territory, some were already mentioned in the "Chronicles" of the fourteenth-century historian Giovanni Sercambi. These were built during the bloody battles between the armies of Lucca and Pisa in order to stem the advance of the enemies. The Parish of Compito, the Fortress of Sant'Andrea, San Giusto, Vorno and Guamo are still visible. Others were destroyed in 1313 by the soldier Uguccione della Faggiola, from Pisa.
In the following years, the emperor Enrico VI offered to protect the territories of Lucca from landowners and to avoid the construction of castles in an area of 6 miles within the city. From Massarosa to Pescaglia and from Borgo a Mozzano to Capannori, the territory was called "six miles". In 1673, in Capannori, was created the Commissariat of the six miles. At the beginning of the XX century, the territory of Capannori was under the jurisduction of the Court of Lucca. The Commisariat was abolished and Capannori became chief city.