The town of Montecarlo, which is situated on the crest of the ridge that separates the Plains of Lucca from Valdinievole, was built in 1333 to accommodate the inhabitants of the Community of Vivinaia, which was destroyed by the Florentines in 1331, within in the fortress of Cerruglio. The village was called Montecarlo in honour of Prince Charles (Carlo), son of King John of Bohemia, who liberated Lucca after it had been occupied by the armies of the Republic of Pisa. Being in charge of the fortress, which later proved to be a strategic garrison during the wars fought between Lucca, Pisa and Florence in the fourteenth century, the prince came to Montecarlo several times before ascending to the throne as emperor Charles IV. During its early history, the territory of Montecarlo was under the dominion of Lucca and remained so throughout the course of the fourteenth century, save for the period from 1342 to 1369 when it was under the direct control of the Municipality of Pisa. In 1437, during the war between Lucca and Florence, it finally fell into the hands of the Florentines, where it remained up until the Unification of Italy. The fortress, the historic symbol of Montecarlo, is situated on the highest point of the Cerruglio hills. Its oldest portion, which dates back to the early fourteenth century, has the appearance of an isosceles triangle, with its corners connecting to the Tower of the Keep, the Tower of the Apparition and the tower of St. Barbara. It was later expanded upon by Paolo Guinigi, Lord of Lucca, during the 1400s and was completed in 1555 by order of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici. The same Grand Duke personally visited Montecarlo and ordered extensive fortification work to be carried out, including the construction of the imposing ramparts in Piazza d’Armi. When the political conditions subsequently changed, the Grand Duke’s successors abandoned the costly projects, as well as the military works. Finally, in 1775, Pietro Leopoldo began disarming the fortress which, having become the property of the City, was subsequently sold privately. Montecarlo thus took on the characteristics of a small village in which to pass delightful summer and autumn holidays and from which one could admire the splendour and vastness of the surrounding landscape.