Author Archives:

Montescudaio The name comes from the Latin Mons Mons or Scutarius Scutaris, but the settlement is much older, dating back to Villanova, in the early stages of the formation of the Etruscan civilization. In a tomb near the village was found a cinerary urn of the ninth or tenth century BC for its exquisite and unique decoration with plastic figures on the cover is a unique and very important at that time. It is located, along with other furnishings, the Archaeological Museum of Florence.

The first historical documents are found around the year one thousand, when the "castle", ie the fortified village surrounded by walls, belonged to the Gherardesca. At that time the accounts settled permanently in Montescudaio, where they built a palace or a fortress and, since the fourteenth century, gave rise to its own branch of the family, which took its name from the village: the accounts of Montescudaio. It was, apparently, a race particularly bold and impetuous, a descendant of the John Della Gherardesca for his lack of athleticism was called "Cockroach". Already in 1305 the children of the Cockroach were denounced because they had made raids and cattle rustling in the territory of Volterra. In 1345 the Montescudaio, allied with the Republic of Pisa and it has appointed vicars in Maremma, were protagonists of a dramatic episode of treason: with forged letters led the castles of their jurisdiction, Montescudaio, Guardistallo, Bibbona, Rosignano, Vada and to Fauglia rebel against Pisa itself. Of course, the revolt was quelled because not long after Montescudaio were again accepted in Pisa, where he later played a secondary role in the struggle for power between the factions in the city. In 1395-96 revolted again against the Republic of making raids into the territory of Pisa, now backed up from Florence.

In 1406, when Pisa with the whole countryside was sold to Florence, the accounts were quick to get credit in this city, and were re-appointed vicars in Maremma. But the inhabitants of Montescudaio failed on this occasion to get rid of them, submitting voluntarily to the Florentine Republic from which were allowed to form in the Municipality. In January 1406, in fact, a delegation of four men Montescudaio, along with another of Guardistallo, left for Florence to treat submission. The representatives not only obtained permission to form themselves into the City and to draw up their own statutes, but also the ouster of the accounts, to which was given the ban to enter the castle of Montescudaio.

The territory of the municipality was made up of small private property and large communal areas - mostly pasture and woodland - which were exploited collectively. The inhabitants of Montescudaio could graze the cattle and cut wood for their own use on payment of a sum fixed by the statutes and payable to the chamberlain of the community. Hunting and fishing were free.

The statutes - would apply both to Montescudaio for Guardistallo and from 1414 also for Casale Maritime - regulated the election of the consuls (the highest government office, whose names were extracted from a bag), and directors, elected by voice. The statutes defined the various municipal offices and establishing their penalties and fines, which, in addition to the fees for grazing, were one of the highest revenue of the municipality. He had to pay any kind of transgression: play ball in the streets, swearing, do filth in the country, send the cattle to pasture outside the times and the boundaries established, but it could also be fined a worker who, for example, had rented a ground Municipal and worked little or evil.

The statutes regulating the life of the villagers during the seasons:

in March, had an obligation to make the garden from May the "roads" had to take care of the roads, in September you could hire the municipal guards to watch over the vines and figs. It also stipulated that the number of animals that each family could send on the pasture, it regulated the slaughter and sale of meat and decreed that the stubble and the acorns were reserved for the pigs, the most important animals to feed family could also circulate freely in the country.

As regards the rules of hygiene, you should water the animals in the source reserved for men and the inhabitants were obliged to sweep the front door at home, especially on Sundays. When the dirty water were poured into the street had to warn in advance, particularly at night you had to shout three times, "water" before turning something on the pavement.

The community suffered several invasions and devastation. In 1447 it was attacked and sacked by the troops of Alfonso of Aragon, King of Naples, at war with Florence. The invasion, among other things, was made possible by another betrayal of accounts of Montescudaio who had allied with Aragon thus facilitating the fall of the castles maremmani. In 1478 Montescudaio was invaded by Ferdinand of Aragon, son of Alfunso, and a year later, was sacked by the same Florentine troops, start to regain it. Following negotiations, the people least able to avoid the fire of the castle.

The age of the City ended in 1648, when the Medici made the whole area a feud that was granted to the Marquis Ridolfi of Florence and they confirmed again by Lorraine in 1738. The land returned then to be owned by "Really, sir," the hunting and fishing privileges were again the feudal lord. The Marquis Ridolfi forbade her by a decree of 1778 in all its territory, triggering a strong protest of the population.

Another part of the woods was bound by the Regie Ferriere Magona in Cecina, plant for the smelting and working of iron, which had the exclusive right of exploitation of the surrounding forests for firewood supplies needed to run the ovens.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were therefore quite difficult for men to Montescudaio. The feuds were abolished by the Law of 1749, introduced by Lorraine, and from 1770 began to Montescudaio sales and rent concessions of land is grand ducal and municipal sphere of agrarian reform of Grand Duke Peter Leopold. The reform proposed a new and more widespread distribution of land to encourage a more rational and intensive cultivation, aided by new agricultural techniques. It is in fact reached this purpose, but not to benefit the people of the castle, but by creating a new class of landowners, who were working in the fields day or sharecropping. The inhabitants of Montescudaio had tried to oppose the privatization of communal land by sending a petition to the administrator of Pisa, in which they expressed their concern that the land could end up in the hands of a few landowners who could ask for excessive payments for grazing, cultivation and wood or deny them altogether. The population would have been so put "the hook in the throat." The petition was rejected as groundless, but in fact more than half of the communal lands of Montescudaio was assigned to only two owners, Guerrini Montescudaio and Chancellors of Vincenzo Casale.

In 1846, the agglomeration of the oldest houses of the castle was destroyed by a violent earthquake. While the village, which extended south to the valley, he was saved in large part, on top all houses collapsed and the church of Santa Maria, just enlarged and adorned, was ruined. Eight people died under the rubble.

The Grand Duke in his visit to the earthquake-hit areas in Montescudaio also stopped allocating funds for reconstruction.

Another earthquake struck the town in 1871 and completely destroyed what was left even partially standing, such as leftovers of the old palace of Montescudaio.

In the nineteenth century there was a notable increase in population, even if the economic situation remained difficult (in 1784, there were 434 inhabitants in 1825, 707 in 1841 and 1,008 in 1901, 1,931). After the unification of Italy the taxes were very heavy, even those with low incomes and low revenue of the municipality. The number of "Les Miserables" increased considerably. We recorded movements between countries of manpower, in search of work, including seasonal. The activity was predominantly agricultural and the main products were, as for centuries, the oil and the wine. At the beginning of the twentieth century the wine was an important product in the provincial trade.

Montescudaio has reached the maximum of 2,880 inhabitants in 1927. After World War II occurred on demographic collapse due to migration to the new industrial and commercial centers along the coast, Cecina and Rosignano (Montescudaio in 1951 numbered 2,010 inhabitants, while in 1967, only 1,298). The Municipality has still managed to offset the loss with the new settlement of the forint, location on the border with Cecina, and the nearby industrial area of ​​Poggio Gagliardo. So last census occurred even a slight increase in the number of inhabitants. There remains the problem of an aging population: 40% of residents has more than 60 years.

In addition to trade and industry in Poggio Gagliardo, Montescudaio has been a significant development in the field of tourism with new residential complexes along the road to Cecina.

For 19 years Montescudaio produces a DOC wine, red and white, which can be purchased in the ten farms that form the consortium of Montescudaio DOC wine (made from grapes of Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Canaiolo and Cherry red for red; Trebbiano, Malvasia, Vermentino and Canaiolo white for white. production of 6,000 hectoliters per year.

Taken from the Guide to the Val di Cecina, curated by Susanne Mordhorst, New Image Publishing


Piombino, located on the promontory of the same name, the capital of an ancient Italian state, a seaside town, home of the Etruscan metallurgy, heir to ancient traditions of classical and medieval, Piombino retains many architectural works in that past.

Receives a clear appearance by the Florentine Renaissance A. Look under the dynasty of Appiani lordship from 1399 and the Principality in 1589; domain of the Boncompagni-Ludovisi, was granted in 1805 by Napoleon's sister Elisa leaving tangible signs of his government almost to the nickname "Little Paris".

The ancient port of Falesia, of which we know from the fifth century AD today is the most important port-Tuscan passenger, as well as connected with the island of Elba and the Archipelago, even with Sardinia and Corsica.

A city to discover: art, sea, history, folklore and tasty cuisine, enrich this territory, which today sees tourism as a projection into the future, a bet on the future.

With its 31.5 Km "of coastline beaches, of which 22 Km sandy and rocky 9.5 reachable by both land and sea, with its mild climate, its crystal clear sea by the stunning backdrops, Piombino offers recreation and relaxation for all ages: from sports holidays, adventure and fun in nature and cultural tours that can be enjoyed throughout the year, each season has its wonders to discover - in spring and autumn, periods in which nature is more generous than scents and colors, the guest can discover aspects that often remain hidden from the summer tourists.

Beaches, tennis courts, skating, soccer, sailing, surfing, swimming, diving, horseback riding, boating at night, links to Elba, Corsica and Sardinia;


The sea, calm or turbulent centuries viewer of this land, now has its rightful place as leader. Intact, still in its primitive beauty, laps the shores of the promontory of Piombino, both north and south.

Including the archipelago and clearly visible from the coast on a clear day, as well as the island of Elba, the islets of Cerboli, which is 4 miles from Piombino, to Palmaiola completely uninhabited and not far behind him, which emerges as a cliff of triangular shape.

The archipelago enjoys a mild climate, ranging from 7 ° to 30 ° C, with winters characterized by erratic rainfall and frequent droughts in summer the winds are predominantly from N and NW SE SW, while the ocean currents coming from the southern coast of the peninsula.

The promontory of Piombino, has a shape generally rocky, which are not easily accessible has preserved the look, despite some unauthorized actions in fishing operations and the neglect of tourism.

In the marine environment in the area of ​​Baratti and San Vincenzo, after the first stretch of sandy bottom, you will encounter rocky formations that form a structure at greater depth coralligenous. Interesting phenomenon manifests itself in this area, thanks to the contribution of the pit nutritional Hot that comes from the hinterland and that converges in this point seasonally favoring the influx of fish of particular value, such as sea bream, sea bass, sea bream and paraghi etc.., Determining ideal conditions for reproduction.

On the south side of the coast of Piombino the seabed is sandy, muddy and debris. At about 40 mt. depth are funds coralline algae. The fish are typical southern habitat that makes this typical environment from a ecological point of view.

As you can see, the seabed had to achieve to human behavior clumsy and superficial, while managing to preserve its integrity and, as, returning to the man also some traces of its ancient civilization. They are in fact numerous archaeological remains found in the waters of the Gulf of Baratti, some are still being studied, others are kept in the collection of Populonia Gasparri, others have gone missing. Also of importance is the finding of a Roman ship, in 1957, about 120 m. from the shore, at the church of San Cerbone. Emerged from the sandy bottom at about 4m. depth, along with some items likely belonging to the ship's cargo.

In the central part of the gulf, however, at about 20 meters. deep, was discovered a Roman shipwreck in good condition, unfortunately ravaged by looters. It was possible to retrieve a jar of iron stored in the Palazzo Civico di Piombino, not in good condition.

In the south east of the promontory of Piombino, in the Gulf of Salivoli to the west, two amphorae have been found intact at about 20 m, along with other pottery fragments. In the stretch of sea off the Long Beach have been unearthed pottery fragments of indeterminable age, up to over 30 m. of depth.

A large creek of Cala al Piccione, always in the area of ​​Long Beach, was localized by some fishermen Piombino an Etruscan shipwreck, while, at the tip of Tonnarelle in 1832 was discovered the famous bronze statue of '"Apollo Piombino ", now kept at the Louvre museum in Paris.

Described the sea in its natural environment and its treasures, now we follow an overview of the beaches of Piombino, those north and south of the city and pathways needed to get there.

Piombino has its beaches, all different among themselves: sand, stones, rocks, landscapes with various frames, some in direct contact with the modern architecture of the city, such as the beach of Salivoli, some in contrast with traces of ancient buildings, such as Piazza Bovio, some at the foot of the slopes of vegetation, such as the one in Via Amendola, Porto Louse, Calamoresca and Long Beach. These are the main goals of the citizens of Piombino, young people, older people, mothers and children who enjoy days of sun and fun.

The coast to the south and north of Piombino is reached along the road out of the city, following the directions of the signs that lead, on the one hand and on the other to Rome to San Vincenzo. Opting for the detour to Rome, the road leads south to the coast. It can be accessed by following the paths of engagement along the main road from this branch out one after the other, marked by signs with the names of the resorts to which they lead and that is Perelli, Carlappiano, Mortelliccio, Carboniferous and Torre Mozza.

Through all areas of the countryside and come to the sea bore by short stretches of pine forest. The tourist facilities in this area consist of camping sites, residences, shopping malls, bars and restaurants directly on the beach, horse riding and beach sports, surfing and boat hire

And 'the ideal place to live away from the city, in an area where nature blends with discrete tourist sites.

Following the road signs instead of Piombino exit for San Vincenzo, walk along a street lined with mild hills. After a few kilometers you will reach the turnoff for the left-Populonia Baratti. We are located in the ancient Etruscan homeland. The dense Mediterranean vegetation close to the wooded hills is rich in vegetation. Enchanted to admire the beauty of the landscape of this area, from the promontory on which stands Populonia dives look in incomparable bay of Baratti, a favorite destination of tourists in search of sea and traces of history. Very striking is the beach of Buca delle Fate, on the rocky cliff, accessible from the road that leads from Baratti to Populonia. The organization of the tourist area includes restaurants, bars, riding, boat rental, taxi service for the sea and a chance to visit the coast, following the ways of the Etruscans surfing, surf school and other activities. Not least are the archaeological sites of Baratti leading to an increasing flow of visitors each year, along with the archaeological museum and the highest part of Populonia where visitors flock in small souvenir shops.

Back on the main road, past the junction for-Populonia Baratti, we continue observing the direction for St. Vincent. After a few minutes we are flanked by pine forest of Rimigliano that follows the path for about 4/5Km.La Rimigliano beach is located behind the pine forest and follows the perimeter of the coast immediately after the beach Torraccia. Bathers lovers of afternoon siestas


Uncertain is the origin of Pisa, there are many theories about the foundation of this city in any case one of the oldest in Italy.

The plain on which it stands, which stretches from the slopes of Mount Pisano to the mouth of the Arno, was characterized by swamps, and the mouth of the River formed a large bog, encouraging a natural shelter for the boats and the birth and development of the city.

Dionisio Alicarnasseo Pisa describes how rich and flourishing, by the time they arrived the Pelasgians.

Cato, in his Origins, speaks of it as one of the oldest cities and Pliny in his Natural History attributes the foundation of the city to the Flats Alfei Pelasgians, commanded by Pelops, about three centuries before the Trojan War. Even Solinus says: "Who does not know that by Pelops in Pisa?". Virgil claimed that Pisa, of Etruscan origin, sent a thousand men to the aid of Aeneas, as he passed in Italy, after the destruction of Troy.

Strabo adopts two hypotheses, attributing the foundation is to Tarconte, the main

exponent of Etruscan mythology, both Pisei of the Peloponnese which, in the siege of Troy, were commanded by Nestor.

According to these theories, the origin would be from 1600 BC to 600a.C, the oldest if it relates to the Pelasgians, more recently, in relation to the Ligurians or Etruscans. All of these assumptions are based in each case on the writings dating back to a much later period, therefore, as to the reliability, we must admit that becomes somewhat problematic. "As may be inferred from smoke fire, only one draws the certainty of very remote antiquity to our city" as commented Tronci about the foundation of Pisa. Given the structure of the swampy territory also archaeological remains have never been so numerous and consistent to debunk or prove one of them.

The fact is that the city was built at the mouth of the Arno river close between this and the Serchio surrounded by wetlands that extended throughout the present plain.

He had various names, from a primitive to a later Teuta Alfea, but the present name derives from the Etruscans, who Pise, with the meaning of the mouth, indicating the probable scattered nuclei that formed as a whole, the city, and this would also explain the Latin plural of the title taken following: Pisae.

The core began to develop in particular thanks to the port and trade via mare.Difficile is also locate the exact spot where had to be the port of Pisa. Roughly one wants to just north of Livorno, the area now identified with Calambrone and Pond, adjacent to the current practice in the port labronico.

With the passage of time, and perhaps because of the continual silting, the harbor had become so narrow that at times medioevaleeste assumptions and determine with certainty the location of the first settlement

it could be closed, and as it were fenced with chains to prevent the enemy could enter.

A nothing, however, this measure was used in 1342, when the Genoese, with a surprise move, before they could pluck up the chains and then occupy the port. The chains, then donated to the Florentines, to have formed along a prestigious trophy of war, and now are hung on a wall of the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa.

Del Porto and related trades very well versed Lucan and Livy, and so described it in verse the poet Rutilius Numanziano: "Portum quem fame frequentat Pisarum emporium divitusque maris". The prosperity came for the trade based mainly on grapes, wheat, spelled, and the timber that came across the Arno from the Casentino

Pisa supplied throughout the Mediterranean, and imported from the East.

With the Etruscan domination began to establish business with the rich hinterland that was headed to the flourishing Velathri, Volterra, further strengthening an already established industry.

This wealth of commercial thoroughfares brought Pisa to have relationships with all the major civilizations of the Mediterranean, also culturally enriching, and formandogli with the knowledge, experience and the desire for autonomy, the natural originality that has characterized throughout its history.

In the third century BC the incursions of the Ligurian became more and more frequent, and greatly hinder the maritime trade and undermining the stability and security of the inhabited. Pisa so he decided to go under the protection of Rome.

It became an outpost of the Capital and was a basic element in the war of Rome against the Gauls, the Carthaginians and the Ligurians.

The war between them and the Romans, which took place in the city at the mouth of the Arno lasted several years, and lived alternately, until the decisive victory Capitoline, in 180 BC Pisa became a Roman colony, with wide autonomy, and began their seaborne trade more consistently, although their prestige, inland, was increasingly overshadowed by the growing power of nearby Lucca, overlooking the plain which stretched in front of Mount Pisano.

Nevertheless, a few years before the birth of Christ, Pisa began to take shape urbanistically quickly becoming one of the most prosperous cities of Italy, especially thanks to the efficiency of its port.

The remains of Roman civilization are numerous and scattered throughout the urbanized core and its surroundings. The most important remains are still the ancient baths, commonly called "Nero's baths".

47 of the Christian era dates back to the landing of the Apostle Peter who managed to take land at the mouth of the Arno roughly in that area today is called S. Piero a Grado, there seems to have founded a church, where is the current Basilica, and converted such a Pierino which was later consecrated as the first Bishop of Pisa.

Another event of the period was the beheading of a Christian Torpete, St. Torpoint, venerated as a Saint in Provence Tropez.

A few centuries later began the barbarian invasions, the invaders raged throughout the peninsula, spreading death and destruction everywhere, but Pisa was not affected as Rome, indeed, it was probably then that he laid the foundations for its development increased. .

Thanks to the conquests by sea, to the fame acquired, the importance of maritime trade, Pisa, around the middle of the sixth century had favorable conditions under Byzantine hegemony of Narses, who succeeded to the Huns.

Lucca was the seat of the rulers, and even the Lombards, who followed kept it as the cornerstone, leaving, however, a certain degree of autonomy to the port city.

Between the end of the century and in the age to come, was built a protection zone around the urban core.

Since 774 the Franks were to gain power, and an episode to mention is dating 828, when Count Boniface of Lucca, under the command of a ship and the Pisan fleet, inflicted a crushing defeat on Saracens, who raging throughout the Mediterranean .

The work of constant defense of the Tyrrhenian coast and sea trade by the Saracens, as well as the embankment of the advance Arab, was one of the salient and most famous in the history of Pisa.

The power center of Tuscia was still probably Lucca, Florence began to grow but also to consider while Pisa tried to distance themselves as much as possible, increasing by sea's wealth and fame

It seems that it is precisely thanks to this treasure that was entrusted to the architect Buscheto the task of starting the construction of the Cathedral in the great architectural complex known as the "Field of Miracles" and still is the symbol of Pisa.

More or less coeval to the Duomo is the construction of numerous Romanesque churches, which in some formal and structural characteristics are related to the greater monument, like the Church of San Frediano, the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi Church of San Zeno , the Church of St. Peter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of San Sisto and the Church of San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno, which is the most important constructive engagement for the city after the Cathedral.

In the second half of the century began to deteriorate relations with Genoa, which resulted with the conquest of the port of Rapallo, by Pisa, in 1075 and in a battle in front of the mouth of the Arno some time later.

On the death of Godfrey at the head of the feud Tuscan succeeded by his wife, the Duchess Beatrice, assisted by his son Godfrey "The Hunchback" and her young daughter Countess Matilde di Canossa, which for the death of both the joint, in 1076 he found himself only to manage one of the governments which was later considered among the most enlightened

In fact the firm, rather than a holy war, it was an economic character and power, not being very biblical messages in the agreement with the achievements at the cost of looting, death and destruction.

Pisa acquired a great importance, however, and although in Italy depended on the Emperor and was part of the Marquis of Lucca, was now the undisputed ruler of economic well-known throughout the Mediterranean having direct their fleets on the conquest of the most strategic for trade, which were later expanded.

Countess Matilda died in 1115, in Lucca, and began the decline of this city for the benefit of Florence, but began to glow with its own light the Maritime Republic of Pisa.

Came out recently from the most significant maritime conquest, one of the Balearic Islands, which in addition to the prestigious military value and paved the way for profitable trade and political relations with Aragon and Castile.

In 1118 the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Gelasius II, who confirmed the Archbishop of Pisa interference on Corsica, but exacerbating the conflict with Genoa.

Later, thanks to the intervention of Pope Innocent II, the two naval powers agreed in 1133 and are allied against the emerging Amalfi, in favor of the Emperor.

Pisa leaning always the imperial coat of arms, showing clearly its deep roots Ghibelline, though with the originality to maintain, with a skilful diplomacy, a certain detachment that would allow its autonomous action ........


It seems that it is precisely thanks to this treasure that was entrusted to the architect Buscheto the task of starting the construction of the Cathedral in the great architectural complex known as the "Field of Miracles" and still is the symbol of Pisa.

More or less coeval to the Duomo is the construction of numerous Romanesque churches, which in some formal and structural characteristics are related to the greater monument, like the Church of San Frediano, the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi Church of San Zeno , the Church of St. Peter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of San Sisto and the Church of San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno, which is the most important constructive engagement for the city after the Cathedral.

In the second half of the century began to deteriorate relations with Genoa, which resulted with the conquest of the port of Rapallo, by Pisa, in 1075 and in a battle in front of the mouth of the Arno some time later.

On the death of Godfrey at the head of the feud Tuscan succeeded by his wife, the Duchess Beatrice, assisted by his son Godfrey "The Hunchback" and her young daughter Countess Matilde di Canossa, which for the death of both the joint, in 1076 he found himself only to manage one of the governments which was later considered among the most enlightened

In fact the firm, rather than a holy war, it was an economic character and power, not being very biblical messages in the agreement with the achievements at the cost of looting, death and destruction.

Pisa acquired a great importance, however, and although in Italy depended on the Emperor and was part of the Marquis of Lucca, was now the undisputed ruler of economic well-known throughout the Mediterranean having direct their fleets on the conquest of the most strategic for trade, which were later expanded.

Countess Matilda died in 1115, in Lucca, and began the decline of this city for the benefit of Florence, but began to glow with its own light the Maritime Republic of Pisa.

Came out recently from the most significant maritime conquest, one of the Balearic Islands, which in addition to the prestigious military value and paved the way for profitable trade and political relations with Aragon and Castile.

In 1118 the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Gelasius II, who confirmed the Archbishop of Pisa interference on Corsica, but exacerbating the conflict with Genoa.

Later, thanks to the intervention of Pope Innocent II, the two naval powers agreed in 1133 and are allied against the emerging Amalfi, in favor of the Emperor.

Pisa leaning always the imperial coat of arms, showing clearly its deep roots Ghibelline, though with the originality to maintain, with a skilful diplomacy, a certain detachment that would allow its autonomous action.

In 1188 he participated in the Third Crusade. By the thirteenth century continued economic development of the thriving town, who tried to give himself an original legal-administrative decentralization of power.

The public body was headed by the Mayor, accompanied by the Captain of the People subjected to him, with the task of leading the militia and protect the people worse off by the nobility and the richer class.

The Captain of the People presided over the Council of Elders, the General Councils, the Council of the Thousand.


Soon resumed the bitter struggles with Genoa, more than anything else related to the domain of Corsica and Sardinia, and there were ups and downs between the two bitter rivals. Meanwhile in Pisa taking root authority of Count Ugolino della Gherardesca. He was able to connect their Ghibelline faith with the ideals of the powerful Guelph his son, Giovanni Visconti, Judge of Gallura, who joined him in the government of the Republic. This policy contrasted with the matrix that had always characterized the politics and ideals of the city, so that in 1274 the two rulers were banished from the city, which is why the Count Ugolino devastated the countryside, spreading terror, with the support of Charles of Anjou and the troops Lucca and Florence, and brought some victories against the militias of Pisa. These were later forced to surrender, yielding some castles to Lucca and the Florentines and accepting the return of Count within the walls. The greatest danger, however, came from the sea, in fact the rivalry with the powerful Ligurian city was accentuated more and more tragic and culminating in the crushing defeat of the Pisan fleet island of La Meloria, off the coast of Livorno, August 6, 1284 . For the Republic and his pride was a real defeat, so that we coined the saying, "Who wants to see Pisa go to see her prisoner in Genoa."

The terms of surrender were terrible and after the Meloria Pisa lost all importance as a maritime city and commercial Prisoners Pisa, Genoa, were thousands of them, and given the law that prevented women to remarry until her husband was dead, the damage a demographic that the city suffered, it was probably one of the main causes of future defeat.


Only the diplomatic skills that had always characterized the people of Pisa, and the experience acquired, managed to sustain the fortunes of the city, which you could not bend permanently although the decline was advancing inexorably.

The Elders of the Imperial Vicar appointed Podestà of Genoa, Uguccione Faggiola, which lifted the fortunes of the city, pushing even the conquest of Lucca.

In 1315 brought a great victory against the League Guelph, on August 29 in Montecatini.

But his ambitions were fatal to the power of the city and ended up seating itself dislodge the government Gaddo della Gherardesca.

He was able to bring peace with the most powerful cities in Tuscany, and also of his son married the daughter of Castruccio Castracani, Lord of Lucca, tightening so a link with the nearby town that always had been a bitter enemy.

Unfortunately Gaddo died in 1320, depriving the city of a presence that had been able to reconstruct important alliances, which however did not have followed.

If it was a period of internal restructuring, and notable works of fortification, with walls and towers for defense, however, was approaching a time rather negative politics.

Targeted by sea, the port and threatened almost inefficient dall'insabbiamento caused by the Arno, Pisa was surrounded by city traditionally rivals, who isolated it from the reference imperial detached itself more and more.


Collapsed so, the prerogative of Florence, the glorious maritime republic on 9 October 1409.

Pisa definitively lost its freedom, except for a brief parenthesis at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The political and economic decline is irreversible, produced a significant depletion of the great constructive engagement so that in the fourteenth century the only important religious construction was the church of Santa Maria della Spina, on the Lungarno Gambacorti, and in the context of civil Palace Gambacorti.

In sharp demographic decline, economically exhausted, but the city still retained all the cultural characteristics of a cosmopolitan city, so much so that in 1409 it was chosen as the site for a Council.

He began a new phase for the city, that of awe, never felt before.

The Florentine nobles aimed mainly to strengthen the defense of your domain building fortifications around the city, such as the complex of Stampace-Porta a Mare, the Citadel Old and New, the Bastion of Parlascio that would have been even designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.

With the advent of the Medici to the pinnacle of power lilies began, however, a period of economic recovery, social and even cultural, thanks to the Enlightenment ideals and development of the territory of the rulers.


This led to the end of the century, when the city, driven by the arrival of Charles VIII, resumed its independence, albeit supervised by the king of France.

Also promised their help to the independence of Pisa, the Duke of Milan, Emperor Maximilian of Austria, the Republic of Venice, in 1496 giving the support of his troops.

Pisa found himself again the protagonist, regaining many castles, but was at the mercy of the interests of three Allied powers who had designs on the city, and seeing the opportunity to excel, they abandoned to their fate.

The Florentines soon regained the lost positions, and girded siege in the city on the Arno.

The siege lasted several years, with several failed assaults, inside the walls they fought heroically, and florins were unable to have the upper hand, until, through a tentative agreement with the King of France and Spain, and with neighboring cities , failed to isolate both politically and materially Pisa, as with the siege were blocked all roads, including the Arno and other waterways


The new Grand Duke is also very dedicated to the development and the raising of the university, and he should be recognized a particular fondness for Galileo Galilei, who was appointed First Mathematician and Philosopher.

Cosimo II died just thirty-two years in 1621, leaving a serious gap in terms of personality that was not filled by any of the successors.

With Ferdinand II began the neglect of the town which, in 1630, was hit by the epidemic pestilence which decimated the population in the whole peninsula.

Only in recent years, the Grand Duke pointed to a cultural revival of the University, thus resuming a little 'personal prestige.

From 1670 he was succeeded by Cosimo III, who was certainly the most immobile of the Grand Duchy, now divided into fiefdoms and abandoned in a uniform policy and loose, the disinterest of the vertices of the domain.

A Gian Gastone succeeded by Cosimo III, who was the last of the Medici.

From 1737 took the reins of the Grand Duchy of Lorraine, of which the first was Francis II.

The situation in Pisa began to improve thanks to the sense of responsibility and industriousness of the new rulers.

Within the walls were made considerable improvements, and enthusiasm for the new rulers grew up, seen the renewed interest in the fate of the city and the countryside.


Following Cosimo founded the Office of the Rivers and Fossi, and he devoted much of interventions bonificadel territory and to initiatives to raise the social, political and cultural life of the city and its surroundings. In 1548 came the estate of S. Redness, expressed wish of Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo, while in 1560 it was started Navicelli Canal, which connected the mouth of 'Arno with the port of Livorno, as the grand-ducal city in the outlook would have to provide a forum merchant to complement the Livorno port of call. Also in 1571 a Pisan fleet, or rather Medici, participated in the victorious Battle of Lepanto against the Turks


As a result of power struggles that were upsetting the whole of Europe, the Grand Duke preferred to leave their domain, taking refuge in Germany.

Pisa was thus at the mercy of Bourbon-Parma, then under Elisa Bonaparte Baiocchi, and finally directly under the aegis of the French Imperial, which ended in 1814, with the defeat of Napoleon.

Restoration began with the return of Ferdinand III, highly acclaimed by the people.

A Ferdinand III was succeeded, in 1824, Leopold II, who distinguished himself who was also in the works of internal restructuring, but mainly in the reclamation and improvement of waterways and lines of communication with the opening of the railway sections for Livorno, Florence and Lucca, who came to revive

the function of road junction of great importance that Pisa had played since ancient times .. In 1846 also the capital suffered damages due to the earthquake that took the epicenter Lower Pisan Hills.

In the city began to pull air of rebellion, had formed numerous secret societies, the atmosphere was tense and certainly did not presage a period of tranquility for the vertices of the Grand Duchy.

After settling uncertain due to the Wars of Independence, February 27, 1859 Leopold II left Tuscany, and a year later there was a plebiscite for annexation to the Kingdom, which saw 12,049 voters in Pisa in favor of 12,285.

Thus began the modern phase of the city's history.

In the following years there was a radical transformation of the urban fabric with the birth of several buildings and the dismantling of many structures of medieval times which gave a new configuration to the city

The March 10, 1872 Giuseppe Mazzini breathed his last in this city where he lived for some time under a false name.

At the beginning of our century Pisa was one of the most active cities of Italy, both from an economic point of view that cultural

This led many industries, among which we distinguish the Saint Gobain, precious glassware still active, and the factory of Richard Ginori ceramics, was developed in the textile industry, in particular that of the cotton mill, and there were many craft businesses

They were the designers of equipment, brothers Antonio and give life to the airport in 1911, it began to increase its activities, both civilian and military.

During the Second World War, the city has paid the contribution of well-sad 1824 dead and many were damaged and destroyed buildings from the relentless bombardment to the damage he joined the overflowing of 'Arno of November 1944, which was yet another blow to the already disaster perpetrated.

The works of reconstruction began immediately, thanks to the spirit of revenge and the strength of will that has never left this town, and within a few years had been rebuilt the bridges destroyed by the Germans as the main structures damaged

Today, Pisa is a city with an economy geared towards many areas.

In the area of ​​Ospedaletto has developed an important, broad and diverse area industrial and artisanal

L 'Galilei Airport is undoubtedly the region's main

There are some barracks of the most efficient of Italy, and between the city and the coast, in the bolster, behind Tirrenia is situated Camp Darby, a logistics base of the U.S. Armed Forces, among the most important in Europe , which serves mainly as storage and refueling of U.S. troops stationed in Italy and other parts of Europe.

In the area of ​​Barbaricina, adjacent to Park St. Redness and the Hippodrome, are numerous stables and activities related to horseracing

It 'also important tourism, especially related to the influx in Piazza dei Miracoli, the recent discovery of relics in the ancient Roman naval port of Pisa and the summer season on the coast Pisano, with the many activities and tourist resorts of Marina di Pisa, Tirrenia and Calambrone.

Very active and efficient are the three hospitals of Santa Chiara and Cisanello Calambrone

They are to report the Military Applications Nuclear Energy Center, established in 1956, and the National University Computing of the National Research Council, which is present in Pisa with 13 institutes and 5 centers, more than specific importance that these structures play they also represent a significant source of employment.

The University of Pisa has some power at the national level that the rise culturally and moreover bring an economic benefit to the many students who flock daily or come to reside in the city.

It represents the real basis for relaunching Pisa, both from an economic point of view, that from a point of view and prestigious cultural

Thanks to the University who runs it together with the 'Municipal Administration, was created, and has been active since 1984, Palazzo dei Congressi, polo important city for the numerous international conferences and various events that in this modern and highly efficient headquarters are organized

With the arrival of numerous mercenary troops beginning in the pay of Florence, Pisa was able to slightly raise their own situation, regaining some of the castles strappatigli, especially with the help of the famous leader known as Giovanni Acuto.

As they had previously done with the Florentines, but the mercenaries proved to be very loyal to the interests of Pisa, which reported a heavy defeat at the Battle of Cascina, July 28, 1364.

The infighting between Raspanti Bergolini and tore more and more cities, already impoverished even by hijacking traffic of goods from Florence to Talamone, from 'political isolation and the loss of consistency in the maritime field.

It was the Gambacorti, who had previously driven to give a sigh of relief to the fate of Pisa and succeeded in getting agreements with Firenze, allowing a resumption of trade, so much so that he was appointed Captain General People's Defender and the Municipality of Pisa.

It was the only one able to use that ancient and cunning diplomacy, described above. Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan, plotted in the city at the mouth of the Arno, to counter the relations with rival Florence, and did so much that he hatched, October 21, 1392, murder of Gambacorti, bringing to power the D'Appiano . Gherardo d'Appiano, in 1399, "sold" to the Visconti the city of Pisa, with the lordship of Piombino and the islands, Elba, Montecristo and Pianosa, for 200,000 gold florins


Pitigliano is a typical village of the Maremma, the only one of its kind for the distinction of being built entirely on a tufa rock, which makes it one of the most interesting places of the tuff.


Also known for the traditional feast of "Torciata of St. Joseph" in which, burning a puppet symbolic bids farewell to winter, the country over the years has become an important tourist destination of the Maremma.


The territory has been inhabited since very ancient times, as it can be easily proved by many finds of Etruscan origin, as the necropolis and the vie cave, excavated in the areas surrounding the village, Legend has it that the town was founded by two young , Petilio and Celiano that, escaping from their city after stealing an important object decided to take refuge in this part of Tuscany, founding a new country.


Currently, recent archaeological excavations, it appeared that Pitigliano was home to prehistoric appropriations already during the various phases of the Bronze Age (2000 - 1000 BC). Later it became the seat of an important Etruscan settlement of which there are parts of walls and numerous cemeteries. The Etruscan name of Pitigliano is not known, perhaps it was Statnes (or Staties) which in Roman times became Prefecture and was called Pitigliano Statonia.Il name instead derives from the gens Petilia, an important Roman family who gave their name to different locations . Dall'862 begins the domain of the family Aldobrandesca which lasts until the end of the thirteenth century. In 1293, following the marriage of the heir of the family Aldobrandesca, Anastasia, with Roman Gentile Orsini, Pitigliano became a county of this family Guelph. Until the end of 1400 it became an important center for the Jews, so much so that in 1598 was erected a temple still exists. In the seventeenth County passed under the rule of the Medici and the first half of the eighteenth century became part of the Duchy of which follow the fate until the unification of Italy.


The old traditions and customs of the Tuscan village are told in museums that have been set up: the Museum of Civilization Giubbonaia, which collects antique tools used in the country and houses the Museum of Palazzo Orsini, the Civic Museum and Archaeological Museum and Finally, the Open Air Museum "The City of the Living, The City of the Dead", dedicated to Etruscan history in the area.


Pitigliano is very rich in monuments and buildings that tell the story, walking through the village you can in fact meet the imposing Cathedral, built during the sixteenth century and dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, the Church of Santa Maria, formerly named San Rocco, the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, Palazzo Orsini, the Fortezza Orsini and finally the Monument to the Progeny Ursinea, consisting of a mass of stone with the family coat of arms surmounted by a bear arms.


Just outside the town is the Jewish Cemetery appointment. In the Ghetto Synagogue, built in 1598 has recently been restored and in adjacent rooms was built a Museum of Art and Jewish Culture. In the alleys underlying develop various rooms dug into the tuff: the ritual bath, the kosher butcher and the wine cellar, the oven of unleavened bread, all recovered and can be visited. "


Appreciable is also the DOC wine "Bianco di Pitigliano" and "Red Sovana."


To savor the sweets, the so-called "Eviction" in the form of small sticks with honey and nuts that in the folk tradition, shape recalls the stick with which he was knocked on the door when authorities performed eviction.


According to Servius, a commentator of Virgil's Aeneid, Populonia would be the first Etruscan city founded by a people from Corsica or Volterra. The excavations belie this version because the oldest tombs of Populonia are Villanovan period then you exclude interventions Corsican. In addition Volterra may not have founded Populonia because its tombs are more recent. Objects of polished stone suggest the existence of Populonia since the Neolithic Age. In the Villanovan period there were two appropriations working copper and two different nuclei fused together in a single city: Populonia.

The name Populonia (Pupluna) comes from the name of the god Fufluns, divinity initially linked to agriculture and then identified with Bacchus. The etymology of the name seems so connected with the fertility of the soil. Populonia is the only Etruscan town that was founded on the sea, the northernmost coastal lucumonia. Populonia was part of the 12 cities, a league of twelve religious - city-state - that would meet once a year at Voltumna (probably close to Lake Bolsena), site of a sanctuary here were performing religious rites, feasts and games and were taken by mutual agreement also political decisions.

Baratti-Populonia was divided into two parts: the upper part and the lower part. The upper part, corresponding to the acropolis, was inhabited by wealthy people who had the political power in the acropolis was also practiced the cult. The lower part was the land of the dead, the necropolis near it housed some of the poorest people. Here is also the industrial area, with ovens for metal working and, in the fourth century. BC Iron: the city was in fact flourishing in both the mining and industrial sectors. Populonia reached its maximum development and splendor in the fifth century. BC, thanks to the intense trade with Greece.

The Etruscans believed that the dead continue to live in the graves, the dead were buried in fact a funeral staff. The Etruscans were a people lover of life's pleasures, the frescoes in fact often have as a theme in sumptuous banquets attended by both men and females. The cultural heritage of this people is so vast and rich that Rome I was so fascinated and influenced by many aspects to their culture and architecture of this civilization.


The origin of Rosignano country, is very old and many likely Etruscan. The first written document known so far, which Rosignano memories, it is the year 762, while Vada was already clearly identified in the paper 'Peutingeriana' of 330 or 395 BC

Rosignano since the year 900, ie after the Lombard rule, and during that of Carolinghi, was included in the Marquis of Tuscany and, since then followed the fortunes of Pisa, more propriamentedella his Table Archbishop at that time, you can say, was a kind of delegated power for the exercise of which he derived substantial profits Soup Kitchen.

1238 - The Municipality of Pisa 300 appropriated money for the construction of the fortified tower of Vada, to be used as a beacon for the entry of the canals in the harbor. This operation was necessary to boost trade and population growth in an area considered unhealthy and then deserted, so, in 1285 he decided Pisa exemptions and privileges to families who settled in the harbor.

1406 - Florence, annexed the territory. But in 1431 in Florence Rosignano rebelled and sided with the Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti, then at war with Florence. Around 1433 the Florentines resumed countries insurgents, and because of their rebellion they dismantled the fortifications of the castle of Vada and Rosignano. For this reason, in 1450 where he remained for Vada was abandoned forest and swamp until 1564 also sesolo in 1547 gedendo citizens of a twenty-year exemption from taxes and tributiiniziarono a farming settlement in the depopulated areas of the City.

In terms of public power is going from the Middle Ages to 1500, the City did to himself and had its own consuls, governors and ambassadors.

1776 - The territory of Vada under the great Duchy of Tuscany began to spread in Rosignano, finally integrating the municipality of Castelnuovo


1809 - The Tuscany belonged to the French Government, and consequently Rosignano was subject to the prefect of the district of Livorno


Following the remediation carried out between nineteenth and twentieth centuries, dominated the coast from the town of Rosignano Maritime in 1914 was erected the factory of the company Solvay, designed to create a very important industrial center and a human settlement which today has 16,000 inhabitants. Rosignano Solvay is the fraction most populous municipality of Rosignano, and the town has developed immediately to the north-west of the settlement industry where products are caustic soda, soda and baking soda. The same company Solvay has largely contributed to the construction of the country, according to the criteria of "garden city" that greatly influenced the twentieth-century Europe. The coast of Rosignano Solvay is characterized by wide beaches with modern bathing establishments. Particularly famous are the so-called "white sands", which are located south of the town.


. Beaches desolate and white, blue sea and clear water ... a dream that few can afford: a trip to the tropics or on a small island in the southern hemisphere. And the impression that you have along the Aurelia road, which connects Livorno to Grosseto, in a southerly direction, it is this: a tropical beach, palm trees without, but with the blue sea and white sand.

From the height, coming from Livorno and passed the exit of Castiglioncello, before reaching that of Rosignano Maritime, turning his gaze along the jagged coastline, abnormal white strip, about four kilometers. This special place is known, not surprisingly, by the name of White Beaches.

The reason for the unusual color of the sand is the result of years of production of bicarbonate, which has its own plant in Rosignano Maritime, about a kilometer from the coast.


San Gimignano rises with the profile of its towers on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley. Seat of a small Etruscan village of the Hellenistic period (III-II century BC.), Its history began around the tenth century, taking its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano, who is said to have saved the village from the barbarian hordes. Developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the Via Francigena that crossed it. In fact, San Gimignano had an extraordinary flourishing of works of art to adorn the churches and monasteries. In 1199 it became a free municipality and fought against the Bishops of Volterra and the surrounding municipalities, suffered internal strife divided into two factions following the Ardinghelli (Guelphs) and the Salvucci family (Ghibellines). The May 8, 1300 Dante Alighieri ambaciatore of the Guelph League in Tuscany. The terrible plague of 1348 and the subsequent depopulation threw San Gimignano in a serious crisis. The town had therefore to submit to Florence. Degradation and abandonment of centuries after it came out only when we began to rediscover the beauty of the city, its cultural importance and the original agricultural identity.


Artistic itineraries


The Duomo or Collegiate Church, consecrated in 1148 and is adorned with valuable affereschi Sienese school: Old and New Testament (Bartolo di Fredi and the "Bottega dei Memmi"); Judgement (Taddeo di Bartolo), school works Florentine: Stories of Santa Fina (Ghirlandaio), San Sebastian (Benozzo Gozzoli), wooden statues (Jacopo della Quercia) and sculptures by Giuliano and Benedetto da Majano. All this makes the Collegiate of San Gimignano a very prestigious museum.


Town Hall Courtyard and Dante Hall with the Majesty of Lippo Memmi. Museum and Art Gallery with works by Filippino Lippi, Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico di Michelino, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, Sebastiano Mainardi, Lorenzo di Niccolò di Martino Coppo di Marcovaldo etc ... Since museum you can visit the Torre Grossa and Podesta built in 1311, and 54 meters high.

Museum of Sacred Art: Tele, planks and stone fragments from churches and convents. Silverware, choral and liturgical vestments.


St. Augustine Church: Stories of St. Agostino (Benozzo Gozzoli), remains of fourteenth century frescoes, panels and canvases by different artists (Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero del Pollaiuolo, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, Vincenzo Tamagni, Sebastiano Mainardi). Chapel of St. Bartolo (Benedetto da Majano).

Smaller churches: St. Bartolo, S. James, St. Peter, St. Francis (remains), San Lorenzo in Ponte.


Characteristic village perched on a rocky ridge surrounded by greenery. Its unique location allows a pleasant stay, where the fresh air of the hill is softened by the proximity of the sea. Numerous and well-equipped accommodation, especially in the countryside, offer hospitality for a relaxing climate


The territory of Sassetta is a rare beauty and never predictable, the woods surrounding the medieval village, comprised mainly of chestnut and oak, are full of charm and mystery, a singular fascination linked to the quality of this area beautiful and at the same time rough and uneven terrain. This is perhaps the aspect that best characterizes Sassetta and its surroundings, a wild beauty almost primitive. The town is located on spurs of red marble retains traces of centuries of history. Many were the powerful who took turns to exercise the power of Sassetta, the oldest of which were the Corn family of Pisa Orlandi who dominated in these places for about four centuries. In 1405 Sassetta followed the fate of many castles close to her, in fact, passed under the power of Florence when the family of the Gherardesca, which in those years exercised rights to the castle, he accepted the act of submission to the Florentine Republic. The old town, dominated by the castle, is formed from a continuous web of narrow streets and alleys at the end of which often give wonderful views that give a strong feeling of serenity and peace, and that make Sassetta the ideal place to find a natural dimension that more and more we risk losing


One of the most important cities of Italy, Siena, located in the heart of Tuscany, Etruscan center initially, passing between Volterra and Arezzo, became Roman, going down to the rank of minor city had better luck under Lombard rule, was the only city on the Via Francigena between Lucca and Viterbo, in this period grew in size and became economically through the commercial exploitation of its products. In this way, in 1200, came to life in banking, by means of the most important families of the city and the bankers of the Papal See. The most important places for transactions were along the urban stretch of the Via Francigena and the Piazza del Campo, the only large town square, which still exerts a special fascination.

After the surrender in Florence in 1559, Siena was annexed to the Duchy, but the Medici, having constructed a fortress, abandoned it for the next two centuries, leading Siena to a strong economic and demographic crisis

Arrival of the railway in the city in 1850, Siena back to life, gives strength to the ancient universities where they go to enroll from all over Europe, opens a major pharmaceutical industry and restore the banking business


It 'a picturesque medieval village just a short walk from the Etruscan Coast. Its origins date back to before the year one thousand, and it was between the tenth and fourteenth centuries that took on the character still recognizable. In addition to the walls, were built in this period the Church of San Giusto, the Rock, the Town Hall and the Cloister of St. Francis. Fief of the Counts Aldobrandeschis, became a free city of the Republic of Pisa, and in 1399 became part of the Lordship of the Appiani. Since then, for some centuries, it was part of the Principality of Piombino, which was built in the sixteenth century Belvedere castle and the ironworks were built to Forni di Cornia. During the Napoleonic era was assigned to Elisa Bonaparte Baiocchi, who organized in the resort village wooded Montioni a productive and spa. In 1815 it became the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which shared its fate until the unification of Italy. Its economy, a predominantly agriculture and forestry, have made it a lively town, including the first in the Province of Pisa and later in that of Livorno.

1 2 3 6