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Towns of the area

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Inhabitants in 1991: 36.774

Situated in Maremma, on a coastal tract facing the Island of Elba, the municipal territory extends for 130,10 square kilometres. Originally a Podesta Office and then capital of an autonomous State, the municipality reached its present day aspect in 1970 when Lido di Follonica was detached from it and aggregated to the same name municipality.

If in antiquity there rose in the vicinity the Etruscan Populonia and then the Roman port of Falesia, the origins of Piombino seem to be placed around the XI century, when it appeared in the documents as a fortified place owned by the monks of the nearby Abbey who still had the name of Falesia. They, in the course of the XII century, transferred it part by part to the republic of Pisa who by the first half of the 1200s already had full possession of it. The geographic and environmental characteristics of the territory, almost unassailable by sea and situated in front of an Island rich in iron ore, pushed the Genovesi several times to attempt to conquer it between the XII and XIII centuries; while in the 1300 its port lined with houses and warehouses stimulated the appetite of the Firenze merchants always looking out for slipways on the Tyrrhenian.

A decisive change came about in 1399 when Pisa fell into the hands of the Visconti, Piombino became, together with Elba, Pianos and Montecristo, the capital of the new Lordly State of the Appiani. It then enjoyed a rapid growth and flourished particularly well reaching, in the course of the 1400s, a count of perhaps eight thousand inhabitants, even if it could not liberate itself politically and militarily from the Fiorentina guardianship (from 1404), then from that of the Aragonesi di Napoli (from 1463). Because of various events and some temporary dominion interruptions it remained with the Appiani (who had an Imperial investiture in 1503 and declared Princes in 1594) until 1634, when it passed to the Ludovisi; and from these in 1706, by inheritance, to the Buoncompagni. In the meantime, the strategic importance of the little maritime State in the Mediterranean Echelon had made both the French and the Spanish alternately keep the recovery of the city stable, which however, now appeared economically decadent (in 1736 it could not even reach one thousand inhabitants). Towards the end of the 1700s it was successively occupied by the English, the French and by the Napoletani; retaken by Napoleon in 1803, in 1805 was assigned by him to his sister Elisa Baciocchi. With the Vienna Congress in 1815, Piombino was definitively annexed to the Grand Duchy of Toscana. It became the stronghold of the workers movement administrated by the socialists until the beginning of the 1900, the city hosted, during the Fascist period, a tenacious clandestine opposition and in July 1943 saw the creation of a commission of Antifascist concentration who foreshadowed the CLN. After the spontaneous uprising which in September 1943 tried to impede the occupation of the city by the German troops, the Liberation of Piombino came after bitter fighting on 25 June 1944.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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