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Castiglione della Pescaia

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Inhabitants in 1991: 7.195

The municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia extends for 208,96 square kilometres in the coastal hills to the north of the Grosseto plain. Podesta Office in the Medieval, Vicariate Seat in modern times , it was constituted in its present day borders in 1832, detaching itself from the municipality of Grosseto and aggregating to its territory the districts of Tirli and Vetulonia, already belonging to the community of Gavorrano.

With the town name of Lacus Prilius the marshy zone at the shoulder of Castiglione della Pescaia was indicated since ancient times, sometimes identified with the Etruscan Hasta and Roman Portus Traianus. The “pescais” from which it derives its name was already active in Roman times and was conceded in 814 by Emperor Ludovico il Pio to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo Castiglione remained for a long time under the jurisdiction of the Abbey, but in a privilege of 1163 emanated by the Imperial Arch Chancellor Rainaldo di Dassel, it is understood that the castle, caused by the decadent state of the Abbey, was occupied in the meantime by the guild of the Lambardi di Buriano. From the end of the XII century the political dominion of Pisa was progressively confirmed over Castiglione, who governed it by assigning the Podesta Office to members of eminent families like the della Gherardesca, the Gualandi, and the Lanfranchi.

The dominion by Pisa ceased in 1404, two years before the end of the autonomous republic of Pisa, with the commitment of the Castiglione inhabitants to Firenze. Conquered by Alfonso d’Aragona in 1447, the castle was occupied by the militia of the King of Napoli until 1460. In the same year through the mediation of Pope Pio II it was sold for 50,000 florins to Antonio Piccolomini d’Aragona (nephew of the Pope) who in his turn in 1464 conceded it to his brother Andrea. Conquered by the Franco-Turkish militia and subsequently by the Spanish during the war with Siena, it was sold in 1559 to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I dei Medici and on her death was incorporated in the Grand Duchy. In the period of the Lorenese dominion over Toscana, the Grand Dukes Pietro Leopoldo and Leopoldo II undertook numerous land reclaim works and redevelopment with the construction of aqueducts and sluice gates. In the surrounds of Castiglione, Vetulonia is of notable historic interest with the castle of Buriano. During the resistance a partisan formation called the “gruppo Tirli” operated in the area.

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

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