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Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina

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Inhabitants in 1991: 2.678

The municipal territory of Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina extends for 88,78 square kilometres between the high Valleys della Cornia and del Cecina, in two parts separated by the municipalities of Pomarance of Radicondoli. Ancient Lordly centre, it reached its extension in 1870 aggregating the districts of Sasso and Leccia, previously included in the municipality of Pomarance.

Under the jurisdiction of the Abbey of San Pietro in Palazzuolo near Monteverdi, as is shown in a document from 1176, the castle passed shortly after in the hands of the Count Rinaldo da Monterotondo, belonging to the family of Albero, holders of large possessions in the Pisano and Volterrano. To escape their Lordship the inhabitants of Castelnuovo leant towards the shortly emerged power of Volterra, to whom they subjected themselves in 1212; and towards the end of the XIII century the castle figured as one of the military fortresses of the Volterrano.

Only in 1429 during the relief of the Volterrani against the Fiorentino occupation troops, did Castelnuovo break its centuries old vow of allegiance and become part of the State of Firenze. In 1447, it was conquered and sacked by Alfonso d’Aragona King of Napoli, after the exit of these it remained for a brief time under the dominion of Antonio Petrucci from Siena, until it was retaken by its inhabitants with the help of the Fiorentini. In 1639 the Grand Duke Ferdinando II conceded it in feudal, with the title of Marquisate, to the Albizzi family, who kept it until 1776. Stronghold of the socialist party, which obtained the majority of votes until the election of 1920, during the Resistance, thanks to its geographic position and the confirmation of its territory, it was the theatre of action by the XXIII Garibaldi Brigata. In 1944 following a battle with the retreating Germans, it suffered losses for reprisals of 82 civilian hostages.

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

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