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Civitella Paganico

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Inhabitants in 1991: 3.090

The territory of Civitella Paganico, in the Grosseto valley dell’Ombrone, extends for 192,71 square kilometres in an area partly hilly and partly flat. The municipality owes its name to the two major centres, Civitella Marittima, in the Medieval era owned by the Ardengheschi, and Paganico, “borgo franco” already part of the Siena republic. It was constituted in 1926 with the detachment of these two centres and the districts of Pari and Casal di Pari from the community territory of Campagnatico.

Civitella Marittima, called in the past Ardenghesca for having been the Seat and the Principle castle of the powerful Ardengheschi family, drawing its origins from the Count Palatino Ardengo, who had received from Carlo Magno the feudal of Lattaia, comprising a large part of this territory, as prize for having valiantly fought against the Longobardi. The successor to Ardengo, Count Ildebrandino, built, on the hills where today the town centre stands, the Ardenghesco castle, in a zone exposed to the expansionist aims of its neighbours the Counts Aldobrandeschi and of the Siena republic.

To the latter in 1167 and again in 1179 the Ardengheschi made an act of submission, rarely respecting the commitment (once again in 1280 they had made Civitella a safe sanctuary for the Ghibellini exiling from Siena). Between 1317 and 1345 the castle fell definitively under the dominion of Siena, who made them destroy the walls and the Keep. The village of Paganico instead, originally in the dominion of Aldobrandeschi, passed in 1193 under the jurisdiction of Siena, who in 1262 planned the Seat of a new village and in 1278 decided to fortify it: Paganico assumed thus the characteristic aspect of a planned centre, with parallel roads and a four sided encircling wall .Declared “castello franco” in 1292, it served the Siena republic as benchmark for their own military attacks and for the colonisation of the surrounding territory, until in 1310 it was raised to capital of an extensive Vicariate. In the subsequent decade it suffered continual attacks and invasions, culminating in 1494 with the sackage by the troops of Carlo VIII. It was successively marked by a slow decline, passed, after the fall of the Siena republic to the Mediceo Grand Duchy. In 1602 it was elevated to the rank of Marquisate and conceded to Antonio dei Medici; in 1630 it became feudal to the Patrizi family who kept it until 1747.

Places to visit:
Corso Fagarè, main street of Paganico, runs between 1300/1400 buildings.
Abbey of S. Lorenzo al Lanzo, from XI century, at Civitella Marittima.

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

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