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Isola del Giglio

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Inhabitants in 1991: 1.558

The municipal territory extends for 23,89 square kilometres embracing the entire surface of the island, one of the major Toscano archipelagos. It has only two centres: Giglio Castello, capital of the Grand Duchy community, and Giglio Porto.

The first reliable historic note goes back to the IX century when, because of the so called false certificate of Carlo Magno and Leone III, the Isola del Giglio was donated, together with Giannutri, to the Abbey of the Tre Fontane. In the XII and XIII centuries it was subjugated to the Aldobrandeschi Lords, who, between 1339 and 1345, ceded all their possession rights to the Siena republic. In the same era however, the effective dominion of Pisa was affirmed, Pisa had controlled that stretch of sea since the XI century.

At the capitulation of Pisa in 1406, the island passed under the domination of Firenze and stayed with them until 1447, when it was occupied by Alfonso di Aragona, to be then ceded in 1460 to the Piccolomini family. In 1559, in the process of territorial adjustments following the conclusion of the war of Italy, it was sold to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I, and at her death it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy. Above all starting in the XVI century it was the object of repeated pirate raids, so much so that it was several time repopulated, as when for example in 1561 Cosimo I promoted the immigration of a Greek colony.

Places to visit:
Villa Marittima, ruins of a villa from 1 century B.C.
Torre del Lazzaretto, from 1622
Rocca Pisana, 1300 establishment (there remains only one gate) it was radically restructured during the 1600s. Inside the walls one finds the parochial of S. Pietro Apostolo, also from the 1300s and enlarged in the XVIII century.

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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