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Inhabitants in 1991: 1.499

The municipal territory of Montieri extends for 108.34 square kilometres in a mountainous zone in the metalliferous hills between the valleys of the rivers Merse and Cecina. Originating from an ancient Medieval Podesta Office it has not suffered important changes to its borders which comprise other than the capital the districts of Boccheggiano, Gerfalco and Travale.

Perhaps of Etruscan origin, or more probably Roman, Montieri derives its name from Mons Aeris for the past riches of copper ore in its subsurface. It was donated in 896 by Alberto Riccio Marquis of Toscano, to the Volterra Episcopate, under whose jurisdiction it remained, even with alternate sequences, in the subsequent centuries. In the first half of the XII century it was already amply affirmed as a mining centre and it was submitted to the pressure of the Siena municipality, who intended to obtain the political and economic control: after having obtained a first partial and temporary concession in 1137, Siena (particularly interested in the “silversmiths” of Montieri) managed to acquire in 1181 part of the castle and the territory. In the course of the XIII century the power of the Volterra Episcopate was notable diminished, partly because of the internal contrasts in the Pannoccheischi guild (of whom at the time the Bishops were part of), and partly for the intervention of Siena and for the emergence in Montieri of an autonomous municipal organisation, consolidated around 1220. On the other hand the silver mines, the most important in Toscana at that time, were still in the hands of the Fiorentini and Siena bankers, huge creditors of the Volterra Bishops. Only between 1243 and 1250 did the Imperial power temporarily control the castle and the mines of Montieri. On the death of Emperor Federico II the protagonists of the political game. were again the Volterra Bishops and Siena. By means of financial intervention by the great citizen families like the Buonsignori and the Tolomei, Siena managed to progressively extend their control over Montieri until in 1326 they took over with the military, aggregating it to their own county. In 1371 the republic had the fortress constructed, a sign that they gave Montieri an above all strategic role since, from the end of the preceding century, its importance as a mining centre had gravely declined. In 1608 the Grand Duke Ferdinando I constituted it in feudal with the title, Gerfalco and Travale are also of historic interest, in the medieval era belonging to the Volterra Bishops and the Pannocchieschi guild. On 18 March 1944 the partisans occupied by surprise the Pyrite mines of Baccheggiano, a few days later in the night of 21, partisan formations also took over the town of Montieri.

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

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