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Inhabitants in 1991: 1.563

The municipal territory of Zeri extends for 73,61 square kilometres in a mountainous zone in high Lunigiana. It originated in the Dark Ages as a Lordly centre, composed of a series of little villages whose head was the parish church of San Lorenzo. It reached its present day extension in 1957 when the district of Arzelato was detached and aggregated to the municipality of Pontremoli.

There are finds of tombs going back to the VI century B.C. which attest the antiquity of human settlements in the territory of Zeri, the first written testimony which cites its name (which in ancient times was Cerri) is from 774: it was a document stipulated to Pavia from Carlo Magno with which the monastery of San Colombano di Bobbio obtained certain woods situated on Monte Croce and Monte Lungo. In 1164 Emperor Federico I recognised on Zeri, which was contested among several pretenders, the right of Obizzo Malaspina, from whom however it was taken away in the course of the following century by the neighbour Pontemoli, autonomous municipality. Zeri was overwhelmed by the latter’s events, a unique political episode of a certain importance was perhaps the proud resistance with which they opposed the Napoleonic troops in 1796. The Restoration assigned Zeri to the Grand Duchy of Toscana and when in 1848, together with Pontemoli, it was ceded to the Duchy of Parma, the population expressed strong discontent. In 1860 the year of the plebiscite, Zeri returned to being a part of the Toscana region and became autonomous community. In the second world war the municipal territory was hard put by the persecution and crimes of the Nazifascists, it was the theatre of partisan fighting.

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

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