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Monterchi

Photo © Wikipedia
Monterchi

Monterchi (ZIP code 52035) is 29,2 kilometers far from Arezzo, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Monterchi has a population of 1.877 inhabitants (Monterchiesi) and a surface of 28,7 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 65,40 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 356 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Umberto I, phone ++39 0575 - 70092, fax ++39 0575 - 70332: the E-Mail address is segreteria@comunemonterchi.com.

Population: The municipality of Monterchi had a popolation of 1.913 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 1.877 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -1,88% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 689 families with an average of 2,72 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 291 and 936 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 645 metres.

Work and workers:There are 57 industrial firms employing 201 people that are the 41,02% of the total of the workers. There are 42 service firms employing 82 people that are the 16,73% of the total of the workers. There are also 48 firms employing 133 people that are the 27,14% of the total of the workers. There are also 21 administrative offices emplying 74 workers that are the 15,10% of the total of the workers.

Photo © Wikipedia
Monastery of Monterchi

There is a total of 490 workers, that are the 26,11% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Monterchi rises along the right bank of the Tevere river.

The local economy is mainly based on the sheep-farming and the production of grapes, olives, cereals, vegetables and fruit.

The place name comes from the compound of "monte", coming this latter from the Latin "mons" (mount), and of the Latin name of person "Hercules".

The foundation of the village of Monterchi occurred during the Middle Ages, when it was under the jurisdiction of the Marquises of the Saint Mary Mount, who obtained the recognition of their rights by a donation act dating back to 1095.

At the beginning Monterchi was a part of the Saint Antimo Parish and in 1194 the Marquises put the village under the protection of the city of Arezzo.

At the end of the XII-th century the Bishop of Arezzo, Guido Tarlati, annexed the territory of Monterchi to the domains of his family, holding this latter the control until 1440, when the powerful city of Florence defeated the Tarlati's family, who was alliated with the Milan Dukedom, and conquered the whole territory in the famous Battle of Anghiari.

During the period of Florentine domination the community of Monterchi developed an economy mainly based on breeding activities, thanks to the presence of rich woods on the territory, and on rural cultivation from which came basic goods, like cereals and legumes, and on the picking of the woad, from which a blue dyestuff came and it was used in the textile manufacturing.

Photo © Municipality of Monterchi
Monterchi

Along the XV-th century started the domination of the Medici's Grand Dukes. At that time the artist Piero della Francesca made his famous fresco named "Madonna del Parto" (Our Lady of the Parturition). The artist probably painted this art work as a gift for Monterchi, being this latter the town where his mother was born.

During the Medici's domination the village of Monterchi was fortified by building an imposing ring of walls equipped with sighthing towers. Today it is still possible to see the remains of those ancient fortifications.

By dieing the last Medici's descendant, occurred on the beginning of the XVIII-th century, the Lorena's Dukes came to the power and started a series of interventions aiming to the urban restoration and the reclamation of the territory, thus promoting an additional economic increase.

At the beginning of the XIX-th century the Lorena's domination was interrupted by the invasion of the French army leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte that lasted until 1814, when the Treaty of Vienna assigned the town of Monterchi to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom.

In 1861 Monterchi was annexed to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Monterchi we point out here the Pieve Romanica (Romanic Parish), the Chiesa di San Simeone (Saint Simeone Church) and the Museo delle Bilance e Pesi (Museum of the Balances and Weights).

Among famous people who were born in Monterchi we remind here Romana di Perino da Monterchi, who was the mother of the famous Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca.

Among the numerous celebrations taking place in Monterchi we point out here the traditional "Polenta Festival" (maize mush) held yearly on the last Sunday of September, characterized by folkloristic celebrations like popular songs and ballades.