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San Giovanni Valdarno

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero Piazza Massaccio

San Giovanni Valdarno (ZIP code 52027) is 36,4 kilometers far from Arezzo, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

San Giovanni Valdarno has a population of 16.993 inhabitants (Sangiovannesi) and a surface of 21,32 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 797,05 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 134 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Cavour, phone ++39 055 - 91261, fax ++39 055 - 9120152: the E-Mail address is

Population: The municipality of San Giovanni Valdarno had a popolation of 17.732 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 16.993 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -4,17% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 6.823 families with an average of 2,49 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 129 and 262 metres above sea level.

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie

The altimetric spawn is thus of 133 metres.

Work and workers:There are 383 industrial firms employing 1.953 people that are the 33,96% of the total of the workers. There are 371 service firms employing 934 people that are the 16,24% of the total of the workers. There are also 443 firms employing 1.489 people that are the 25,89% of the total of the workers. There are also 125 administrative offices emplying 1.375 workers that are the 23,91% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 5.751 workers, that are the 33,84% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

San Giovanni Valdarno rises along the banks of the Arno river.

The economy of the town is mainly active in the industrial field with several steel and iron, textile, glass-making, ceramic, wood and shoe factories.

The first settlements in the area of San Giovanni Valdarno go back to the Middle Ages but the official birth of the town occurred later, as testified by an official act of 1300 where it is quoted a locality called "San Giovanni in Altura" with the literal meaning of "Saint John in Higher". Later the town took its actual name of San Giovanni Valdarno because of being lieing along the banks of the Arno river.

Copyright © Bassorilievo in Terracotta

The village of San Giovanni Valdarno was founded in 1300 by the city of Florence on a design by Arnolfo di Cambio who leaded the works that carried to its orthogonal building surrounded by a ring of walls spaced by four gates.

In 1340 San Giovanni Valdarno became a vicarship and its extended its jurisdiction on the close territories. In 1371 the village also became a seat of a Podestà getting an important role in all valley of the Arno river.

At the end of XIV century San Giovanni Valdarno subdued an invasion by the army leaded by Galeazzo Visconti and in 1477 the town was the scene of the struggles between Florence and the Aragonesi of Naples that devastated the territory.

The victory of Florence on the Reign of Naples started a short period of peace during which were carried out several architectural works and that ended in 1479 because of the spreading of an epidemic of plague that heavily decrease the population.

The economic and population improvement of San Giovanni Valdarno coincided with the coming to the power of the Dukes of Lorena family. They started the reclamation of the territory in order to oppose the spreading marshy phenomenon in the rural land that was caused by the floods coming from the Arno river. This resulted promoted in an improvement of the economy that was based on the cultivation of wheat and vegetables.

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero The Particular of Palazzo Pretorio

Pietro Leopoldo Lorena also started the restoring of the town buildings too. The Lorena's domination was interrupted by the invasion of the French army leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte who occupied San Giovanni Valdarno and installed on the territory up to the coming to the power of the Tuscan Grand Dukedom.

In 1861 San Giovanni Valdarno was added to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in San Giovanni Valdarno we point out the Pieve di San Giovanni Battista (Saint John Baptist Parish), the Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Saint Lorenz Church), the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie (Saint Mary of the Graces Basilica) and the Palazzo Pretorio (Praetorian Palace).

Among famous people who were born in San Giovanni Valdarno we remind here the famous painter Tommaso Guidi called "Masaccio" (1401-1428).

Among several celebration taking place periodically in San Giovanni Valdarno we point out here the traditional "Festa della Rificolona" (Feast of the Rificolona) held every year on September 8th. It is a procession lasting all night long, through the town streets with empitied and carved pumpkins whose inside is placed a candle.