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Barberino Val d`Elsa
Barberino Val d`Elsa (ZIP code 50021) is 32,5 kilometers far from Firenze, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.
Barberino Val d`Elsa has a population of 3.864 inhabitants (Barberinesi) and a surface of 65,83 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 58,70 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 373 metres above the sea level.
The City Hall is located in Via Cassia 49, phone ++39 055 - 8075015, fax ++39 055 - 8075668: the E-Mail address is email@example.com.
Population: The municipality of Barberino Val d`Elsa had a popolation of 3.542 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 3.864 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 9,09% inhabitants.
The inhabitants are distributed in 1.426 families with an average of 2,71 people per family.
The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 70 and 560 metres above sea level.
The altimetric spawn is thus of 490 metres.
Work and workers:There are 284 industrial firms employing 2.637 people that are the 74,68% of the total of the workers. There are 146 service firms employing 558 people that are the 15,80% of the total of the workers. There are also 88 firms employing 234 people that are the 6,63% of the total of the workers. There are also 13 administrative offices emplying 102 workers that are the 2,89% of the total of the workers.
There is a total of 3.531 workers, that are the 91,38% of the inhabitants of the municipality.
Barberino Val d'Elsa rises along an area extending between the valleys of the Elsa and Pesa rivers.
The local economy is mainly based on the agriculture and on the breeding of bovines and swines. There are also numerous food making, engineering and furniture industries.
The etymology of the place name is not clear: it is supposed that it comes from the Medieval name of person "Barbarus", to which the specification "Val d'Elsa" (valley of the Elsa river) was added with the reference to its geographical position.
The place name was quoted for the first time in 1054 in an official document belonging to the Abbey of Pissignano but the real development of village occurred during the XIII-th century around a previously built castle.
At that time the destruction of the close village of Semifonte operated by the Florentines was a lucky event for Barberino Val d'Elsa that, from then, experienced a quick population and economic growing.
In the XIV-th century, entered the orbit of the Republic of Florence that was expanded its domains, Barberino Val d'Elsa became Podestà'a seat of the Florentine countryside.
In 1365 the so called "Pilgrims' Hospital" was founded in the territory in order to take care of the numerous pilgrims and travellers who passed through the village.
At that time started the rivalries between the Republic of Florence and the noble families who wanted to contrast the Florentine territorial expansion. The castle of Barberino Val d'Elsa was fortified in order to oppose to hostile attacks and the village was circled by defensive walls and equipped by a main road that crossing the town joined the two only entrance gates.
The most important struggle among the republics of Florence, Pisa and Siena occurred on the middle of the XVI-th century and marked up the victory of the Florentines who annexed all conquered territories to their domains.
From then Barberino Val d'Elsa passed first to the Medici's jurisdiction and then to the Lorena's one. Both of them acted an important work for the reclamation of the marshy lands, thus promoting an additional development of the rural economy.
At the beginning of the XIX-th century the Lorena's domination was interrupted by the invasion of the territory by the French troops leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte that lasted until 1814, when the Treaty of Vienna assigned the town to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, under the Lorena's domination.
In 1861 Barberino Val d'Elsa was annexed to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.
Among the most important monuments to see in Barberino Val d'Elsa we point out here the Pieve di San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartolomeo Church), the Cappella di San Michele Arcangelo (Saint Michael Archangel Chapel), the Spedale dei Pellegrini (Pilgrims' Hospital) and the Palazzo Pretorio (Praetorian Palace).
Among the numerous celebrations taking place in Barberino Val d'Elsa we remind here the "Saint Bartolomeo's Fair and Feast" held yearly on August 24th in honour of the Patron Saint.