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Signa

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero San Lorenzo a Signa - Campanile

Signa (ZIP code 50058) is 15 kilometers far from Firenze, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Signa has a population of 15.278 inhabitants (Signesi) and a surface of 18,81 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 812,23 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 46 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Repubblica 1, phone ++39 055 - 87941, fax ++39 055 - 8732316: the E-Mail address is segreteria@comune.signa.fi.it.

Population: The municipality of Signa had a popolation of 14.375 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 15.278 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 6,28% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 5.511 families with an average of 2,77 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 26 and 118 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 92 metres.

Work and workers:There are 653 industrial firms employing 2.445 people that are the 50,45% of the total of the workers. There are 308 service firms employing 790 people that are the 16,30% of the total of the workers. There are also 361 firms employing 1.257 people that are the 25,94% of the total of the workers. There are also 62 administrative offices emplying 354 workers that are the 7,30% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 4.846 workers, that are the 31,72% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Signa rises along the right bank of the Arno river.

The economy of the town is mainly based on tourism thanks to several and well equipped accommodation facilities.

The first settlements in the area of Signa go back to the Etruscan Age and then to the Roman Age.

The place name could come from the Latin proper name "Asinius".

The town of Signa is testified for the first time in an official document dating back to 964 referring to the donation of the Parish of Signa to the Florentine Chapter by Rambaldo, bishop of Florence.

In 1252 Signa was a property of Florence but the town continued enjoying some autonomy.

At the end of the thirteenth century Signa was a settlement along the Arno river, whose economy was related to a bridge crossing the river that connected the town of Signa and the city of Pisa. According to tradition the bridge was built for the will of Saint Alluccio.

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero San Lorenzo a Signa - L`Ambone

Signa became an important centre for river trades and towards Tuscan hinterland so that in 1326 the captain of mercenaries Castruccio Castracani, from Lucca, destroyed the town and its bridge, helped by the Imperial army. After the sack the Florentines rebuilt the bridge and fortified the town.

At the end of fourteenth century Signa was besieged by the army of the Duke of Milan, Giangaleazzo Visconti, but the town resisted and chased away the enemy. From then Signa restarted its trading activities developing along the next centuries.

During eighteenth century the building of the first railway linking the cities of Livorno and Florence marked the beginning of a period of economic decline for the river trading business.

Along the second half of the eighteenth century the inhabitants of Signa improved their economy by growing some different activities from the last ones referred to the river. In that period they experienced a different way in cultivation and manufacturing of the straw producing thus the famous hats called "straw-made hats of Florence". To that activity was added the manufacture of earthenware for the copy of famous works by great Tuscan artists.

After the Napoleonic invasion, occurred on the end of the eighteenth century, Signa was annexed to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom sharing with it its history until the Unity of Italy occurred on 1861 by the action of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most interesting monuments to see in Signa we point out here the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista (Saint John Baptist Church), the Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Saint Lorenz Church), the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Castello (Saint Mary in Castello Church), the Chiesa di San Mauro a Signa (Saint Mauro in Signa Church), the Chiesa di San Miniato (Saint Miniato Church), the Oratorio di San Rocco (Saint Rocco Oratory), the Museo della paglia (Museum of the straw) and the Parco Reani (Reani Park).

Among the great personalities who were born in Signa we remind here the famous Medieval grammarian Boncompagno da Signa (1179-1240).

Among the several events periodically taking place in Signa we point out here the "Palio del Moro" hold on September 11st in a hamlet of the town. It involves the four quarters of Bertecche, Molino, Santuccio and Metolo in a "race of the barrels".