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Roccalbegna

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Roccalbegna (ZIP code 58053) is 43,7 kilometers far from Grosseto, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Roccalbegna has a population of 1.242 inhabitants (Rocchigiani o Roccalbegnesi) and a surface of 125,45 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 9,90 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 522 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Marconi 1, phone ++39 0564 - 989032, fax ++39 0564 - 989222: the E-Mail address is roccaseg@amiata.net.

Population: The municipality of Roccalbegna had a popolation of 1.458 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 1.242 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -14,81% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 595 families with an average of 2,09 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 117 and 1.114 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 997 metres.

Work and workers:There are 28 industrial firms employing 92 people that are the 35,80% of the total of the workers. There are 39 service firms employing 71 people that are the 27,63% of the total of the workers. There are also 25 firms employing 57 people that are the 22,18% of the total of the workers. There are also 19 administrative offices emplying 37 workers that are the 14,40% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 257 workers, that are the 20,69% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Roccalbegna rises in the high valley of the Albegna river, along the south-western slopes of the Amiata mount.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of cereals, vine grape and olives.

The place name comes from the compound of "rocca", with the probable meaning of "rock" or "fortified place", and of "Albegna", being this latter the name of a river near which the town rises.

The birth of the village of Roccalbegna occurred during the Middle Ages, when a castle was built on the territory and whose around the community started to gather and build its houses.

At the beginning of the XIII-th century Roccalbegna was under the jurisdiction of the close Saint Salvatore Abbey, that held the control of the village for a time.

Later the village passed to the Aldobrandeschi's Counts of the Santa Fiora branch, who dominated the territory up to the middle of the same century, when the local family of Ranieri di Ugolino imposed its supremacy on the village.

In 1296 the village of Roccalbegna was gave to the Republic of Siena that annexed it to its domains.

During the XIV-th century the Aldobrandeschi's Counts, wanting to reconquer their ancient domain, organized numerous sieges to the village of Roccalbegna, starting a terror atmosphere that ended only in the middle of the XVI-th century by coming the Medici's Grand Dukes to the power.

Thanks to this latter started a period of political stability that promoted the development of the rural activities, from which the main resources of the community of Roccalbegna came.

Later the Grand Dukes gave the village as a feud first to the Sforza-Cesarini's family, holding the control up to the middle of the XVIII-th century, and then to the Bichi-Ruspoli's family.

The village was elevated to the rank of autonomous common just during the second half of the XVIII-th century, when the Lorena's Dukes came to the power. They governed Roccalbegna almost uninterruptedly until the Unity of Italy, occurred on 1861 by the action of the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Roccalbegna we point out here the Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo (Saints Peter and Paul Church), the Oratorio del Crocifisso (Crucifix Oratory), the Palazzo del Portino (Portino's Palace), the "Museo Etnografico Santa Caterina" (Saint Catherine Ethnographical Museum), the Castello (Castle) and the remains of the Medieval fortifications.

Among the numerous celebrations periodically taking place in Roccalbegna we remind the traditional "Salty Cookie and Meletello Festival" (being this latter a sort of flat bread made by flour and honey) held yearly on August and during which it is possible to taste the typical local courses.