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Villa Basilica

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Villa Basilica (ZIP code 55019) is 37,2 kilometers far from Lucca, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Villa Basilica has a population of 1.768 inhabitants (Villesi) and a surface of 36,45 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 48,50 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 330 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via Matteotti, phone ++39 0572 - 461611, fax ++39 0572 - 43514: the E-Mail address is v.basilica@alinet.it.

Population: The municipality of Villa Basilica had a popolation of 2.028 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 1.768 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -12,82% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 698 families with an average of 2,53 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 190 and 1.081 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 891 metres.

Work and workers:There are 53 industrial firms employing 386 people that are the 56,85% of the total of the workers. There are 21 service firms employing 43 people that are the 6,33% of the total of the workers. There are also 41 firms employing 92 people that are the 13,55% of the total of the workers. There are also 25 administrative offices emplying 158 workers that are the 23,27% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 679 workers, that are the 38,40% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Villa Basilica rises along the valley of the Pescia of Collodi torrent.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of cereals, potatoes, vine grape, olives, on the floriculture and on the activity of numerous industries for the producing of the paper.

The place name comes from the compound of "villa" (villa) and "basilica" (basilica), with probable reference to an oratory or a chapel that were already on the territory when the town was founded.

The first official document where the locality is quoted goes back to 774. At that time it was under the jurisdiction of the powerful Bishopric of Lucca, that held the control of the village up to the end of the XII-th century.

After the short period of the imperial domination by Enrico IV, the village of Villa Basilica came back under the aegis of Lucca and it was annexed to the so called "Vicariato Civium et Vallis Lime" (Vicarship), including at that time twenty-six villages.

Villa Basilica held this condition up to the beginning of the XIV-th century, when the Vicarship was divided into two parts and Villa Basilica became the town hall of one of them.

At the beginning of the XV-th century the territory subdued numerous sieges and sacks by troops hostile to the power of Lucca, among them that one operated by the Florentines who conquered the village for a short time.

After this event the troops of the Republic of Lucca operated a counterattack and conquered the village again annexing it to the domains of the same Republic of Lucca.

From then started for Villa Basilica a period of peace and political stability that allowed to population to carry out its rural activity, so to increase the local economy.

The domination of Lucca lasted almost uninterruptedly up to 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 Villa Basilica we point out here the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary of the Assumption Church), the Palazzo Comunale (Municipal Palace), the Palazzo Pievanale (Parish's Palace), the Palazzo Biscotti (Biscotti Palace) and the Museo di Arte Sacra (Museum of Holy Art).

Among the numerous celebrations periodically taking place in Villa Basilica we remind the traditional "Fried Maize Mush Festival" held yearly on July and August and during which it is possible to taste both the good local maize mush cooked according to the ancient traditional recipe and the fine typical local courses.