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Castelfranco di Sotto
Castelfranco di Sotto (ZIP code 56022) is 39,5 kilometers far from Pisa, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.
Castelfranco di Sotto has a population of 11.395 inhabitants (Castelfranchesi) and a surface of 48,37 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 235,58 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 16 metres above the sea level.
The City Hall is located in Piazza R. Bertoncini 1, phone ++39 0571 - 4871, fax ++39 0571 - 478995: the E-Mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Population: The municipality of Castelfranco di Sotto had a popolation of 10.834 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 11.395 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 5,18% inhabitants.
The inhabitants are distributed in 4.166 families with an average of 2,74 people per family.
The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 5 and 115 metres above sea level.
The altimetric spawn is thus of 110 metres.
Work and workers:There are 387 industrial firms employing 2.736 people that are the 51,17% of the total of the workers. There are 246 service firms employing 620 people that are the 11,60% of the total of the workers. There are also 272 firms employing 1.767 people that are the 33,05% of the total of the workers. There are also 25 administrative offices emplying 224 workers that are the 4,19% of the total of the workers.
There is a total of 5.347 workers, that are the 46,92% of the inhabitants of the municipality.
Castelfranco di Sotto extends rises between the right bank of the Arno river and the Usciana channel, along the slopes of the Cerbaie hills.
The local economy is mainly based on the production of cereals, fruits, vegetables and on the activity of numerous industries for the production of food and of shoes manufacturing.
The place name comes from the compound of "Castel" (castle) and "franco", having this latter the meaning of "free from the feudal domination", to which the specification "di Sotto" was added with reference to the plain position where the locality rises.
The formation of the village of Castelfranco di Sotto occurred during the XII-th century under the jurisdiction of the Cadolingi's Counts, who imposed their influence up to the middle of the next century.
During the XIII-th century the village passed to the city of Lucca that operated an important fortification by building an imposing ring of walls equipped with towers.
During the first decades of the XIV-th century the village experienced a difficult period because of the continuous conflicts existing between Lucca and Pisa, wanting both of them to conquer Castelfranco di Sotto and thus taking turns to the government.
At the same time the territory of Castelfranco di Sotto also subdued the numerous sacks and devastations operated by ghibelline commanders like Guido Novello, Uguccione della Faggiola and Castruccio Castracani.
The village of Castelfranco di Sotto raised up its chances just after its annexing to the domains of the Republic of Florence, under whose domination the inhabitants put themselves spontaneously.
The Florentine domination gave a great benefit to the economy of Castelfranco di Sotto by stimulating the rural cultivations and acting the first reclamations of the territory.
Since the XV-th century, by coming the Medici's family to the power, started for Castelfranco di Sotto a period of political stability and economic prosperousness that lasted even under the government of the Lorena's Dukes, who came to the power at the beginning of the XVIII-th century.
The village of Castelfranco di Sotto became first a Podestà's seat of the Fiorentine countryside and in 1774 it was elevated to the rank of autonomous common by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorena, who also granted to the vilagge its own statutes.
The Lorena's domination was interrupted by the invasion of the territory operated by the Napoleonic troops that stayed on until 1814, when the French occupation ended and the village of Castelfranco di Sotto was annexed to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom.
In 1861 Castelfranco di Sotto was annexed to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.
Among the most important monuments to see in Castelfranco di Sotto we point out here the Chiesa di San Lorenzo Martire (Saint Lorenz Martyr Church), the Collegiata di San Pietro (Saint Peter Collegiate Church), the Palazzo Comunale (Municipal Palace) and the Villa Campanile (Campanile Villa).
Among famous people who were born in Castelfranco di Sotto we remind the physician Giuseppe Zambeccari (1655-1729).
Among the numerous celebration periodically taking place in Castelfranco di Sotto we point out the "Cream Puffs Festival" held yearly on August in the close locality of Orentano on the occasion of the Saint Lorenz's Patron feast.
During the celebration it is possible both to taste the good cream and chocolate puffs cooked by the best local confectioners and to attend cycling competitions and musical shoes.