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Montescudaio

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Montescudaio (ZIP code 56040) is 68,4 kilometers far from Pisa, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Montescudaio has a population of 1.434 inhabitants (Montescudaini) and a surface of 19,92 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 71,99 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 242 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via della Madonna 37, phone ++39 0586 - 651611, fax ++39 0586 - 651650: the E-Mail address is info@comune.montescudaio.pi.it.

Population: The municipality of Montescudaio had a popolation of 1.367 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 1.434 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 4,90% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 586 families with an average of 2,45 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 12 and 259 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 247 metres.

Work and workers:There are 50 industrial firms employing 210 people that are the 40,54% of the total of the workers. There are 50 service firms employing 168 people that are the 32,43% of the total of the workers. There are also 34 firms employing 98 people that are the 18,92% of the total of the workers. There are also 17 administrative offices emplying 42 workers that are the 8,11% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 518 workers, that are the 36,12% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Montescudaio rises on a hilly extending along the valley of the Cecina river.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of olives, cereals and vine grape: the red wine Montescudaio D.O.C. is a very famous one.

The place name comes from the compound of the Latin word "Mons" (mount) and of "Scutarius", that means "a person who builds shields".

Montescudaio is quoted for the first time in an official document dating back to 1091 and referring to the donation of the Count Gherardo della Gherardesca of a church entitled to Saint Andrew to the Benedictine nuns, who lived in a monastery that was previously built by the same count.

Despite the Gherardesca's Counts lived in Pisa, they exercised for a long their jurisdiction on the village of Montescudaio and on the monastery too. The Counts rebelled against the Pisan Republic by allying in 1345 with the troops of the Milan Dukedom who was sent by Luchino Visconti.

At the beginning of the XV-th century the Gherardesca's Counts subdued to the Republic of Florence and consequently the village of Montescudaio was under the Florentine jurisdiction.

At the end of the same century, owing to the Counts' activities against the Republic of Florence, this latter confiscated their properties, among them also Montescudaio that was definitely annexed to the Florentine possessions.

In 1479, under the Medici's domination, Montescudaio was elevated to the rank of autonomous common.

In 1648 the Grand Duke Ferdinando II gave the village as a feud, titled "Marquisate", to the aristocratic family of Ridolfi that held the control of the village up to the beginning of the XVIII-th century.

The period of the Ridolfi's domination was characterized by continuous conflicts between the inhabitants of Montescudaio and the same Ridolfi family because of the overpower exercised by this latter, who had the control of all the resources of the whole territory.

In 1727, by dieing the last Ridolfi's direct descendant, Montescudaio came back again to the Florentiine Grand Dukedom but, in 1735, the Grand Duke Giangastone of Medici gave again the village as feud to Cosimo Ignazio Ridolfi. The investiture was confirmed again in 1738 by Francesco II of Lorena and the Ridolfi's family continued to exercised its jurisdiction on Montescudaio until 1778.

At the beginning of the XIX-th century the territory of Montescudaio was invaded by the Napoleonic troops who stayed on until 1814.

In 1815 Montescudaio entered again the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, of which it was part 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 Montescudaio we point out here the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary's Assumption Church), the Torre Guardiola (Sighting Tower), the Torre Civica (Civic Tower) and the Villa Pucci (Pucci's Villa).

Among the several celebrations periodically taking place in Montescudaio we remind here the traditional "Wine Festival" held yearly on October, during which it is possible to free taste the fine local D.O.C. wines.