Back to the province of Prato

Vernio

Vernio (ZIP code 59024) is 23,2 kilometers far from Prato, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Vernio has a population of 5.526 inhabitants (Verniatti o Sanquirichesi) and a surface of 63,3 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 87,30 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 278 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza del Comune 21, phone ++39 0574 - 931011, fax ++39 0574 - 931052: the E-Mail address is p.cecconi@comune.vernio.po.it.

Population: The municipality of Vernio had a popolation of 5.464 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 5.526 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 1,13% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 2.264 families with an average of 2,44 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 123 and 752 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 629 metres.

Work and workers:There are 152 industrial firms employing 556 people that are the 45,69% of the total of the workers. There are 84 service firms employing 170 people that are the 13,97% of the total of the workers. There are also 110 firms employing 319 people that are the 26,21% of the total of the workers. There are also 35 administrative offices emplying 172 workers that are the 14,13% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 1.217 workers, that are the 22,02% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Vernio extends along the valley of the Bisenzio river, nearby the Tosco-Emilian Apennine.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of cereals, on sheep-farming, on the activity of numerous textile industries and also on tourism, thanks both to the beauty of the places and to the presence of numerous and qualified fine hotels.

The place name probably comes from the Latin name of person "Vernius".

The first settlements in the territory of Vernio go back to the Roman Age. At that time the Roman Empire struggled against the Gauls. The Roman legionaries, who were moving to the Padan valley, settled down a camp on the territory of Vernio.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire the territory was colonized by the Longbards, under whose domination the village took its actual aspect.

Since the beginning Vernio was under the jurisdiction of the Cadolingi's Counts, coming these latter from a Longbard family, who held the control of the village up to the coming of the Alberti's Counts to the power, occurred during the XII-th century.

The Alberti's Counts started an important effort to fortify the village, being this latter in a strategic position in order to control the Apennine of Prato. At that time the local community started to develop and consolidate its economy, also basing it on the exploitation of the rich water resources of the territory.

Around the first half of the XIV-th century the Alberti's family experienced a period of difficuties, so that they had to sell the property of Vernio to the rich Florentine Bardi's family.

This latter established its residence to the close locality of Quirico, from where, investing its own money, promoted an important phase of economic growing of the village, aiming to the development of the river tradings.

The village and its new lords reached such an importance that they could escape from the jurisdiction of the Republic of Florence that at that time controlled the whole area.

The Bardi's domination ended with the invasion of the territory operated by the French troop leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte. This latter abolished the feudalism and constituted the Cisalpine Republic, also adding the village of Vernio that latter was annexed to the Department of the Arno river.

In 1814 the French occupation ended and Vernio was assigned to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, under the government of the Lorena's Dukes, up to its annexing to the Reign of Italy occurred on 1861 by the action of the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Vernio we point out here the Pieve dei Santi Ippolito e Cassiano (Saint Ippolite and Cassiano Parish), the Chiesa di San Leonardo in San Quirico (Saint Leonard Church in San Quirico), the Badia di Santa Maria (Saint Mary Abbey) rising in the close locality of Montepiano and the Casone (Big House).

Among the numerous celebrations periodically taking place in Vernio we remind the traditional "Maize Mush Festival" held yearly on the first Sunday of Lent and during which it is possible to taste the sweet typical local maize mush, cooked according to the fine ancient recipe.