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Castiglione d`Orcia

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Castiglione d`Orcia (ZIP code 53023) is 55,1 kilometers far from Siena, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Castiglione d`Orcia has a population of 2.505 inhabitants (Castiglionesi) and a surface of 141,53 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 17,70 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 540 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via Aldobrandeschi 13, phone ++39 0577 - 88401, fax ++39 0577 - 887490: the E-Mail address is segre.castiglione@libero.it.

Population: The municipality of Castiglione d`Orcia had a popolation of 2.840 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 2.505 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -11,80% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 1.120 families with an average of 2,24 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 161 and 1.206 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 1.045 metres.

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Work and workers:There are 74 industrial firms employing 275 people that are the 43,17% of the total of the workers. There are 78 service firms employing 111 people that are the 17,43% of the total of the workers. There are also 72 firms employing 176 people that are the 27,63% of the total of the workers. There are also 31 administrative offices emplying 75 workers that are the 11,77% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 637 workers, that are the 25,43% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Castiglione d'Orcia rises in the area extending along the left side of the Valley of Orcia.

The local economy is mainly based on the production of cereals and olives and of the thermal tourism, thanks to the presence of benefical thermal springs and of numerous and qualified hotels.

The place name probably comes from the compound of "castiglione", coming this latter from the Latin word "castellum" with the meaning of "fortified place", and of the specification "Orcia", referring to the geographical position of the place along the homonymous valley.

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The foudation and the consolidation of the village of Castiglione d'Orcia occurred during the XII-th century around a castle that was under the jurisdiction of the family of the Aldobrandeschi's Counts.

In the middle of the XII-th century some part of the territory of Castiglione d'Orcia was sold to the Saint Salvatore Abbey. At the beginning of the next century the city of Siena imposed its jurisdiction on the territory with the Aldobrandeschi's consensus.

In 1252 the village became a free common, enjoying its autonomy up to the next century.

During the XIV-th century the influence of Siena increased and the village was annexed to its domains and elevated to the rank of Vicarship.

Since the beginning Siena charged the govenment of the village of Castiglione d'Orcia to local families, but for exercising its direct influence.

The village experienced the alternating to the power of noble families like the Piccolomini's and the Salimbeni's ones.

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This latter made Castiglione d'Orcia a military fortress against the Republic of Siena, also organized recurrent rebellions until 1418, when Siene got again the full control of the village.

A century later Florence started its territorial expansion. After defeating the army of Siena, Florence conquered the all domains of this latter.

Since the XV-th century Castiglione d'Orcia was under the domination of the Medici's Grand Dukes. In 1605 the village became a Marquisate and it was gave as feud by Cosimo II of Medici to the noble Riario's family.

By dieing the last Medici's descendant, Castiglione d'Orcia passed by heritance to the Lorena's Dukes, who elevated the village to the rank of autonomous common.

At the beginning of the XIX-th century the territory of Castiglione d'Orcia subdued the invasion of the French army leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte. The French occupation ended on 1814, when the Treaty of Vienna assigned the village to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, being this latter under the Lorena's Dukes.

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In 1861 Castiglione d'Orcia was annexed to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Castiglione d'Orcia we point out here the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maddalena (Saint Mary Magdalene Church), the Chiesa dei Santi Stefano e Degna (Saint Stephen and Degna Church), the Square entitled to Lorenzo di Pietro, who was considered native of the village and the remains of the Medieval fortificatons.

Among the numerous celebrations periodically taking place in Castiglione d'Orcia we remind here the traditional "Festival of the Orcia valley" held yearly from the end of July to the middle of August, during which it is possible both to attend different shows and to taste several fine typical local courses.