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Colle di Val d`Elsa

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Colle di Val d`Elsa (ZIP code 53034) is 24,1 kilometers far from Siena, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Colle di Val d`Elsa has a population of 19.473 inhabitants (Colligiani) and a surface of 92,2 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 211,20 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 141 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via F. Campana 18, phone ++39 0577 - 912111, fax ++39 0577 - 912270: the E-Mail address is sindaco@comune.collevaldelsa.it.

Population: The municipality of Colle di Val d`Elsa had a popolation of 17.040 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 19.473 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 14,28% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 7.573 families with an average of 2,57 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 105 and 425 metres above sea level.

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The altimetric spawn is thus of 320 metres.

Work and workers:There are 566 industrial firms employing 3.219 people that are the 51,55% of the total of the workers. There are 427 service firms employing 1.015 people that are the 16,25% of the total of the workers. There are also 485 firms employing 1.362 people that are the 21,81% of the total of the workers. There are also 103 administrative offices emplying 649 workers that are the 10,39% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 6.245 workers, that are the 32,07% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Colle di Val d'Elsa rises along the left bank of the Elsa river.

The local economy is characterized by a large production of cereals, olive oil and wine. In the territory numerous industries carry out the furniture and paper making production. Several food and mechanical industries and also factories for the manufacture of potteries.

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In ancient times the locality was known with the name of "Colle" and only in 1862 the town took its actual name, with reference to its position along the valley of the Elsa river.

The first settlements in the area of Colle di Val d'Elsa formed during the Roman Age, when the town experienced a very flourishing period.

During the Middle Ages the Parish, previously erected in Colle di Val d'Elsa, became an Archpriesthood depending from the Holy See in Rome. Few years later Colle di Val d'Elsa was elevated to the rank of free common.

During the XIV-th century the town was quarreled between the two powerful cities of Siena and Florence and to this last one, in 1338, Colle di Val d'Elsa subdued. In the next decades the community of Colle di Val d'Elsa developed the agriculture and also the artisan manufacture of silk and iron.

Between the XV-th and XVI-th centuries the town increased its importance and its economic development thanks also to the birth of the first printeries and the first workshops for the glass manufacturing.

At the end of the XVI-th century Colle di Val d'Elsa became a Florentine Town Hall and, after supporting Florence in the famous "Pazzi's Struggle", the town was elevated in 1592 to the rank of Bishopric and City.

During the domination of the Medici's Grand Dukes occurred between the XVI-th and XVIII-th centuries, Colle di Val d'Elsa was enriched with numerous monuments and fine palaces. The ancient civic buildings were also restored.

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At the beginning of the XIX-th century the territory of Colle di Val d'Elsa was invaded by the French troops leaded by Napoleone Bonaparte remaining there until 1814. Since 1815 the town was part of the Tuscan Grand Dukedom 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 Colle di Val d'Elsa we point out here the Duomo (Cathedral), the Abbazia di San Salvatore (Saint Salvatore Abbey), the Chiesa di Sant'Agostino (Saint Augustine Church), the Chiesa di Santa Maria a Spugna (Saint Mary Church in Spugna), the Castello (Castle), the Palazzo Pretorio (Praetorian Palace), the Palazzo Campana (Campana Palace), the Casa-Torre di Arnolfo Cambio (Arnolfo Cambio's House-Tower) and the Baluardo (Bastion).

Among the several celebrations periodically taking place in Colle di Val d'Elsa we remind here the traditional craftsmanship exhibition "Cristallo tra le Mura" (Crystal within the Walls) held yearly on September. On the occasion numerous workshops exhibit the crystal-made objects coming from the artisan workshops of Colle di Val d'Elsa.