Palazzuolo sul Senio Travel Guide

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Palazzuolo sul Senio is real-life fairy tale in the heart of Tuscan Romagna.
Truly suggested are enchanting excursions through the woods, on mountain bike or horseback, or relaxing rambles along nature trails that take place in streams, archaeological sites and unspoilt corners which offer ideal settings for country picnics.
Palazzuolo sul Senio has been awarded with the title of "Italian Ideal Village" by Airone magazine and the EEC, becoming, furthermore, permanent seat of the annual prize-giving. During 2004 year it has obtained the environmental certification ISO 14001, which proves the perfect balance between man and nature.
Palazzuolo organized every year an extensive programme of fairs, feasts and events that will enrich the stay of all who come here, to the place of harmony, for a vacation of nature and relaxation.

Historical background
The first traces of human habitation in the territory of Palazzuolo date back to the Upper Palaeolithic (12,000-10,000 BC) and are, presumably, the remains of seasonal encampments or hunting bivouacs. All over the municipal territory, there are conspicuous traces of settlements dating back to the Copper Age (3000-1800 BC) and to the Bronze Age (1800-900 BC).

Around the 5th and 4th centuries BC, during the pre-Roman era, there appear to have been many settlements and many remains of the Roman colonisation have also surfaced (Le Ari, Ghizzana, Quadalto). During the High Middle Ages, the upper Senio valley was intensely inhabited. The most important evidence of this is the "crypt" discovered under the Church of S.Giovanni Decollato di Misileo. During the 9th-10th centuries the Pagani family, which possessed numerous castles, consolidated its hold on power. Among the most illustrious personages of the Pagani family was Maghinardo, cited by Dante in the "Divine Comedy" (Inferno XXVII, 50-51 and Purgatorio XIV, 118-19). He died so that most of his property was passed on to the Ubaldini family.
In 1362 Gioacchino Ubaldini left all his property to the Republic of Florence. Palazzuolo and Firenzuola thus became the first nucleus of a "Tuscan Romagna" that would expand to reach the doors of Forlì, before being cut back to the High Mugello valleys with the reorganisation of 1929. In 1373, at Palazzuolo an "agricultural centre" and "market town", building work on the Vicar's Palace began. In 1373 Maghinardo Novello of the Ubalidini rebelled against the Republic and sought refuge in Frassino Castle, however he was captured by the Florentines, taken to Florence and decapitated.
On 19 October 1506, Pope Giulio II, accompanied by Niccolò Macchiavelli, stayed at the Palazzo dei Capitani. With the ascent to power of the Medici, the Vicar, a representative of the Republic, was replaced by a Captain. The office of captain was abolished in 1772 and downgraded to that of podestà until 1837, when the grand duke Leopold II unified the jurisdiction under the Vicar of Marradi.
During the "restoration" of April 1849 there are reports of disorders between the "codini" and "republican" factions. In August of the same year, Garibaldi, in flight following the defeat of the Roman Republic, passed through Palazzuolo accompanied by Canon Verità and Colonel Leggiero. During the Great War and in World War II, when the entire Senio valley was comprised within the "Gothic Line", there were episodes of reprisal and deportations. In the post-war period, a prevalently agricultural economy prompted the rural population to seek out better living conditions.
During the 1950s there was a heavy outflow of people to the rural areas of Romagna region and the industrial towns of Tuscany or Emilia-Romagna. Today it is tourism which, by making the most of the town's history, natural attractions and a celebrated gastronomic tradition, is playing an ever more important role in its economy.

 

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