Colle di Val d'Elsa

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Colle di Val d'Elsa
Comune
Comune di Colle di Val d'Elsa
Colle di val delsa centro.jpg
Coat of arms of Colle di Val d'Elsa
Coat of arms
Colle di Val d'Elsa is located in Italy
Colle di Val d'Elsa
Colle di Val d'Elsa
Location of Colle di Val d'Elsa in Italy
Coordinates: 43°24′N 11°08′E / 43.400°N 11.133°E / 43.400; 11.133
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Siena (SI)
Government
 • Mayor Paolo Brogioni
Area
 • Total 92 km2 (36 sq mi)
Elevation 141 m (463 ft)
Population (December 2009)
 • Total 21,536
 • Density 230/km2 (610/sq mi)
Demonym Colligiani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 53034
Dialing code 0577
Patron saint St. Martialis and St. Albert of Chiatina
Saint day July 1
Website Official website

Colle di Val d'Elsa or Colle Val d'Elsa is a town and comune in Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Siena.

It has a population of c. 20,000 (2005). Its name means "Hill of Elsa Valley", where "Elsa" is the name of the river which crosses it.

Today, Colle di Val d'Elsa is internationally renowned for the production of crystal glassware and art (15% of world production), largely produced in the industrial lower town.

History[edit]

Romanesque Pieve of SS. Ippolito and Cassiano.

The area was settled by man from at least the 4th millennium BC, but first mentions of the city are from the 9th century AD. In 1269 it was the seat of a famous battle during the wars of Guelphs and Ghibellines and in 1479 it was besieged by Neapolitan troops. From the 14th century it was a possession of Florence and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the unification of Italy in 1860.

In the 20th century it became an important industrial center. During World War II it was bombed by Allied aircraft.

The oldest part of the town is the "colle alta", the higher part, with a well preserved medieval center. The town developed along the river from the 11th century onwards, building an artificial canal to power various industrial activities, such as wheat mills and paper factories.

The city is also famous as the birthplace of sculptor and architect Arnolfo di Cambio. A poet Isabella Cervoni was also born here.

Main sights[edit]

The village is entered through the ancient and monumental Porta Nova and winds its long and narrow way in a sequence of fine 16th- and 17th-century noble houses (notable are Palazzo Usimbardi, Palazzo Buoninsegni and the Town Hall) to the magnificent Palazzo Campana, which marks the entry to the Castle, the oldest part of Colle. Here, the atmosphere suddenly changes: narrow paved lanes, magnificent 15th- and 16th-century noble houses (notable are Palazzo Luci, Palazzo Morozzi, Palazzo Giusti, Palazzo Dini), fascinating tower-houses (notable is the one where Arnolfo di Cambio was born).

Twin towns[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Colle di Val d'Elsa at Wikimedia Commons