Radda in Chianti
Radda in Chianti is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 35 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of Florence and about 15 km (9 miles) north of Siena.
The area around the capital has been inhabited since 2000 BC, as evidenced by the archaeological area of Poggio la Croce where the remains of an ancient village emerged and where, during the excavations carried out in the last decade, they were brought to light many exhibits. Later, even if very few traces have emerged, the presence of an Etruscan village can be assumed. By the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in the 5th century, small agglomerations of a rural nature had already formed in the area, which still exist today; these villages were Castelvecchi, Monterinaldi, Volpaia and Radda itself.
Between the 9th and 10th centuries the area of Radda saw the birth of the feudal society which involved the building of the villages. The first certain document in which Radda is mentioned is a diploma from 1002 in which Emperor Otto III confirmed the donation made by Countess Willa in favor of Badia Fiorentina. The locality Radda appears in many documents of the Badia Fiorentina until the XII century. Ramda judicaria fiorentina et fesulana is reported in a document of the Badia a Coltibuono of 1041.
On May 25, 1191 the emperor Henry VI granted the castle of Radda and its court in fiefdom to the Counts Guidi, the same fiefdom was again confirmed by the emperor Frederick II, even if already in the thirteenth century the territory of Radda was dependent on Florence . The castle was sacked by the Sienese in a raid in 1230 while in 1268 it was occupied, together with other localities in the Chianti region, by French troops led by Carlo I d'Angiò. A new occupation and a new heavy looting Radda suffered it during the second Aragonese invasion in 1478.
Administratively Radda was the capital of the Chianti League, comprising the territories of Radda, Gaiole and Castellina. From the end of the thirteenth century it became the seat of a podestà appointed by the Florentines and in the municipal statute of 1415 Radda was confirmed as the capital of the League. Among the podestàs of Radda is Francesco Ferrucci.
In the seventeenth century, after the conflicts ended, the castles were transformed into stately villas in which the owners dedicated themselves to the production of wine. Radda in Chianti was visited in 1773 by the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo who found it far from everything. As a consequence of the visit, the roads were improved but the territory of Radda was always poor and isolated. The affection for the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty remained strong for much longer, if we consider the fact that at the plebiscite of 1860 for the annexation of Tuscany to Sardinia, Radda voted against (281 yes out of 581 voters, out of 879 entitled [4 ]).
This situation reached its climax in the 1950s when the depopulation of the countryside, a phenomenon common to many areas of Chianti, reached its peak. In the seventies the rediscovery of these places began and slowly all the castles, villas and individual farmhouses were restored and farmhouses and farms were planted there.
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