History of Riotorto in the 1900s

The village of Riotorto, nestled on the slopes of green hills, between the woods of Montioni and the sea, in 1840, had 212 inhabitants. Its growth up to the current 2300 residents is linked to the development of the sharecropping system, with reclamation interventions in the presence of large agricultural estates and, later, by land reform.

Today, precious remains of wetlands remain of that territory, reminding us of the landscape’s conformation that characterized the Tuscan Maremma.

The first settlement bearing this denomination is the medieval castle. Until the fourteenth century, it was the capital of a territory that included the Parish Church of San Giovanni and San Vito, the Church of Sant’Andrea, a Valli, and the district of Follonica.

Destroyed around 1360, the remains of this settlement are covered with vegetation. The walls, the route of the defensive moat, and the remains of the church of San Giovanni can be identified.

Leafing through the pages of the volume dedicated to Riotorto, the old origins are rediscovered. Too often, the past of the people of Calabria is identified with the chimney stacks.

The publication was desired by the Municipality, the decentralization department, the Riotorto district council, and the Tuscan Photographic Archive of the Municipality of Prato has the advantage of reaffirming the ancient traditions linked to agriculture and livestock over two hundred vintage photos you can trace the history of the last hundred years of Riotorto and, consequently, the city.

Many chapters of the book – dedicated to Vando Fornai and Colonel Mario Flecchia – refer to the life in the fields of the “old” Riotortesi, often portrayed in the shadow of the Vignale farm, owned by the families of the Figoli des Geneys and Rosselmini Gualandi (which early 1900s), the last exponents of the landed aristocracy linked to the large estates, where many families of sharecroppers worked there (portraits of which were made): their life was linked to settings, to the land, to horses bond is necessary to go over some history.

The task, in the volume, is entrusted to Ovidio Dell’Omodarme and Monica Pierulivo. At the end of the 18th century, there were only the defensive structures of Torre del Sale, Torre Mozza, and the two buildings of Vignarca and Carlappiano. A little further on, there were some huts inhabited from time to time by shepherds and woodcutters. The rest was mostly swamp. The scenario begins to change in the early nineteenth century: the governolorenese starts a series of reclamations, and in Riotorto, the demographic recovery begins. In this period, the first farmhouses were built in the Sdriscia, Bellavista, and Paludetto. It is in this period that Riotorto country begins to exist.