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Raggiolo is a village located on the casentines’s slope of Pratomagno settled on a spur where the stream Teggina flows ( the name come from etruscan Tegunas) as the stream Barbozzaia do; Teggina, which gave the name of the valley, born under the cross near the water spring “Del duca”, Barbozzaia near the area “Pozza nera”. In the book “A Tuscan community of old regime: Raggiolo in Casentino'' of Marco Bicchierai published in 2006 by Firenze University press, it says that the village is “Located in highness between 520 and 600 meters on the oriental slope of Pratomagno, and is characterized by a mountain climate, with long and cold winters with rain and snow, quite warm and dry summers and  short and mild half season but the exposure to the sun is very limited by the shadow of the mountain”. Still Marco Bicchierai writes: “Clung to the mountain, surrounded by chestnuts, it stands upright from the ancient bridge of the mill to the “Bastia” the spur where there was the fortress of the earls Guidi, at the end Raggiolo isn’t very different from its eighteenth century portrait. The fact that it seems frozen in its antique look makes it easier to imagine how it was in the past and it justifies a research of identity and memory in the old documents. The big water flow of the streams, in the centuries, allowed the development of forges to work the iron, sawmills, mills for cereals and chestnuts that have been, economically, the main products from the beginning as sheep farming, as the point that the village gave the name to a cultivar chestnut: “La Raggiolana”. The origins of Raggiolo, probably, is due to a longobard settlement in the VII century, and it seems that the name comes from a latin word “radius” used to refer to “boundary line”, maybe between the Byzantine territory and the longobard's one. Also the main Raggiolo’s church is dedicated to San Michele archangel and that testifies the longobard presence.   The village become part of a district with other villages of the Asinina valley already renamed Fiorentina valley, the mayor resided in Castel San Niccolo and it included Solano valley, Civitella secca, Teggina valley, Cetica and Montemignaio. Fiorentina valley (Montanee Florentine partium casentine), is historically relevant because it shows us the close relation between this area and Florence, and this relations are still alive nowadays, indeed those areas are now in the province of Arezzo but the city of reference still remains Firenze. Mountaineers with a free and proud spirit, who in 1391, rebelled against Florence because of the heavy taxes and then Florence counterattack by sending mercenary soldiers and they acted a hard repression by  burning houses, hanging 14 men and taking prisoners to Florence. For them interceded Guido by Raggiolo, dominican, in San Marco church. The war between the Viscontis and florentine, bring to Casentino the milanese militia leaded by Piccinino with the support of the earls Guidi, they destroyed the majority of the castles of Fiorentina valley like Uzzano, Ortignano and Raggiolo. The other inhabitants who managed to survive the slaughter repair, rebuilt and continued their habitual habits among pastures and chestnuts. Defeated Piccinino’s army at Anghiari and driven out the earls Guidi, Casentino ha d a new political system the vicariate, the headquarters was at Poppi and it included Fiorentina mountain, Bibbiena, Romena, Poppi and Pratovecchio. The destroyed fortifications have never been rebuilt and now are called “La Bastia”.  The inhabitants' lives have been affected by the change of seasons, which forced them to do the transhumance in Maremma, the coming back in the Pratomagno’s pastures, collection of chestnuts, grinding to do flour, the life in the wood. In 1778 the village was visited by the new Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena who was in research of every tiny hidden part of his new reign, like Raggiolo. The Grand Duke wrote “….there are stunning chestnut woods up to the last ridge that divides Valdarno and in the last mile there are beech trees. These woods are well maintained and fertilized with fire, people are strong, robust and industrious; in winter men go to Maremma, they are poor but don’t have needs, and each has hectares of woods so they don’t need anything when they have chestnuts to eat and commerce.

From Raggiolo, which is the last castle in Casentino, you can go to Trappola and Loro in Val D'Arno, crossing the mountain for 7 miles of wrecked road. From Raggiolo you can also overcame the stream Teggina and go to Ortignano which is 3 miles away through the same road.” In 1873 Raggiolo and Ortignano’s municipality came together and created Ortignano Raggiolo municipality. An interesting characteristic which gives honor to the population is what is says by Carlo Beni in 1881 in his book “Guida del Casentino'' about the level of education of the inhabitants of Raggiolo, “Gives honor to Raggiolo, much more than the memories of the past, the actual level of education of its inhabitants.  The majority, besides some adults, can read and write, while we can’t say the same thing about other places of that municipality and in general about the inhabitants of our mountains”. At the beginning of the last century even Raggiolo had to face the violence and cruelty of the bandit Sagresto and his criminal actions are still in the memory of the village, indeed it was between the houses of the village that Sagresto had a firefight with the police. Like in every mountain village after the second post-war there was a massive displacement of people to other villages. It’s reported that in 1881 in the community of Ortignano-Raggiolo there were 1905 peasants, that became 2316 in 1931, 2029 in 1951, 1422 in 1961, 966 in 1971, 818 in 1981, 804 in 199, then in 2001 there was an increase with 852 peasants and in 2011 with 878. 


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