Spread-out and sparsely-populated, this is the municipality of Sillano Giuncugnano. The youngest municipality in Tuscany, it is the result of a merge of the territories of Giuncugnano and Sillano, which took place in 2015. The fusion followed a referendum in October 2014, when 65% of the voter turnout approved the proposal. The reason behind this change was the aim of having a more cohesive administrative body, not understood as a mere inherited relic but as an institution able to respond the needs of the people, through qualified and trained services. The civic centre is located in Sillano, with a base also in Magliano. Unaltered are the names of the various hamlets, sixteen in all, which make up the vast territory.
If the administrative constitution is recent, the history of this place dates back to the time of the Ancient Romans, and is linked to a particular curiosity. Around 100 AD the Roman General Lucius Cornelius Sulla was marching towards Gaul, where he was going to fight on behalf of his superior Gaius Marius. Sulla had been ordered on a relief campaign, but, crossing the Garfagnana, he was surprised by thick snowfall and forced to halt. The halt lasted so long that he had time to give his name to a good four villages: Sillico, Sillano, Sillicano and Sillicagnana. Not for nothing is there are popular saying: “Sillico, Sillano, Sillicano and Sillicagnana / are the villages oldest in the Garfagnana.”
If the area, isolated as it was, made it easy for its towns to defend their freedom, its inhabitants were not averse to making war between themselves. Such a conflict erupted in 1747 in the area of Soraggio, a town with densely-populated borders, and in reality a conglomeration of six little villages, of which two were Rocca Soraggio and Villa Soraggio. For centuries, these hamlets both fell within the parish of Rocca. When a decree by the Bishop of Sarzana stipulated that the new parish seat would be at Villa, chaos broke out between the two villages. Soldiers had to be sent to restore order, and part of the church and rectory at Rocca were demolished. By that point the parish had been moved definitively to Villa, but a series of orders were issued in order to keep the peace, which allowed Mass to be celebrated in the churches of both rivals.