Chapter #1

The battle

Woods and vineyards, Suvereto
River Cornia, Suvereto
Redigaffi stream, Suvereto
The mill, Suvereto
Burdock, Suvereto

In 1201, the valiant knight Ildebrandino VIII degli Aldobrandeschi was called upon to protect his Suveretani subjects from the continuous Saracen pirate raids spoiling his lands. Arriving in the River Cornia plain, the Count’s army faced off with Maghrebis pirates in a bloody battle. By late evening victory was smiling upon the Aldobrandeschi flag, adorned with an unbridled lion. The knight, wounded and armed with his broken sword, sought to reach the town of Suvereto with his remaining army, but he got lost in the Montioni forest, where he wandered aimlessly for days. Alone and disoriented, Ildebrandino found himself in the Molini Valley, where the force of the water from the Redigaffi stream powered the mighty factories. There, exhausted and without strength, he fell unconscious to the ground. When he woke up days later in a humble but welcoming bed, he was greeted by the smile of a young girl and a man covered in flour who handed him a bowl of burdock juice and cleaned his wound with a pulp of natural, wild herbs. After days of treatment, he was revived with bread from the mill and was restored to full strength, though he suffered for the loss of his faithful sword.  

Directed to the next mill by his healer, where the water also drove powerful mallets that forged the minerals of Elba, he met the blacksmith Tubal-cain, who, with a few hits of the hammer and puffs of his bellows, made a magnificent, shining, unbreakable sword. Ildebrandino set off towards Suvereto, his spirits lifted. Back in the saddle of his war horse, he crossed various territories and was able to see the centuries-old olive groves and thriving vineyards that produced oil and wine of high quality. He travelled through farmed fields of wheat and strange vegetables, he came across coal merchants and loggers who transformed timber into precious black charcoal and admired the stupendous land dampened by the River Cornia and the Milia stream.

Chapter #2

The triumph, celebrations, and concession of freedom

Town hall
The forest trails
Suvereto countryside

Ildebrandino arrived in front of the high, turreted walls of Suvereto, reached by trails that would become a paradise for hikers and pilgrims. Entering through the Porticciola, he was recognized and brought triumphantly before the people as a hero that had contained the danger coming from the sea. The town prepared itself for a party, with wreaths and banquets, music-filled streets and acrobats; the wives cooked dishes of wild boar, wheat pasta and deserts made with oil, all of which were accompanied by rivers of wine. The celebration was remembered over the centuries and named the wild boar festival.  

The following day, before the Romanesque cathedral of San Giusto, a grandiose ceremony was celebrated. The valiant knight Count Palatine Ildebrandino degli Aldobrandeschi, impressed by the gratitude and loyalty demonstrated by the Suveretani towards his family, granted the Charta Libertatis. Suvereto became the first free municipality in Upper Maremma and today, as a testament to that day, the 13th-century town hall, the seat of the local government, is still there after more than 800 years, beautiful and imposing.