The importance of the Etruscans probably started (600 B.C.) with the inception of an aristocratic class, who initially exploited the local resources – there was an important presence of copper mines in the territory – and later development of the trading, helped by the presence of navigable rivers to the sea. The trade concerns both the row materials to work metals and the objects made by clever craftsmen in the workshop of Poggio Civitate.
The most important period is from 600 – 500 century B.C., in the so-called Orientalizing and Archaic periods, of which important signs remain for the knowledge of the Etruscan civilization, subject matter studied worldwide by archaeologists.
The Etruscan traces are very visible in Murlo, both in the land and in the people, as we explain in our special section dedicated to Murlo’s Etruscan Heritage.
The Middle Age
Certainly from 1055 – there is a bull of Henry III Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in this date – the territory of Murlo was the Feud of the Bishops of Siena. They kept their power for 700 years, in spite of all the great historical transformations happening all around (the Siena Repubblic, the Medici dominion, the Grand-duchy of Tuscany). That’s why we can say the Middle Ages of Murlo is very long because it lasted until the French revolution: the legislation and the conservative policy of the Bishop had an enormous influence on the history of this area.
There are many traces of this period in Murlo’s territory: castles, churches, country churches. The most important is Castello di Murlo, that was the main centre of the Feud, residence of the Bishop, which is why the small St Fortunato church got the rank of cathedral.
The Grand-duke Leopold of Tuscany decreed the end of the Feud in 1778.
The history of modern organisation of the Murlo territory starts with the decision of the Grand-duke Leopold II of Lorraine to abolish the state of the bishop feud in 1749.The period of the Lorrainer domination lasted till the beginning of the Nineteenth century, when Murlo was invaded by the French army of Napoleon Buonaparte.
The French kept the territory till 1814 when, with the Vienna Treaty, Murlo was given back to the Grand-duchy of Tuscany and finally to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, in its present structure of borough.
In 1832 the Town Hall moved from Murlo Castle to Vescovado, that in meantime had became more important with new houses that joined the old medieval villages of Andica and Tinoni.
By the end of the Nineteenth century an industrial enterprise – the Murlo Mines – rouses the sleepiness of the countryside, creating a minimum of infrastructures and roads and hope of employment. This initiative, with alternating of bad and good luck, came to an end at the end of the second World War, which partially involved Murlo, when the front passed through.