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Civitella in Val di Chiana
Historical sites

The Massacre at Civitella

These mountains served as a refuge in a dark period of Italian history

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Civitella in Val di Chiana
Civitella's wooded and mountainous location contributed to it becoming a site of resistance during the German occupation. The German command was installed at the Fortress in the fortified village and, on June 18, 1944, four German soldiers were attacked by partisans while they were on a break in the local bar.

The occupiers gave the locals an ultimatum, offering them 24 hours to turn over the offenders or else the entire village would be punished for their deeds. The deadline passed without any collaboration from the locals and—to their surprise—no action was taken by the Germans.

On the morning of June 29, during the Festival of Saints Peter and Paul, the village was full when three German squadrons attacked the towns of Cornia, San Pancrazio and Civitella without warning. The result was one of the bloodiest massacres in Italian history and the town was burnt.


Civitella in Val di Chiana
The Civitella in Val di Chiana area is divided between a lower mountain zone, an extreme offshoot of the Tuscan pre-Apennines (whose forests house the small town), and a level area that forms the northern section of the Valdichiana. Civitella is the first town to greet the flowing Arno River as it descends from the mountains. ...