Grand Duchy of Tuscany

gigatos | February 6, 2022


The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was an ancient Italian State that existed for two hundred and ninety years, between 1569 and 1859, constituted by a bull issued by Pope Pius V on August 27, 1569, after the conquest of the Republic of Siena by the Medici dynasty, rulers of the Republic of Florence, in the final phase of the wars of Italy in the sixteenth century. Until the second half of the XVIII century it was a confederal state constituted by the Duchy of Florence (called “Old State”) and by the New State of Siena, in personal union in the Grand Duke. The title drew origin from that of the Duchy of Tuscia, then Marca di Tuscia and then Margraviato di Toscana, legal title of government of the territory of feudal nature in the longobarda, franca and post-carolingia age.

The rise of the Medici: from the republic to the Grand Duchy

Beginning in 1434, the year in which Cosimo il Vecchio triumphantly returned from the Venetian exile to which he had been forced the previous year by the oligarchic government which ruled the city, the Medici family began to exercise a de facto power over Florence (for which the definition of “cryptocratic lordship” was coined) which was consolidated under Piero di Cosimo known as “il Gottoso” and his son Lorenzo il Magnifico. In 1494 Piero di Lorenzo called the Fatuous or the Unfortunate, unable to effectively oppose the entry of the King of France Charles VIII in Florence, is forced to flee. In the city the republican regime is restored, while the Republic of Pisa regains its independence, which however will lose again in 1509.

Towards the Grand Duchy

The return of the Medici (1512) sees the government of the city Cardinal Giulio, natural son of Giuliano di Piero di Cosimo, who in 1523 will be elected Pope with the name of Clement VII. In 1527, however, after the Sack of Rome by the troops of Charles V, the Florentines rise up proclaiming the republic again: only the agreement between the Medici Pope and the Emperor will allow the final defeat of the last republican regime, after a long siege. In 1531 Alessandro de” Medici takes possession of the government of the city; the year after receives the ducal title, gives life to the Senate of the Forty-eight and the Council of the Two Hundred, reforming the ancient republican and communal institutions. He died in 1537 at the hands of Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de ”Medici, better known as Lorenzino or Lorenzaccio. The government is therefore assumed by Cosimo, son of Giovanni delle Bande Nere, descendant of the cadet branch, and Maria Salviati, grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

The new duke began an expansionist policy that would have a fundamental stage in the Battle of Scannagallo (1554), prelude to the surrender of Siena and the formation of the Republic of Siena repaired in Montalcino. The end of the Sienese would then be decreed at the end of the Franco-Spanish Wars of Italy by the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), with the assignment to Cosimo of the feudal rights over the territory of the Republic of Siena, with the exception of the Maremma coast which went to constitute the State of the Presidi, placed under Spanish control through the Viceroy of Naples to control the Italian protectorates. Cosimo had under his personal control the Republic of Florence (known as the “Old State”) and the Duchy of Siena (known as the “New State”), which maintained a governmental and administrative autonomy with its own magistracy, naturally pleasing to the Sovereigns of Tuscany.

With the bull issued by Pope Pius V on August 27, 1569 Cosimo obtained the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany. At his death (1574), he was succeeded by his son Francesco. The Medici dynasty governed the fate of the Grand Duchy until the death of Gian Gastone (1737), when Tuscany, lacking a direct legitimate heir, was granted to Francesco III Stefano, Duke of Lorraine, consort of Maria Teresa, Archduchess of Austria, on the basis of agreements already stipulated between the European dynasties in 1735.

During the Holy League of 1571, Cosimo fought valiantly against the Ottoman Empire, siding with the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy League inflicted a heavy defeat on the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto, which once again benefited the Medici government in Tuscany.

In the last years of his reign, however, Cosimo I had to suffer a series of personal misfortunes: his wife, Eleanor of Toledo, died in 1562 along with four of his children because of an epidemic of plague spread throughout the city of Florence. These sudden deaths deeply affected the Grand Duke who, already burdened by personal illness, officially abdicated in 1564 leaving the firstborn Francesco to govern the state for him. Cosimo I died of apoplexy in 1574, leaving a stable and prosperous state and distinguishing himself as the longest Medici on the Tuscan throne.

Francis I and Ferdinand I

Despite the heavy inheritance left to him by his father in the government of an entire state, Francesco always showed little interest in the affairs of politics, preferring to devote himself to science and his personal interests. The administration of the grand duchy was then delegated to bureaucrats who managed the state aseptically, continuing the political line taken by Cosimo I with the Habsburg alliance, cemented by the marriage between the Grand Duke and Joan of Austria. Francesco I is particularly remembered for dying on the same day of his second wife, Bianca Cappello, which gave rise to rumors of poisoning. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Ferdinand I, whom he personally detested.

Unlike his brother, Ferdinando I proved to be an excellent statesman in the government of Tuscany. He immediately engaged in a series of public works for the benefit of the people he governed: he began the reclamation of the Tuscan marshes, built a road network in southern Tuscany and made Livorno flourish as a commercial center of great importance. In order to increase the silk industry in Tuscany, he personally supervised the planting of mulberry trees (necessary to feed silkworms) along the main roads of the Grand Duchy, following the example of what was happening in Milan. Slowly but steadily, he shifted Tuscany”s interests away from Hapsburg hegemony by marrying the first non-Hapsburg candidate wife since Alessandro de Medici, Christina of Lorraine, niece of Catherine de Medici, Queen of France. The Spanish reaction (Spain was also ruled by the Habsburgs) was the construction of a fortified citadel on the island of Elba. To reinforce this new orientation of the diplomacy of Tuscany, he married the youngest daughter of the late Francis, Mary, with King Henry IV of France. Henry, for his part, made clear his intention to defend Tuscany at all costs, particularly from possible aggression by Spain. The growing political pressures from Spain, however, forced Ferdinand to retract his positions and to marry his eldest son, Cosimo, with the Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria, whose sister was Queen Consort of Spain. Ferdinand personally sponsored a colonial expedition in the Americas with the intention of establishing a Tuscan settlement in the area corresponding to the current French Guiana. Despite all these incentives to economic growth and prosperity, the population of Florence in the early 17th century was only 75,000, far below many other major cities in Italy such as Rome, Milan, Venice, Palermo and Naples. Francis and Ferdinand both had considerable personal wealth at their disposal since there was never (perhaps intentionally) a clear distinction between the personal wealth of the grand duke and that of the state. Moreover, only the grand duke had the right to exploit the salt and mineral resources present in the whole country and therefore it is easy to understand how the fortunes of the Medici were directly linked to those of the Tuscan economy.

Ferdinand, who in order to ascend the throne had renounced the cardinalate, continued as Grand Duke to have considerable influence on the papal conclaves held during the period of his government. In 1605, Ferdinand was able to propose his candidate, Alessandro de Medici, for election as Leo XI, but he died less than a month later. His successor, Paul V, however, proved to be favorable to the policy of the Medici.

Cosimo II and Ferdinando II

Ferdinand I”s eldest son, Cosimo II, succeeded him to the throne after his death. Like his uncle Francesco I, Cosimo was never particularly interested in the affairs of government and Tuscany once again ended up being ruled by his ministers. The twelve years of Cosimo II”s rule were marked by his marriage to Maria Maddalena and his personal support of the astronomer Galileo Galilei.

When Cosimo II died, his eldest son Ferdinand was still under age to succeed him to the throne. This made it necessary to create a regency council led by Ferdinand”s grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, and the little grand duke”s mother, Maria Magdalena of Austria. Cristina was particularly interested in the religious life of the Grand Duchy, intervening against some laws passed by Cosimo I against religious orders and promoting instead monasticism. Cristina continued to be an influential figure at court until her death in 1636. It was her mother and grandmother who organized her marriage with Vittoria Della Rovere, niece of the Duke of Urbino, in 1634. The couple had two children together: Cosimo, in 1642, and Francesco Maria de Medici, in 1660.

Ferdinand was obsessed with new technologies, endowing himself with a vast collection of hygrometers, barometers, thermometers and telescopes that he had installed in the Pitti Palace in Florence. In 1657, Leopold de Medici, the Grand Duke”s younger brother, founded the Accademia del Cimento, which attracted many scientists to the Tuscan capital.

Tuscany took part in the Castro Wars (the last time Medici Tuscany was directly involved in a conflict) and inflicted a heavy defeat on the forces of Pope Urban VIII in 1643. This conflict, however, drained in a short time the coffers of the Tuscan state and the economy had deteriorated to such an extent that in the farmers” markets they had returned to barter. The revenues were barely sufficient to cover the expenses of the government, thus bringing to an end the banking enterprises of the Medici. Ferdinand II died in 1670, being succeeded by the eldest son Cosimo.

Cosimo, however, never forgot to pay homage to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, at least formally his feudal lord. He sent munitions to support the battle of Vienna and remained neutral during the War of the Spanish Succession (in 1718 the army of the Grand Duchy counted just 3000 men, many of them too old or sick for active service). The capital was filled with beggars and the poor. In order to save the tragic situation in which Tuscany seemed to be plunged, Emperor Joseph I, who made claims of succession to the Grand Duchy by virtue of his descent from the Medici, also moved, but died before these claims could be realized.

Cosimo married Margherita Luisa d”Orleans, niece of Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici. Their union was particularly hard-fought but, despite these continuous tensions, the couple had three children together: Ferdinando, Anna Maria Luisa and Gian Gastone.

Cosimo III, aware of the precarious conditions of his government, even thought of restoring the republic of Florence for the good of his people, a decision that however turned out to be impossible because complicated by the feudal status reached by the grand duchy. The proposal was about to succeed at a meeting convened at Geertruidenberg when Cosimo at the last added that if both he and his two sons were prematurely deceased to his daughter, the electress palatine, this would have obtained the throne, establishing the republic only after the death of the latter. The proposal foundered and declined definitively with the death of Cosimo in 1723.

The last years of the Medici government

Cosimo III was succeeded by his second son, Gian Gastone, since the firstborn had died before him, plagued as he was by syphilis. Gian Gastone, who had lived his life in great obscurity until that moment, was considered an inappropriate monarch since his accession to the Tuscan throne. Gian Gastone reintroduced his father”s puritanical laws. From 1731, Vienna began to take an active interest in the future succession to the throne of Gian Gastone and the Treaty of Vienna was drafted that would have assigned the Grand Ducal throne to Charles, Duke of Parma. Gian Gastone was not able to actively negotiate the future of Tuscany like his father and simply found himself at the mercy of foreign powers that made havoc of his government. Instead of promoting the succession of his male Medici relatives, the princes of Ottajano, he allowed Tuscany to be granted to Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Charles, Duke of Parma, instead became King of Naples by virtue of the Treaty of Turin. Shortly after, Francis Stephen of Lorraine was proclaimed heir to the Tuscan throne. On July 9, 1737, Gian Gastone died and with him ended the grand-ducal line of the Medici.

The first grand duke of the Lorraine dynasty received the investiture of Tuscany with an imperial diploma on January 24, 1737; destined to flank his wife on the imperial throne (first co-regent, he received the nomination as emperor in 1745) and entrusted the government of Tuscany to a regency presided over by Marc de Beauvau, prince of Craon, making only one visit to the region (1739).

Tuscany, becoming by right and in fact a fief of the empire, was in these early years a political and economic appurtenance of the court of Vienna. The famous patronage of the Medici, with their numerous and famous commissions, suddenly ceased: indeed, the new Grand Duke, inheriting the vast and conspicuous Medici properties, hoarded the impressive collections gathered over the centuries. On the occasion of the visit of Francesco Stefano to Florence, numerous works of art from the Medici palaces were transferred to Vienna, with a long procession of carts that left Porta San Gallo for three days. This aroused the indignation of the Florentines themselves, who felt they were the legitimate heirs, and of the Palatine electress Anna Maria herself, the last representative of the Medici family who, on her death, left her possessions and private collections to the city of Florence, thus forming the first nucleus of the “Palatine Gallery”.

This period is not characterized by the traditional affection of the population and the Tuscan leadership towards their rulers. With the arrival of the new dynasty and the new political class of Lorraine, which often proves to be obtuse and exploitative of the Tuscan situation, creates a clear gap with the Florentine high society, which is seen defrauded in part of the ancient political offices.However, on the whole the “Regency Council”, coordinated by Emmanuel de Nay, Count of Richecourt, works well by initiating a series of reforms to modernize the state. Among the most significant are the first census of the population (1745), the application of some taxes also to the Clergy (until now exempt from everything), the law on the press (1743), the regulation of fideicommissum and manomort (1747, 1751), the formal abolition of fiefs (1749), the law on nobility and citizenship (1750), the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (1750). In spite of the various scandals given by the actions of the societies that receive in contract numerous public services, it is succeeded to give a first push towards the modernization of the country, creating the bases for those that will be the reforming ideas of Pietro Leopoldo of Lorena. Only with the declaration of July 14 th 1763, the grand duchy, from imperial pertinence, is qualified in the dynastic dynamics like secondogeniture with the clause that, in the case of extinction of the cadet line, the State would have returned between the imperial possessions.

When the second-born Francesco died, the third-born Pietro Leopoldo was nominated heir of the Tuscan State and was recognized as sovereign with the imperial rescript of August 18, 1765.

In the hands of Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine (1765-1790) the Grand Duchy knew the most innovative phase of the Lorraine government, in which a solid agrarian policy was accompanied by reforms in commerce, public administration and justice.

As Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold is a clear example of an enlightened ruler, and his reforms are distinguished by a propensity for practical rather than theoretical ends.

In his reforming work he availed himself of important officials such as Giulio Rucellai, Pompeo Neri, Francesco Maria Gianni, Angiolo Tavanti.

The Grand Duke started a liberal policy, accepting the appeal of Sallustio Bandini, who published his unpublished Discorso sulla Maremma (Speech on Maremma), promoting the reclamation of the marshy areas in Maremma and in the Val di Chiana and favoring the development of the Accademia dei Georgofili. He introduced freedom in the commerce of grains, abolishing the annonari bonds that blocked the cereal cultivations, but the capital event was, after so many centuries, the liquidation of the corporations of medieval origin, main obstacle for an economic and social evolution of the industrial activity. He then introduced the new customs tariff of 1781, according to which all absolute prohibitions were abolished and replaced by protective duties, which were kept at a very low level compared to those then in force.

The transformation of the tax system was undertaken by Pietro Leopoldo since the first years of his reign and in 1769 the general contract was abolished and the direct collection of taxes began. On the other hand, the sovereign was hesitant between Tavanti”s policy, which until 1781, through the land registry, intended to take land ownership as a term of measurement for taxation and, after Tavanti”s death in 1781, that of Francesco Maria Gianni, his main collaborator from that moment on, who conceived a plan to eliminate the public debt through the sale of the fiscal rights that the State had on the land of its subjects. He would then move on to a system based exclusively on indirect taxation; an operation that began in 1788 and was still not completed in 1790 when Leopold became Emperor.

He reformed certain aspects of Tuscan legislation, but his major project, the drafting of a new code, which Pompeo Neri should have realized, did not come to an end due to the death of Neri himself, while the projects of the constitution did not follow because of his departure for Vienna. In the ecclesiastical field Peter Leopold was inspired by the principles of jurisdictionalism, suppressing the convents and abolishing the bonds of manomorta. Moreover, the high clergy of Tuscany turned religiously towards Jansenism, represented by the bishop of Pistoia Scipione de” Ricci, so much so that the Grand Duke had him organize a synod in Pistoia in 1786 to reform the Tuscan ecclesiastical organization according to Jansenist principles.

The program that came out of this synod, summarized in 57 points and the result of the agreement with Pietro Leopoldo, concerned the patrimonial and cultural aspects and affirmed the autonomy of the local Churches with respect to the Pope and the superiority of the Council, but the strong opposition of the rest of the clergy and the people pushed him to give up this reform.

In the period 1779-1782 Pietro Leopoldo started a constitutional project that continued further in 1790 to establish the powers of the sovereign according to a contractual relationship. This policy, however, aroused strong opposition and the Grand Duke, who in that year ascended to the imperial throne, was forced to renounce it.

But the most important reform introduced by Peter Leopold is the abolition of the last medieval legal legacies in judicial matters. At the beginning of his reign there was absolute confusion in the field of justice, due to the uncontrolled overlapping of thousands of rules accumulated over the centuries. The various measures and princely laws (decrees, edicts, motu proprio, ordinances, declarations, rescripts) valid throughout the Grand Duchy met with exceptions and particular municipal, statutory and customary features that greatly limited their effectiveness. The need to give a first reorganization through a systematic collection is made by Tavanti, who collects all the Tuscan laws from 1444 to 1778. A first phase regards the abolitions of juridical communal and corporative privileges as the abolition of the ecclesiastical censorship and the advantages recognized to the Jews of Livorno, the limitation of the effects of the maggiorascato, of the fidecommesso and of the manomorta of the ecclesiastical corporations.

In criminal matters, until the reform of 1786, the “four infamous crimes” of medieval origin (lese majesty, false, morality and atrocious and atrocious crimes) were still in force. In one fell swoop, Peter Leopold abolished the crime of lese-majesty, the confiscation of property, torture and, most importantly, the death penalty thanks to the launch of the new penal code in 1786 (which took the name “Tuscan criminal reform” or “Leopoldina”). Tuscany was therefore the first state in the world to adopt the principles of the Enlightenment, including Cesare Beccaria, who in his work Dei delitti e delle pene called for the abolition of capital punishment.

In 1790, on the death of his brother Joseph, who had no heirs, he received the Habsburg crown; his son Ferdinand thus became Grand Duke in a period that was already troubled by the French revolutionary events.

In domestic politics, the new Grand Duke did not repudiate his father”s reforms that had brought Tuscany to the forefront in Europe, preceding in some fields even the French Revolution, then in progress, but he tried to limit some excesses, especially in the religious field, which had been unwillingly welcomed by the people.

In foreign policy, Ferdinand III tried to remain neutral in the storm that followed the French Revolution but was forced to align himself with the anti-revolutionary coalition under strong pressure from England, which threatened to occupy Livorno and on October 8, 1793 declared war on the French Republic. The declaration, however, had no practical effects and indeed Tuscany was the first state to conclude peace and to re-establish relations with Paris in February 1795.

The caution of the Grand Duke did not serve, however, to keep Tuscany out of the Napoleonic fire: in 1796 the French armies occupied Livorno to remove it from British influence and Napoleon himself entered in Florence, well received by the sovereign, and occupied the Grand Duchy, although not overthrowing the local government. Only in March 1799 Ferdinand III was forced into exile in Vienna, following the precipitation of the political situation in the peninsula. The French troops remained in Tuscany until July 1799, when they were driven out by an Austro-Russian counteroffensive to which they gave help the Sanfedist insurgents of the “Viva Maria”, started by the insurrection of Arezzo (in fact the army was named Armata austro-russo-aretina).

The restoration was brief; the following year Napoleon returned to Italy and re-established his dominion over the Peninsula; in 1801 Ferdinand had to abdicate the throne of Tuscany, receiving in compensation first (1803) the Grand Duchy of Salzburg, born with the secularization of the former archiepiscopal state and then (1805) the Grand Duchy of Würzburg, another state born with the secularization of an episcopal principality.

The “Jacobin” Tuscany (March-April 1799)

Following the occupation by the French in 1799, even Tuscany (which until then had managed to preserve its freedom by proclaiming neutrality and paying an annual tax to Napoleon), saw the formation of Jacobin municipalities in various parts of the country. A typical manifestation of the Jacobin instances was the erection of liberty trees that were raised in the squares of numerous Tuscan towns and cities, with the enthusiastic participation of the most advanced forces and the tacit resignation or the evident aversion of the most conservative classes. The ideal intent of these Jacobin city governments was to form a Tuscan republic on the model of the Piedmontese one, but the heterogeneity of the political visions of the new ruling class made this an obvious chimera. It should also be noted that the first occupation of Tuscany was very short: it began on March 25, 1799 and already in April began the first movements of Viva Maria that led to the removal of the French. In fact, the occupier was soon disliked by the vast majority of Tuscans, especially because of the prevailing military needs and the need to supply materials and money for the ongoing wars, which were realized through the imposition of taxes and requisitions of animals. Already in July of 1799 the French, incurring in the reverses of the expedition of Egypt and in various defeats in Italy, had been completely driven out of the region by the troops of Arezzo, progressively enlarged by strong contingents of various Tuscan municipalities (for this reason the vague ”Tuscan Republic” never became an effective reality).

Napoleonic spoliations

The plundering in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was carried out by the director of the Louvre himself, Dominique Vivant Denon. Between the summer and winter of 1811, he first combed Massa, Carrara, Pisa, then Volterra and finally Florence. In each he noted the works to be sent to Paris. In Pisa, Denon selected a total of nine works and one bas-relief, among the main ones sent and remained at the Louvre are The Majesty by Cimabue and The Stigmata of St. Francis by Giotto, both originally in Pisa in the church of San Francesco, and also the Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas among the Doctors of the Church by Benozzo Gozzoli, now at the Louvre Museum, originally from the Cathedral of Pisa. In Florence, Denon collected and shipped to France most of the works, including Domenico Ghirlandaio”s The Visitation, now in the Louvre, originally from the church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence, Pala Barbadori, painted by Fra Filippo Lippi, now in the Musée du Louvre, originally from the sacristy of Santo Spirito in Florence, Beato Angelico”s Coronation of the Virgin, now in the Louvre, originally in Fiesole the convent of San Domenico, Presentation in the Temple, by Gentile da Fabriano, now in the Louvre, originally from the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence, The Madonna and Child, St. Anne, St. Sebastian, St. Peter and St. Benedict, by Jacopo da Pontormo, from the church of Sant”Anna sul Prato in Florence, all now in the Louvre.

The Kingdom of Etruria

On February 9, 1801, with the Treaty of Lunéville, Tuscany was ceded by Austria to France. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was suppressed and the Kingdom of Etruria was established, under the command of Ludovico di Borbone (1801-1803) and Carlo Ludovico di Borbone (1803-1807).

In December 1807, the Kingdom of Etruria was suppressed and Tuscany was administered on behalf of the French Empire by Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, appointed head of the restored Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Divided administratively into three departments each dependent on a prefect (and the Department of Ombrone, having as its capital Siena), the Grand Duchy sees ruined its economy, already in crisis for the long wars and invasions: the so-called continental blockade, imposed by Napoleon to all maritime territories subjected to him, determines the collapse of what remained of the flourishing traffic that had characterized the port of Livorno throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and consequently the economy of Tuscany.

The Restoration and the Italian Unitary State

Ferdinand III returned to Tuscany only in September 1814, after the fall of Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna, he obtained some changes to the territory with the annexation of the Principality of Piombino, of the State of the Presidi, of the imperial feuds of Vernio, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina and Montauto and the prospect of the annexation of the Duchy of Lucca, even if in exchange for some Tuscan enclaves in Lunigiana.

The Restoration in Tuscany was, thanks to the Grand Duke, an example of gentleness and good sense: there were no purges of personnel who had worked in the French period; French laws in civil and economic matters were not abrogated (except for divorce) and where there were restorations there was a return of the already advanced Leopoldine laws, as in the penal field.

Many Napoleonic institutions and reforms were maintained or marginally modified: the legislation with the commercial codes, the mortgage system, the publicity of judgments, the civil status, confirmed and surpassed many of the innovations introduced by the French, making the State one of the most modern and avant-garde in the field. Hence an independent orientation of the public spirit that becomes scarcely sensitive to the appeals of the secret societies and Carbonari that are arising in the rest of Italy.

The greatest care of the restored Lorraine government was for public works; in these years, numerous roads (such as the Volterrana), aqueducts and the first serious reclamation works of the Val di Chiana and Maremma began, with the personal commitment of the sovereign himself. Ferdinando III paid for this praiseworthy personal commitment with the contraction of malaria, which led to his death in 1824.

At the death of his father in 1824, Leopold II assumed power and immediately demonstrated his desire to be an independent sovereign, supported in this by the minister Vittorio Fossombroni, who was able to foil a maneuver of the Austrian ambassador Count of Bombelles, to influence the inexperienced Grand Duke. The latter not only confirmed the ministers that his father had nominated, but immediately gave proof of his sincere desire to commit himself with a reduction of the tax on meat and a plan of public works that included the continuation of the reclamation of the Maremma (so much so that he was affectionately nicknamed “Canapone” and remembered by the people of Grosseto with a sculptural monument placed in Piazza Dante), the enlargement of the port of Livorno, the construction of new roads, a first development of tourist activities (then called “industry of the foreigner”) and the exploitation of the mines of the Grand Duchy.

From a political point of view, the government of Leopold II was in those years the mildest and most tolerant in the Italian states: the censorship, entrusted to the learned and mild-mannered father Mauro Bernardini da Cutigliano, did not have many opportunities to operate and many exponents of Italian culture of the time, persecuted or who did not find the ideal environment in their homeland, could find asylum in Tuscany, as happened to Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Guglielmo Pepe, Niccolò Tommaseo. Some Tuscan writers and intellectuals such as Guerrazzi, Giovan Pietro Vieusseux and Giuseppe Giusti, who in other Italian states would certainly have been in trouble, were able to operate in peace. The Grand Duke”s answer to the Austrian ambassador who complained that “in Tuscany, censorship does not do its duty” is still famous, to which he replied with irritation, “but its duty is not to do so! The only flaw in such tolerance and mildness was the suppression of the magazine Antologia di Giovan Pietro Vieusseux, which took place in 1833 due to Austrian pressures and, in any case, without any further civil or criminal consequences for the founder.

In April 1859, in the imminence of the Second War of Italian Independence against Austria, Leopold II proclaimed neutrality but now the days of the grand-ducal government were numbered: in Florence the population was noisy and the troops gave signs of insubordination.

On April 27, Wednesday, around four o”clock, accompanied by a few intimates and foreign ambassadors (except for the Sardinian one), Leopold II and his family left Florence, leaving with four carriages from Palazzo Pitti, going out through the Porta di Boboli towards the road to Bologna. He had just refused to abdicate in favor of his son Ferdinand.

The peaceful resignation to the course of history (the Grand Duke never thought of a solution by force) and the way of saying goodbye, with the personal effects loaded into the few carriages and the expressions of sympathy to the court personnel, meant that in the last moments of his stay in Tuscany, the now ex-subjects regained their old esteem for Leopoldo: the Grand Ducal family was greeted by the Florentines, who raised their hats as they passed, with the cry “Addio babbo Leopoldo! “and accompanied with all due respect by an escort as far as Filigare, by then former customs house with the Papal State. At six o”clock in the afternoon of that same day, the municipality of Florence noted the absence of any provision left by the sovereign and appointed a provisional government.

Asked for asylum at the Viennese court, the former Grand Duke officially abdicated only the following 21 July; since then he lived in Bohemia, going to Rome in 1869, where he died on 28 January 1870. In 1914 his body was then transported to Vienna to be buried in the mausoleum of the Habsburgs, the Crypt of the Capuchins.

Ferdinand IV virtually ascended to the throne of Tuscany after the abdication of his father in 1859, he was an involuntary protagonist of the Risorgimento, because until the passage of Tuscany to the Kingdom of Italy (1860) he had become grand duke even if he did not live in Florence and was never really crowned. Following the royal decree of March 22, 1860, which reunited Tuscany to the Kingdom of Sardinia, Ferdinand IV published in Dresden the following March 26 his official protest against such annexation and following the suppression of Tuscan independence with the royal decree of February 14, 1861, he published a subsequent protest of March 26, 1861 contesting the title of “king of Italy” to Vittorio Emanuele II.

Despite this, even after the suppression of the grand duchy, Ferdinand, having maintained the fons honorum and the collation of dynastic orders, continued to bestow titles and decorations. On December 20, 1866 Ferdinand IV and his children returned to the imperial house and the house of Tuscany ceased to exist as an autonomous royal house, being reabsorbed by the Austrian imperial house; Ferdinand IV was allowed to maintain his fons honorum vita natural durante, while his children became only imperial princes (archdukes or archduchesses of Austria) and no longer princes or princesses of Tuscany: Ferdinand IV abdicated his dynastic rights to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (1870) in favor of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and therefore his descendants also lost all dynastic rights to Tuscany. The Grand Magistry of the Order of Santo Stefano ceased with the death of Ferdinand IV. Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916) had in fact forbidden, after the death of Grand Duke Ferdinand IV in 1908, to assume the titles of Grand Duke or Prince or Princess of Tuscany.

During the 19th century, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was represented by its own ambassadors abroad at the courts of the Austrian Empire, of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, of France, of Belgium, of Great Britain, of the Kingdom of Sardinia and of the Papal State; in Spain and in the Ottoman Empire, instead, Tuscany was represented by Austrian diplomats.

On the other hand, various foreign powers were accredited to the Lorraine court in Florence: Austria, the Two Sicilies, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia, the Papal States and Switzerland. Instead, Belgium, Brazil and Russia had their own ambassadors based in Rome, while the Kingdom of Sweden and Norway had theirs in Naples.

More numerous were the consular representations in Florence, Livorno and other Tuscan cities: Hamburg, Austria, Bavaria, Belgium, Brazil, Bremen, Chile, Denmark, Two Sicilies, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hannover, Lübeck, Mexico, Modena and Reggio, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Netherlands, Parma and Piacenza, Portugal, Prussia, Sardinia, Saxony, Spain, United States of America, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Tunis, Turkey, Uruguay, Württemberg.

Numerous are, finally, the Tuscan consulates in the world to demonstrate the vast trade and business: Aleppo, Alexandria, Algiers, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Ancona, Antwerp, Athens-Piraeus, Bahia, Beirut, Barcelona, Bastia, Bayreuth, Bona, Bordeaux, Cadiz, Cagliari, Civitavecchia, Corfu, Frankfurt am Main, Genoa, Gibraltar, Geneva, Lima, Lyon, Lisbon, London, Malta, Marianopolis, Marseilles, Mobile, Montevideo, Naples, Nice, New Orleans, New York, Odessa, Palermo, Rome, St. Petersburg, Ragusa, Thessaloniki, Smyrna, Stockholm, Trieste, Tripoli Libya, Tunis. Petersburg, Ragusa, Thessaloniki, Smyrna, Stockholm, Trieste, Tripoli of Libya, Tunis, Venice.

With the advent of Lorraine, the state administration was reorganized in a more rational and modern way. The government, initially, in the absence of the Grand Duke, who was busy reigning as Emperor (1745-64), was composed of a Council of Regency, formed by exponents close to the Lorraine cause and by Florentine notables. Despite the presence in the council of men like Gaetano Antinori, Neri Venturi, Carlo Rinuccini and Carlo Ginori, all of a certain level and moral rigor and with modern entrepreneurial initiatives, the economy and the state budget did not take off.

The Presidents of the Regency Council, nominated by the Grand Duke, were not up to the situation and turned out to be rapacious and unscrupulous men (de Craon, Richecourt) who further impoverished the already exhausted state coffers and favored the new Lorraine ruling class that often provided for indiscriminate exploitation.

The proliferation of new taxes and the contracting out, starting in 1741, to private French adventurers of all the main public services (customs, taxes, post office, mint, magona, etc.) without any obligation to account, made the regent government disliked by the Tuscan population, often supported by the ancient nobility who did not like the arrival of a foreign sovereign.

The central administration was made up of various Secretariats (ministries) that legally depended on the Signoria of the Council of Dugento (executive body of the Regency), while the ancient Florentine Senate composed of 48 members was now almost completely deprived of power.

With the new Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, sovereign power returned directly to Florence. An enlightened reformer, the prince, aided by ministers with a modern and open mentality, reformed the institutions of the State, eliminating the obsolete and useless organs and replacing them with more modern offices in keeping with reality. The first intervention is made towards the ancient Florentine magistrates, providing for their reorganization or abolition.

Among the sixteen civil magistracies of the city of Florence, the following are abolished or reformed: Commissioners of the Quarters, Captains of the four Companies of the People and their Gonfaloniers, the Major General Sergeant of the Militia at the head of the city Militia, Proconsul of the Arts, Five Magistrate Officials of the Court of Mercantile Affairs, Council of the Seven Major Arts and their Gonfaloniers, Council of the Fourteen Minor Arts and their Gonfaloniers, Banks of Corporations.

The Secretariats at the advent of Peter Leopold were coordinated by the Superior Directorate of State Affairs and were that:

In deference to the juridical-administrative particularism, moreover, for the Duchy of Siena there were its own institutions.

With the reform of March 16, 1848, the Superior Directorate of State Affairs was divided into 5 ministries that later became 7. On the eve of the fall of Lorraine, the government was organized with the following ministries:

There was also the Council of State, which gradually replaced the Prince”s Privy Council with specific administrative and judicial powers.

With the Reform Law of 22 July 1852 it was divided into three sections (Justice and Grace, Interior, Finance). As the Prince”s Council, it gave opinions in the affairs submitted to it (as Supreme Court of administrative litigation, it was an unappealable judge of the highest degree (appeals of the Court of Auditors, of the compartmental Prefectures, appeals of the Prefectural Councils in matters of public contracts, on the disputes for the enfranchisement of the former principality of Piombino, on the disputes of the reclamations and water courses of the Pisan Maremma, on the tax of slaughter).

The local administration ran the various Tuscan communities with representatives of the central Florentine government for the most important centers (governors and captains) and by the magistrates of the communities that varied for each center according to the historical traditions of their institutions. In fact, every Tuscan city and center, even after the Florentine conquest, had generally maintained its own magistracy, customs and organizations. Recurrent in the various communities, however, were the Council of Elders and the Gonfaloniere togato, with powers similar to those of today”s mayors. The government was peripherally represented by various governors, captains, vicars and podestà who also exercised jurisdictional activities, health, police. The figure of the Royal Commissioner had extraordinary and temporary functions for particular situations with the centralization of all state powers at the local level (legislation, health, police).

In order to standardize the dating of official acts with most other European powers, in 1750 the Tuscan calendar was reformed. Until that date, in fact, the so-called “Florentine style” was used, for which the date was set from 25 March “ab incarnatione”, the first day of the Tuscan year, thus changing the computation of the years with respect to the Gregorian calendar.

The grand-ducal Tuscany had different borders from the current regional ones, even if at the time of the Unification of Italy in 1859 they were very similar, i.e. roughly following the natural ones.

In the pre-Napoleonic period, to the north were the two exclaves of Lunigiana with Pontremoli and Fivizzano and the small portion of Albiano Magra and Caprigliola in the Magra valley, separated from the rest of Tuscany by the Duchy of Massa. On the Versilia coast the exclave of Pietrasanta and Seravezza, while in the Serchio valley the small district of Barghigiano (Barga). The main body of the grand duchy embraced roughly the entire region. It excluded the actual province of Lucca, that then constituted a republic and then from 1815 an independent duchy (except the Garfagnana that was under the Este dominion), and to the south the principality of Piombino with the island of Elba and the State of Presidi. To the east, the Tuscan State also embraced the Apennine territories of the Romagna side (Romagna granducale) until almost the gates of Forli, including the centers of Terra del Sole, Castrocaro, Bagno di Romagna, Dovadola, Galeata, Modigliana, Portico and San Benedetto, Premilcuore, Rocca San Casciano, Santa Sofia, Sorbano, Tredozio, Verghereto, Firenzuola, Marradi, largely subtracted in 1923. On the Marecchia it included the enclave of Santa Sofia Marecchia and that of Cicognaia, today Ca” Raffaello. They remained excluded the imperial feuds of Vernio, of Santa Maria Tiberina and of the Marquisate of Sorbello, respectively county of the Bardi and marquisate of the Bourbon del Monte until the Napoleonic suppressions and the consequent Tuscan annexation.

In the post-Napoleonic and pre-unification period, the fiefs of Lunigiana were ceded to the dukedoms of Parma and Modena. The Principality of Piombino, Elba and the State of Presidi were annexed after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. From 1847 was acquired the Duchy of Lucca.


The Tuscan State, unified by the Medici, was administratively divided into the old or “Florentine” Duchy, the new or “Sienese” Duchy and the province of Pisa as an integral part of the old Duchy. The new Duchy, annexed with the fall of the ancient republic of Siena, had its own magistracy and its own institutions, in a sort of personal union of the Grand Duke with the Florentine one. This state of affairs remained substantially unchanged until the second half of the 18th century with the new Lorraine dynasty. The Grand Duchy thus, until the administrative reforms of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, was divided into:

Many of the country communes, which grouped together small communities, were often aggregated into rural leagues. Many of these had ancient origins and managed the common interests they represented. Among the best known are:

There was then the vast Florentine district that, although not part of the countryside of Florence, enjoyed some prerogatives and tax exemptions granted by the “Dominant”, as the capital was nicknamed. The district was subdivided in the county of Pistoia (Cortine delle porte Carratica, Lucchese, al Borgo, San Marco), which was headed by the captaincy of the same name with the vicariates of San Marcello and Cutigliano, Pescia, Montecarlo and various podestàs. Casentino was also part of it with the vicariate of Poppi from which depended various podestàs, the Tuscan Romagna with the captaincies of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole, Portico and San Benedetto in Alpe, Palazzuolo and Marradi, Rocca San Casciano and the vicariates of Sorbano, Firenzuola and Montagna Fiorentina, Verghereto, Bagno di Romagna and Val di Sarnio, from which depended the podestàs of Galeata, Modigliana, Dovadola, Tredozio, Premilcuore and finally the county of Val di Chiana consists of the captaincy of Arezzo with the vicariates of Pieve Santo Stefano and Monte San Savino and some podestàs, the captaincy of Sansepolcro with the vicariates of Sestino and Massa Trabaria, Badia Tedalda, the captaincy of Montepulciano with the vicariate of Anghiari and the captaincy of Cortona with the vicariates of Valiano and Monterchi.

They were part of the Florentine district also various territorial exclaves: the captaincy of Livorno and the Port with the podesteria of Crespina, the captaincy dependent on Livorno of Portoferraio in Elba, the captaincy of Versilia with Pietrasanta and the podesterie of Seravezza and Stazzema, the captaincy of Pontremoli and the captaincy of Bagnone, Castiglione and Terziere in Lunigiana with the vicariate of Fivizzano, Albiano and Caprigliola and various podestàs (later united in the governorship of Lunigiana, the vicariate of Barga with its district (Barghigiano), the vicariate of San Gimignano with the podestà of Colle Valdelsa. Finally, the allodial Medici feud of Santa Sofia di Marecchia, granted to the Milanese Colloredo.

Integral part of the Florentine State, but excluded from the privileges granted to the district, was the Province of Pisa, that is the territory already belonged to the ancient republic of Pisa at the time of its annexation: captaincy of Pisa with the vicariates of Vicopisano and Lari from which depended many podestàs, the captaincies of Volterra, Bibbona, Campiglia, Castiglione della Pescaia from which depended various podestàs, and the captaincy of Giglio with seat in the castle of the island.

The major centers of the state were divided into cities, lands and villages. Among the cities are mentioned:

After the reforms leopoldine, that they created the inferior Province senese with Grosseto (capitanati of Grosseto, Massa Marittima, Sovana, Arcidosso and the podesterie of Scansano, Giglio, Castiglione of the Pescaia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Saint Fiora, San Giovanni of the Contee, Castell”Ottieri) and instituted the communities (1774), and exceeded the subdivision napoleonica in the three Departments of Arno (Florence), Ombrone (Siena), Mediterranean (Livorno) everyone subdivided in prefetture, with the restoration recreated in part the ancient administrative organization.

Post-napoleonic period

Around 1820 the Tuscan State was administratively divided into the three provinces of Florence with Livorno and the Port, Pisa, Siena, Grosseto, with four governorates (Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Siena), six royal commissariats (Arezzo, Pistoia, Pescia, Prato, Volterra, Grosseto), thirty-six vicariates in the province of Florence, five in Pisa, seven in Siena and nine in Grosseto with a hundred podestas.

A) Florentine Province (Countryside, Mountain, Romagna, Lunigiana, Valdarno, Versilia, Port)

B) Pisan Province (Campagna, Volterrano, Maremma, Principality of Piombino)

C) Province of Siena (Internal, Maremma)

Compartments of 1848

A substantial administrative reform of the territory was with the Royal Decree of March 9, 1848, which established six districts (Compartment of Florence, Pistoia Compartment, Arezzo Compartment, Compartment of Pisa, Siena Compartment, Grosseto Compartment) and two governments (Government of Livorno, Government of the Island of Elba). To the previous provinces, became prefectures, were added Lucca and the Island of Elba, the latter dependent on Livorno, which had a civil and military governor. The prefectures were divided into districts, in turn divided into delegations of first, second and third class.

In 1850 were established some sub-prefectures: Pistoia, San Miniato, Rocca San Casciano, Volterra, Montepulciano, Portoferraio, while remained first class government delegations only those of Florence (districts of San Giovanni, Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella) and Livorno (terzieri del Porto, San Marco, San Leopoldo). This situation will remain substantially unchanged until its abolition with the Law of March 20, 1865 of the new Kingdom of Italy.

Like every state formed during the Ancien Régime, Tuscany, with the Medici grand-ducal seigniory, had developed its own feudal system. The Tuscan state, although formally an immediate fief of the empire, had the possibility, through its grand dukes, to exercise the feudal power typical of the sovereigns of the time.

Starting from the seventeenth century, with Ferdinand I began to grant the first feuds to families who had proved to be particularly close to the House of Medici, ensuring their loyalty with the concession of vast lands in the form of feudal vassalage.

Among the first feuds granted there was the county of Santa Fiora, near Mount Amiata; sovereign county of a branch of the Sforza family (later Sforza Cesarini) which had ceded its sovereign powers to the Grand Duke, who returned it to the family in the form of a grand ducal feud. Starting from the end of the twenties of the XVII century such concessions became more and more numerous and frequent. This situation remained almost unchanged until the law on the abolition of feuds, promulgated by the Tuscan Regency in 1749, which was followed by the promulgation of the Law of 1st October 1750 that regulated the rules of the Tuscan nobility. In fact, however, many feuds continued to survive until almost the end of the reign of Pietro Leopoldo. The fiefs were distinguished in marquisates and counties and were classified in grand-ducal fiefs (of grand-ducal nomination), mixed (of imperial or pontifical origin), autonomous (in accomandigia).

Among the marquisates are mentioned:

The counties were:

Other vassal fiefs with autonomy:

There were also some imperial fiefdoms that, although sovereign and autonomous, were placed under the protectorate of Tuscany (accomandigia). These were many of the marquisates of Lunigiana (Mulazzo, Groppoli, Tresana, Olivola, etc.) and the counties of Vernio and Santa Maria in Val Tiberina.

The sovereign family also had many estates and extensive land holdings. In particular in the form of estates and farms. With the reclamation of the countryside vast plots of land passed to the Crown and to the Order of Santo Stefano; this is the case of the various grand-ducal farms in the Val di Chiana and in the Val di Nievole. With the economy policy implemented by the Lorraine, many of these properties, which had been neglected and abandoned for a long time, were alienated to private individuals. Also the numerous Medicean villas and the hunting grounds were partly sold or freed from the hunting restriction by specific laws of the State, such as the one of July 13th 1772. Following are some grand-ducal land properties:


The bad administration of the territory of the last Medici had generally made the already inadequate road system of Tuscany unworkable, aggravated also by the phenomenon of brigandage in the most remote areas of the State such as the Val di Chiana and the Maremma. Traced without planning, without regulations and maintenance, the Tuscan roads were in a state of semi-abandonment, often resulting in simple paths barely visible to disappear in quagmires or dust, interrupted by streams or fords without signaling. Especially in the winter season they became largely impassable for rain. With the advent of the Lorraine family there was a need, already under the Regency, to strengthen and compensate the road network not only for military purposes, but also and primarily to develop trade in agricultural products and commodities. The need to make the roads no longer “tratturi” or paths for the transport of goods “with the basto a soma” but also for the use of carts, wagons and stagecoaches, went hand in hand with the liberalization of internal trade, starting with the grain of the Sienese Maremma. It was necessary to restructure the tracks, open new ones and regulate their use. In 1769 the competence of their maintenance and control was removed to the “Captains of Guelph Party” subject to the magistrate of the “Nine Conservators” to pass with the reform of 1776 to the care of the communities that were crossed by the royal postal roads.

The first organic regulation for the mail service of couriers, procurers and coachmen dates back to 1746, with which the professional figure of the procurer was the only one authorized to lead the stagecoaches out of town. The roads were classified according to the administrative competence for their management: maestre or regie postali (long-distance communication by the government), communal (connecting the various cities or towns, by the municipalities), proximal (between various properties, by the owners who used them).

Their construction technique varied according to the needs distinguishing them in paved (they were the best known), in “bulk” with dry stones or with limestone to resist erosion. In the plain, instead, they were simply ballasted with beaten earth. The main roads were mainly used to transport mail and travelers with the diligence and as such were served by places of rest for the change of horses and the refreshment of passengers with taverns and inns. In the Lorraine plan of recovery of the road network obviously the greatest efforts were directed towards the main postal roads.

Among the main roads of the Medici era then became in the Lorraine era “Regie Maestre Postali” are remembered:

From 1825 are traced new royal roads to improve the traffic of the State: the Florence-Pontassieve-Incisa, Sarzanese, Pisa-Pistoia, Pisa-Piombino, of the Colmate or Arnaccio; new Apennine passes are opened (Muraglione, 1835, Porretta, 1847, Cerreto, 1830, Cisa, 1859).

Instead, the so-called “waterways” were more widely used. The rivers and canals were for the time more practical and rapid for the movement of people and goods. The best known were:

For Railways see Tuscan Railways.

With the Renaissance and the resurgence of economic activity, numerous rural centers along the main commercial routes regained importance. The cities placed on the roads that descend from the north to Rome develop again. New lands are cleared and colonized with the first attempts at land reclamation and between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries gradually takes shape the typical Tuscan landscape.

With the new century the population in 1801 reaches 1,096,641 inhabitants, arriving in 1814 at 1,154,686 and in 1836 1,436,785. The capital city, Florence, is followed by Livorno, which in 1836 had 76,397 inhabitants, and Pisa, which had 20,943 inhabitants, while its province had 329,482. Followed by Siena with 139,651 (18,875 in the city), the city of Pistoia with 11,266 inhabitants, Arezzo with 228,416 (of which 9,215 in the city), and Grosseto with 67,379 inhabitants (2,893 in the city).The population of Tuscany in 1848 has a total of 1,724,246 inhabitants divided by compartments (provinces):

The Florentine court was the fulcrum of Tuscan society and politics, and even when the Medici were replaced by the Lorraine, the royal palace of Palazzo Pitti, although deprived of a royal grand duke until 1765, continued to be considered the ideal center of the state along with the Palazzo Vecchio. The old Medici nobility, largely conservative and bigoted, began to be flanked by a new Lorraine leadership often made up not only of nobles loyal to the House of Lorraine, but also adventurers and exploiters of the new Tuscan political situation in their favor. However, this clash that soon occurred between the Medici ruling class, austere and immobilist and the new more modern and entrepreneurial leadership renewed the social stasis that had been created in the last decades of the Tuscan dynasty.

Until 1750 Tuscany did not have its own nobiliary law, continuing to make use of common law and the norms relative to the Ordo decurionum introduced in the municipalities of the lower Roman Empire. The “Law for the Regulation of Nobility and Citizenship” promulgated in Vienna on July 31, 1750 refers in large part to the Statutes and jurisprudence of the Order of Santo Stefano of 1748. For the occasion is created a “Deputation above the nobility and citizenship” composed by 5 deputies of grand ducal nomination with the purpose to identify and recognize the families having right to be part of the patriciate and the nobility. With this law the general principles are dictated in order to recognize to a subject the dignity of noble and to enter to belong to the civic nobility: the enjoyment of citizenship for a long time in one of the “Patrie nobili” distinguishing the old ones in which there are patricians, ie nobles who are entitled to the knighthood of the Order of Santo Stefano and the simple nobles, ie those who can prove patents of nobility for at least 200 years – or as in Florence before 1532 – (Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia, Arezzo, Volterra, Cortona) from the new ones in which there belong the simple nobles (Montepulciano, San Sepolcro, Colle Valdelsa, San Miniato, Prato, Livorno, Pescia), to have a rich heritage with noble fiefs, to belong to one of the noble orders, to have received a diploma of nobility from the sovereign, to live with decorum proportionate to their income or to exercise the trade or noble profession, to be or belong to a family that has held the office of Gonfalonier of the city (civic nobility). In order to put an end to the confusion and arbitrariness of the past, the law sets as a legitimizing source for the status of noble the sole act of the sovereign. Their recognition allows their inscription in the “golden book” of their city. The previous law of March 15, 1749 “Sopra i feudi e i feudatari” (On feuds and feudal lords), which reorganized the feudal powers in Tuscany, was passed one year later. The Tuscan aristocratic class basically based its wealth on land revenues. It was represented by the local nobility who enjoyed the many privileges, especially tax privileges granted by the grand dukes to buy their loyalty and services. Its exponents, landowners ascended to the highest magistracies of the State and entered the knighthood of the Tuscan order of Santo Stefano often by right if they were residents in the “Patrie Nobili”, which in turn enjoyed a privileged status in terms of collections and exemptions from taxes. The nobility, besides owning their own private patrimony (allodial goods) could receive the investiture of feuds of the State, often after payment of sums to the grand-ducal treasury, from which they received further revenues. Only with the law of 1749 on the abolition of the feuds and the relative feudal rights on the land is put a brake on the economic power that had assumed the aristocratic class. The law promulgated by the grand duke-emperor through the secretary of the grand ducal jurisdiction Giulio Rucellai, reduces the political power of the feudatories, prohibits their interference on the revenues of the communities, equating them in fiscal matters to all the other subjects. The long controversies and resistances conducted by the nobility lead only at the end of the century to the progressive birth of a middle landed bourgeoisie that will develop only in the following century. The same law regulates the cases of exclusion of subjects and their successors from the status of noble (crime of lese-majesty, exercise of vile arts such as retail trade, notary, medicine, mechanics), while other artistic activities such as painting and sculpture are not causes of impediment. This allows the registration in the golden book of Florence of 267 noble families, in Siena of 135 families (103 patricians and 32 nobles), in Livorno of 46 noble families.

The clergy, who dominated the court under the last Medici, continued to influence the politics of the Lorraine Regency period. Similar to the nobles, prelates and priests continued to have many privileges of a fiscal and legal nature, exempting them from the obligations of state authority (privilegia canonis, fori, immutatis, competentiae).

The bourgeoisie is the emerging and heterogeneous class that has always characterized the Tuscan city society. The middle class merchant, professional, artisan and financial was on its way to become also landowner.From the medieval period continued to be divided according to the trade carried out. It continued to subsist the ancient corporative structure with the seven Major Arts (judges and notaries, Calimala merchants, money changers and bankers, wool merchants, silk merchants, doctors and apothecaries), the five medium arts (beccai, blacksmiths, shoemakers, masters of stone and wood, galigai) and the nine minor arts (vintners, bakers, oliandoli, chiavaioli, linaioli, legnaioli, armor and weapons, vaiai and cuoiai, hoteliers). These corporations had their own privileges with civil and criminal magistrates, statutes and their own courts, their own consuls who represented the autonomy and representation, they made a state within the state.

Rural society was mostly made up of peasants, a generic category which was not even considered as a social class, including small owners who were direct cultivators and wage earners bound to the land by sharecropping contracts. Legal uncertainty and the absence of real social protection kept the peasant in a prevailing condition of instability and financial poverty. Against the oppression and privileges of the landowners, there was no possibility of appeal. Regardless of the annual production, half of the proceeds from the farm went to the landowner, often reducing the peasant and his family to the “miserable condition of consuming themselves with hardship and hunger”. In spite of the serious exploitation, the ignorance, the high mortality rate, the serious debt, the malnutrition and the dramatic itinerant life due to the frequent annual cancellations of sharecropping, the rural population did not abandon the countryside and increased the demographic development. Before the Leopold reforms that led to vast modern appoderament of the countryside, the sharecroppers lived in wooden huts with thatched roofs with families of 10-15 members in strict promiscuity, often in the company of animals. There were also about 40,000 unemployed and beggars out of almost a million inhabitants in the state. The unemployed got by doing the rural “pigionali”, ie laborers who occasionally lent their labor (ad opra) in the fields for overtime work or harvests.

Very rich instead the production of timber from the forests of the Apennine chain. The cuts are well regulated and periodic or in rotation, preventing the impoverishment of the forest cover in large part of state or ecclesiastical property. The wood was used for the naval dockyards of Pisa and Livorno or for the charcoal burners. The manufacturing activity, although it began to develop and to assume industrial connotations only from the middle of the 19th century, already from the previous century there was the production of straw to make the famous “Florence hats” then exported all over the world (Australia, 1855). The production of textiles and in particular of silk, although it has lost the prosperity of past centuries and is made in conditions of backwardness of the looms continues to subsist, although with the serious limitation of the prohibition of exportation of the so-called “soda silk” (similarly the cotton industry is now limited to the domestic and rural activities of the home looms, if we consider that at the time of Pietro Leopoldo in Tuscany there were only 4,000 looms scattered in the rural communities. More relevant was the production of porcelain of Doccia by Carlo Ginori, the terracotta of Impruneta. Among the mining activities most of the mines are almost exhausted for the secular exploitation: in Maremma the main materials are the sulfur of Pereta and the marble of Campiglia, the pietra serena of Firenzuola, Gonfolina and Fiesole, the rare copper that is extracted in Montecatini in Val di Cecia, the alumiere of Volterra and Montioni, the mercury near Montaione, the statuary marble of Serravezza, the salt pans of Livorno and Portoferraio with all the limitations of a juridical nature that the Roman law in use still recognized to the landowner who continued to have absolute dominion “from heaven to hell”, having thus the faculty to prevent the excavation of the mines below his property. Also the extraction of the iron continues to have a certain importance although the property of the mines of Elba is of the princes of Piombino. The working of the iron (the Magone) is localized on the coast maremmana with furnaces and ferriere (one from 1577 to Follonica then specialized in cast iron, one to Valpiana near Massa Marittima from 1578 and the other to the Fitto di Cecina from 1594), on the lake of the Accesa (1726), already used in Etruscan age, and still in Versilia, in the mountains of Pistoia, rich in charcoal and water, where the ferrous material was laboriously brought across the sea to Livorno, the canals and the Arno to the port of Signa and from there to Pistoia on wagons to continue with mules up the mountain (Pracchia, Orsigna, Maresca, Mammiano, Sestaione, Cutigliano and Pistoia itself).

After the great plague of 1630, the grand-ducal government reinforced its sanitary measures not only on the land borders but especially on the maritime ones. Livorno was the seat of the Department of Maritime Health with an important harbor master”s office with jurisdiction over the entire Tuscan sea, including the islands. It was the head of both the military and merchant navy commands, the Office of Health Inspection from which also depended the administration of port Lazzeretti. Other health deputations, reorganized with the reform of 1851 were divided by order of jurisdiction and importance in three classes: Portoferraio, Porto Longone (Porto Azzurro), Porto S. Stefano, Viareggio (health offices and the merchant navy) belonged to the 1st class, Talamone, Port”Ercole, Castiglione della Pescaia, Piombino-porto belonged to the 2nd class and finally to the 3rd class Porto Vecchio di Piombino, Rio Marina, Marciana Marina, Marina di Campo. There were also detached offices of health for the control of the coast (Pianosa, port of Follonica, Baratti, Giglio port, port of Bocca d”Arno, port of Forte dei Marmi. The population when it was not treated and assisted in their homes, this condition for the wealthier classes, was hospitalized in hospitals and kindergartens, generally managed by charitable institutions. Among these, in Florence there are the Arcispedale di Santa Maria Nuova, the San Bonifazio and Santa Lucia, the Spedale degl”Innocenti, the Casa Pia del Lavoro (1815), the orphanage of Bigallo (for abandoned children and orphans between 3 and 10 years old), the hospices of S. Onofrio, the two nocturnal ones, of S. Domenico, and of S. Agnese. In other cities, among the main hospitals are the Spedali di S. Antonio and the Spedali della Misericordia in Livorno, the Casa di Carità, the Case Pie and the Refugio, in Lucca the Spedale civile and the maternity hospital, the Fregionaia asylum, in Pisa the Spedali Riuniti di S. Chiara and dei trovatelli, the Pia Casa della Misericordia, and the Spedali Riuniti of Siena, the Spedali di S. Maria sopra ponti in Arezzo, the Spedali di S. Chiara and dei trovatelli in Pisa, the Pia Casa della Misericordia in Arezzo, and the Spedali Riuniti of Siena. Maria sopra i ponti in Arezzo, the Pia Casa di mendicità, the Spedali Riuniti of Pistoia and that of Grosseto. In particular, the various lay confraternities, and in particular those of the archconfraternity of Misericordia that spread, thanks also to the benevolence and economic aid given by the Grand Dukes themselves, throughout the region were particularly active in assisting the less well-to-do classes. Owners of churches, hospitals, nursing homes, kindergartens, and cemeteries, they assisted the abandoned and beggars, cared for the sick and the pilgrims, assisted prisoners and buried with religious exhumations those executed to death and those who died in the public streets, distributed food and clothing or assigned dowries to poor girls. Their vast patrimony was largely forfeited by the State following the Leopoldine suppressions of 1785. At the time of the suppressions, it is estimated that there were about 398 lay charitable institutions in Florence and its district alone.


Until the first half of the nineteenth century there was no real public education, the wealthier classes educated their children either with private teachers (masters and tutors) or at institutions run by religious (Barnabites, Scolopi, Jesuits). The few schools live on subsidies from the state or some benefactor and are poorly organized.

The subjects taught are divided into various courses (humanity, rhetoric, philosophy, geometry, grammar, moral theology, physics, Latin, Greek, etc.). From the middle of the 18th century, public girls” schools began to be organized to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, women”s arts (sewing, embroidery, cooking, etc.), social duties, religion, Italian and French grammar, geography, music, drawing and dancing. But with the Leopoldine reforms many institutes were suppressed and the schools were reorganized and aggregated among themselves.

A center of European culture throughout the Renaissance, the Grand Duchy inherited and developed its enormous artistic and intellectual patrimony in the following centuries as well, albeit in a more modest and circumscribed form. With the Lorraine family, artistic activity was revived and a ruling class of Tuscan intellectuals was reconstituted, which, together with economic activity, was the most conspicuous aspect of the State in the stagnant panorama of 18th century Italy. The university studies of “La Sapienza” in Pisa, famous for the teaching of law, and of “Lo Studio” in Siena were renewed and given dignity, becoming the centers of Tuscan and Italian enlightenment, while in Florence there was a well-known surgical school at Santa Maria Novella. From these centers of culture are formed men like Bernardo Tanucci, Leopoldo Andrea Guadagni, Claudio Fromond, Paolo Frisi, Antonio Cocchi, Leonardo Ximenes.

With the abolition of ecclesiastical censorship (1754) there was a shift to natural law which freed Tuscan culture from the control of the Church and from Aristotelianism in many respects. This allowed a greater freedom in the transit of ideas and cultural currents, in a different but complementary way, through two important centers: Florence, connection of the continental contacts of the mitteleuropean and French world and Livorno, port and mercantile center where the Anglo-Saxon tendencies flowed. For all the XVIII century, in fact, in the British common judgment, Livorno constitutes an important economic reference as it is found also from the registers of the Lloyds of London.

Academies and cultural societies

A characteristic aspect of Tuscany were the numerous Academies and Societies founded for literary or scientific purposes. In Florence we remember:


In the wealthier classes, where free time was more abundant, are spread society games such as cards, chess, billiards. From France, since the end of ”600 begins and be in use the “pallacorda” with the opening of environments for this game in various cities, while from ”700 come into use, for the English influence, the first horse races that enjoy the participation of many citizens. The various popular games and competitions continue to be spread as an expression of the city folklore. It is the case of Florentine soccer which is occasionally played in other cities, of the game of the bridge in Pisa, of the palo della cuccagna, or of the palio marinaro in Livorno.

The occasions of amusement were then offered by the “villeggiatura” in the summer months that, born to escape the danger of epidemics, more frequent in the warm season, brings the rich classes to spend long periods in the residences of country making it a true fashion. In the eighteenth century it also reacquires a certain importance the thermal activity of which Tuscany is rich in centers. Already the Grand Duke Giangastone de” Medici enlarged and developed the ancient Pisan baths of San Giuliano, already known to Carlomagno. But it is with Pietro Leopoldo that, with the opening of the new baths of Montecatini, the thermal activity acquires fame and characters of a fashion that will soon involve all the European high society, creating the presuppositions for a real tourism in a modern sense that will characterize the whole 19th century. Between the greater thermal centers are remembered, beyond those already cited, Uliveto Terme, Bagno a Ripoli, San Casciano Val di Pesa, Poggibonsi, Casciana Terme, Caldana, Monsummano, Chianciano, Rapolano Terme, Bagno Vignoni, Saturnia, San Casciano dei Bagni.

Although the state religion was Roman Catholic, the Medici always favored tolerance towards other religions, particularly in their new city of Livorno. For economic and demographic reasons, the presence of foreign communities was encouraged, including non-Catholics, such as Jews (communities in Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Pitigliano), Protestants (Anglicans, Calvinists, Lutherans), Orthodox Greeks and Russians, and Muslims.

The clergy, especially with the Jesuits introduced under Cosimo III, dominated the environment of the Florentine court. It had long enjoyed many privileges and immunities of medieval and feudal origin, such as exemption from obligations to civil authority (exemption from the judgment of the state courts, special criminal protection, tax exemptions, etc.). With the phenomenon of the manomorta, the clergy is in possession of vast real estate properties with an annual income that under the Regency amounted to over 1,700,000 scudi against the state income of 335,000 scudi. This situation, no longer tolerable under the enlightened government of Lorraine, was progressively dismantled with the abolition of the prisons of the Inquisition (1754) and the closure of many of its peripheral offices, up to the most drastic Leopoldine reforms that eliminated the Tribunals of the S. Uffizio (1782) and the Tribunals of the S. Uffizio (1782). Uffizio (1782) and most of the ecclesiastical privileges, followed by a whole series of limitations on the external forms of religiosity, the interdiction of burials in churches, until you get to an attempt to establish its own national church in Tuscany with the help of Scipione de ”Ricci, Bishop of Pistoia.Nel 1749 are regulated holidays of obligation:

The state is divided into three ecclesiastical provinces:

There are also dioceses directly dependent on the Roman Province of the Holy See:

In addition to the ordinary clergy, the numerous religious families also possess vast estates and privileges. Among the major religious orders distributed throughout the state are:


With its expansionist ambitions Cosimo I de ”Medici understood the need to guard the territory by creating their own local troops. In 1537 were formed the “bande” or local companies with enlistment to role. The Tuscan males were enlisted in the age range between 20 and 50 years both with voluntary and forced enrollment, proceeding with a general commissioner to a selection every 3 or 4 years based on contingent needs, excluding citizens of Florence for unreliability and those of Pistoia because they were considered too turbulent and undisciplined. Periodic military reviews were carried out to update the status of the members (inability, physical unfitness, age limits reached, transfers). They depended in the judiciary for crimes in service or disciplinary proceedings from a “magistrate of the bands”, dependent in turn on the Secretary of War.From the seventeenth century the grand duchy was now without expansionist ambitions. After the long wars that brought Florence to the annexation of a large part of today”s Tuscany and with the last great war against Siena, the Medici government and then Lorraine maintained an army composed of a few units of mercenaries and veterans who often carried out only an internal control over the territory for the absolute absence of neighboring enemies, flanking in the tasks of protection of public order the bargello and his birri. The only fortresses that continued to have a military and defensive importance were the strongholds of Livorno and Portoferraio for the safety of the sea and the coasts, continuously threatened by the Maghrebi and Turkish Barbary pirates. For this reason it was constituted in the course of the XVI century a defensive line of coastal towers with about 81 fortified localities from Versilia to Maremma Grossetana.Le troops of the bands went drastically reducing, so much so that at the end of the Medici principality there were little more than 12,000 with many veterans, of which about 7,000 professionals between graduates and soldiers.Sotto the Regency in 1738 proceeded to reform, constituting alongside the structure for bands with local recruitment introduced by Cosimo I, a Regiment of Guards Lorraine and a Tuscan. In 1740 the regiments became three: “Capponi”, then called “Lunigiana”, “Pandolfini” then became “Romagna” and a squadron of cavalry with a total of about 6,000 men with the invalids and veterans. With the law of 13 September 1753 were abolished local bands and maintained only three regular regiments. Compulsory military service was reintroduced until 7,500 men were recruited. Due to its total disuse for a long time and made burdensome during the Seven Years War (1756-1763), there were many desertions and escapes of the younger generation, especially rural, in the neighboring states of the Church. In 1756 the three battalions of 3,159 Tuscans were sent to war and in 1758 with the agreement “for the subsidies of soldiers to the empire” these were placed in the service of Maria Theresa of Hapsburg (Toskanischen Infanterie Regiment). In 1798 with the first Napoleonic campaigns Tuscany could count on a small number of soldiers, since the relative expenses had been reduced to a minimum. In service of the Grand Duke there was:

Around 1820 the military apparatus of the State depended on the War Department, directed by Minister Vittorio Fossombroni, Secretary of State. The Supreme Commander of the troops was General Jacopo Casanuova, while the head of the General Staff was Colonel Cesare Fortini.the military squares were: Florence with the fortresses of Basso and Belvedere, Livorno, Portoferraio, Pisa, Siena, Grosseto, Volterra, Arezzo, Pistoia, Prato, Isola del Giglio, Isola di Gorgona and later Orbetello, Follonica, Monte Filippo, Talamone, Porto Santo Stefano, Lucca, Viareggio.

The army consisted of 4,500 units separated into:

In 1836 the army was composed of 7,600 men of which 2,560 in the two infantry regiments, 3,200 in three regiments of riflemen, 880 in the artillery battalion, 360 in a Pistoia battalion, 300 in the mounted riflemen and 300 in the cavalry of the Littorale.In the second half of the nineteenth century many military departments were reformed:


Thanks to the Order of Santo Stefano the Grand Duchy could use since its constitution and for increase of the same sovereigns of an own military fleet. The seat of the fleet became the port of Livorno that kept safe in its docks the galleys or galleys stefaniane. Base of the Tuscan navy, Livorno was until half of the eighteenth century, the port of departure of the war of race of the Knights of Santo Stefano in their annual “caravane” went to reciprocate the raids of the Ottoman and Barbarian pirates. In this regard, among the various military enterprises are remembered the defense of Malta from the Ottoman invasion of 1565, with the sending of four galleys in the besieged island, the expedition of 15 naval units against Tunis in 1573, the participation in the battle of Lepanto with 12 galleys led by the flagship “La Capitana” and conducted by Cesare Canaviglia and Orazio Orsini. In addition to the “Capitana”, the “Grifona”, the “Toscana”, the “Pisana”, the “Pace”, the “Vittoria”, the “Fiorenza”, the “San Giovanni”, the “Santa Maria”, the “Padrona”, the “Serena” and the “Elbigina” participated in the battle of Lepanto under the papal insignia. At this stage, the war flag was red bordered with yellow on three sides (excluding that of the rod) with a central cross of Malta in a white disc

In 1604 the fleet consisted of large galleys “Capitana”, “Padrona”, “Fiorenza”, “Santa Maria”, “Siena”, “Pisana” and “Livornina” with a crew of 1055 slaves embarked. In 1611 the fleet was increased by new large galleys: “San Cosimo”, “Santa Margherita”, “San Francesco”, “San Carlo”, “Santa Cristina”, with a total of 1400 slaves embarked. The Tuscan fleet thus reaches in 1615 a total of ten large galleys, two galleons, and various vessels and ships, making it respected and feared throughout the western Mediterranean.

The policy of Tuscan neutrality that the Medici decided to take in the following years, led in 1649 to the sale of the entire fleet to France, keeping only four galleys for the control service of the coast (Capitana, Padrona, San Cosimo, Santo Stefano) with a crew that in 1684 reached 750 slaves embarked.

The new territorial acquisitions of the Congress of Vienna and the barbarian incursions lead Ferdinand III in 1814 to request to Austria the ships of the ex-napoleonic fleet, but without result, and therefore are put in yard some boats of not elevated tonnage (a galley and a felucone), and subsequently other minor units, a brig, a schooner, a sciabecco, four gunboats and three speronare. In 1749, with the signing of peace with the Ottoman Porte and the barbarian Regencies of Tripoli, Tunis and Algiers, the Lorraine government considered it no longer necessary to maintain a military naval base and a large flotilla. So from 1751 the three remaining galleys were transferred to Portoferraio which became the new base of the fleet. In this period its navy amounted to about 200 units with 12 English officers and various non-commissioned officers and 5 frigates were constituted. Around 1749, with the ascent to the throne of Francis III, Grand Duke of Tuscany and husband of Maria Theresa of Habsburg, was adopted the Habsburg flag, with black crowned double eagle and sword in the two legs on a yellow background, which was replaced in 1765.

Commercial Fleet

Tuscany has never had its own commercial fleet, nor its own crews. The Tuscan ships were reduced to small ships with Latin sail, where the presence of Tuscan sailors was minimal. Very common were the lateen sail boats, used mainly for the transport of goods and commodities on the Arno to the river port of Porto di Mezzo, near Lastra a Signa, while along the coast for the small cabotage were in use the tartana and the leuto owned by some Elbans.

Until the peace with the Ottoman Empire, maritime trade was not very secure and Tuscan merchants did not feel safe entrusting their goods to Tuscan ships, whose flag could not be effectively defended at international level. Therefore, ships belonging to the commercial navy of the Republic of Ragusa, a neutral Dalmatian maritime republic under the protectorate of the Ottomans, were frequently used. The Lorena family first encouraged the creation of a small Tuscan merchant navy in the second half of the 18th century. The port of Livorno became again an important strategic point and they tried to encourage the constitution of a merchant fleet to create an active autonomous commerce with the “Editto di Marina e di Navigazione mercantile toscana” of 10 October 1748.

The main concern was to train a specific class of local sailors, when most of them were foreigners (French, Corsican, Neapolitan, British, Danish, Genoese, Greek), settled in Livorno during the eighteenth century.

In 1750 from the Arsenals of Pisa came three large vessels, armed with 50 cannons and 300 soldiers to transport goods to Constantinople. The last temporal intervention to encourage maritime trade in Tuscany was the birth in 1786 of the “Company of Tuscan trade” for the routes with the Americas.

The Tuscan coasts have not had large landings if you exclude the ancient port of Pisa. In modern age the only true port, moreover artificially constructed, was that one of Livorno; the others were landings or however moorings for ships of low draught.Si remember the following ports in use between the centuries XV and XIX:

The Tuscan monetary and measuring system was based on the ancient duodecimal system of Etruscan-Roman origins. The currency par excellence was the gold florin, known and appreciated throughout Europe for its intrinsic gold value and the subject of numerous forgeries and imitations by other powers. Obviously, the exchange value of Tuscan coins changed over the centuries. At the time of the Italian Unification, the base currency of the Grand Duchy was the Tuscan or Florentine Lira, equivalent to 84 cents of the Italian Lira of the time. One Lira consisted of 20 Tuscan pennies. The units of measure, recalling their medieval origins, in particular those of agriculture, could vary from city to city, even if the Florentine ones became more and more commonly used.

The most common units of measurement:

Since the Middle Ages it had been customary in the three great Tuscan republics (Florence, Pisa, Siena) to calculate the year from March 25, “ab Incarnatione” according to the formula of the Incarnation. However, this calendar, with the progressive adoption in the other European states of the Gregorian calendar, created complex problems of a juridical and economic nature, with particular reference to the drafting of public acts and private contracts. Thus the new dynasty of Lorraine was induced to adapt, as did Great Britain and Sweden in the same period, to the new calendar, bringing forward – with the law of September 18, 1749 – the New Year to January 1, 1750.

The flag of the Grand Duchy was identified under the Medici with their family coat of arms on a background, at first tripartite in red with a white band, then only white. With the dynastic change, the state flag and the coat of arms became more complex. The flag, which at first had the double-headed eagle of the empire above four horizontal bands on a gold field, was replaced with Pietro Leopoldo by a red and white tricolor with transversal bands, similar to that of Austria, on which the coat of arms of the Lorraine family stood out. The grand-ducal coat of arms was therefore made up of a quartered coat of arms. The first quarter was divided into four red bands on a white field (pretension of the Anjou of Naples) and the Lorraine cross in gold (coat of arms of Hungary), the second quarter consisted of a lion rampant in gold, crowned in blue field (coat of arms of Bohemia), the third quarter was tripartite in blue bands on a white field and a red pole, all bordered by gold lilies on a blue field (weapon of Burgundy), the fourth quarter represented two golden barbels leaning against a blue field, sown by four golden crosses on the sides (pretension of the Duchy of Bar). Above all there was a shield in the center surmounted by the grand ducal crown, interspersed in a pole: in the first a red band charged with three silver halos (Lorraine), in the second or central, interspersed in red with a white band (Medici and Habsburg), in the third five red balls arranged in a belt, surmounted by a larger blue one, charged with three gold lilies (Medici), all on a gold field. To the great shield are attached the insignia of the orders of Santo Stefano, of the Toson d”oro and then of San Giuseppe. The great coat of arms is surmounted by the great grand ducal crown and received in the princely red mantle lined with ermine.


  1. Granducato di Toscana
  2. Grand Duchy of Tuscany
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