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DIOCESE OF MONTALCINO (ILCINENSIS)

Montalcino is a small town about twenty miles from Siena, some 1900 feet above sea-level and overlooking the valley of the Ombrone. In the neighbourhood are mineral springs and chalk quarries. In the ninth century it belonged to the abbey of San Antonio. In 1212 it was taken by the Sienese, but soon afterwards the inhabitants declared themselves in favour of Florence. In 1260, after the battle of Montaperti, it once more fell into the hands of the Sienese, who made it a stronghold. In 1525 it was besieged by the imperial troops; in 1555, when Siena was annexed by Tuscany, Pietro Strozzi with the aid of French troops endeavoured to set up a free republic at Montalcino, but in 1556 the French were obliged to retreat and the town submitted to Cosimo I. Earthquakes have not been unfrequent, the last being in 1909. Montalcino belonged originally to the Diocese of Arezzo ; in the eleventh century the abbots of San Antonio had quasi-episcopal jurisdiction over it; in 1462 it was made a diocese and united with the See of Pienza, which, however, became in 1563 a separate diocese. Its first bishop was Giovanni Cinughi; Francesco Piccolomini ( Pius III ) administered the see at one time. The diocese is directly subject to the Holy See ; it has 34 parishes and 39,130 souls, 1 convent for men and two for women.


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