Grosseto was described as follows in 1855 by Emanuele Repetti, in his Dictionary chorographic of Tuscany, printed in Milan: “Strong city. Not big, well surrounded by walls and defended by six bastions and a rock, with only two doors, one defending the inland, the other one where one leaves towards the sea […]”
The first news surely referring to the city can be dated back to the upper Middle Ages, when Hildebrand of the “Aldobrandeschi” received in emphyteusis the church of San Giorgio with in annex some of its possessions in the year 803 after Christ. The hegemony of the Aldobrandeschi, thanks to which the city reached its main influence and arrived at the head of the county that extended itself on the entire area of the Maremma close to the city, lasted during the entire 12th century. The government of the Aldobrandeschi was extremely independent from the Imperial vicars, so that the autonomy of Grosseto was the motive of the siege suffered during the withdrawal of the German army from these territories from the part of the Duke Arrigo di Bavaria in 1137 after Christ.
The year after the headquarter of the Bishop was transferred from Rosselle to Grosseto; after this event, and while the first signs of a nascent communal identity were starting to demonstrate themselves, in 1151 after Christ the city pledged allegiance to Siena, with which, already from the beginning of the 12th century, it had close agreements for the duty of the salt.
In 1222 after Christ, under the concession of the Aldobrandeschi, the inhabitants of Grosseto got the possibility to elect a captain, three advisers and the consuls; at this occasion, with a general enthusiasm, they repudiated the oath of allegiance made to Siena, which through the intervention of 3000 soldiers in September 1244 after Christ, established again with the force the oath of allegiance and substituted the Aldobrandeschi.
During the twenty years of independence, exactly in 1224 after Christ, Grosseto received the visit of Federico II, who attracted men of letters and nobles from the entire peninsula. Umberto and Aldobrandino Aldobrandeschi, after the death of the father Guglielmo, tried to take back from Siena the lost dominions, but the attempt failed: in 1259 after Christ Grosseto was defeated and an inhabitant from Siena was elected captain, who stayed in charge only one year.
Continuing on the road of independence from the domination of Siena, Grosseto participated to the battle of Montaperti on September 4th 1260 after Christ, allied with Florence, but every effort appeared to be useless when, after roughly one hundred years it was constrained to definitely surrender to Siena.
Afterwards, the rebellions did not miss, but what left the deepest signs on the history of the city between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century were the pestilences, in particular those of 1430 after Christ and of 1527 after Christ. After the fact that in 1552 after Christ Grosseto liberated itself from the domination of the Spanish who had taken the control over the city, the submission of Siena to Florence and the treaty of Cateau Cambresis of April 3rd 1559 after Christ determined a sensible mutation in the political panorama of the area.
The Medici decided to transform Grosseto in a fortified city launching the construction of the dry stone wall, and thanks to the Office of the Trenchers created in 1592 after Christ by Ferdinand I, also launched the construction of roads and hydraulic works of valorisation for the territory.
However, during the following years, the Medici did not take car of the area of Grosseto and it was only with the arrival of the Lorena and thanks to Pietro Leopoldo that, first, the province of Grosseto became independent from the province of Siena, and then in 1815, on the desire of Ferdinand III, the work of sanitation of the Maremma was started again. Also Leopoldo II continued the works in the same direction, so that the inhabitants of Grosseto, on May 1st 1846, dedicated to him a monument on the main square.
However, during the Renaissance the city separated itself from the Grand Duchy of the Lorena, taking part in a decisive way to the battles for the independence, after the removal of Leopoldo II from the leadership of Florence.
In addition to the already mentioned monument to Leopoldo II and to the Cathedral, a few other monuments are worth a visit: the Forecastle of the Salt, built in 1345 after Christ as the headquarter of the Customs of the Salt and the Palazzo of the Province, that Lorenzo Porciatti decided to have built in Piazza Dante, in neo gothic style.