Republic of Cospaia

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Cospaia Republic
Repubblica di Cospaia
Flag Coat of arms
Perpetua et firma libertas
Capital Cospaia
Languages Italian
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Republic
Historical era Early Modern
 •  Established 1440
 •  Partitioned May 25, 1826
Area 3.3 km² (1 sq mi)
Currency Ducal
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Papal States
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Papal States

The Republic of Cospaia was a small state in Italy, located in northern Umbria, independent from 1440 to 1826.[1] It was located in what is now the hamlet (frazione) of Cospaia in the comune of San Giustino in the Province of Perugia.[2]


It unexpectedly gained independence in 1440 after Pope Eugene IV, embroiled in a struggle with the Council of Basel, made a sale of territory to the Republic of Florence. By error, a small strip of land went unmentioned in the sale treaty and its inhabitants promptly declared themselves independent.[3][4] On May 25th,1826, Cospaia was divided between Tuscany and the Papal States.[2] The treaty was signed by the fourteen surviving members of the Cospaia, in exchange for a silver coin, and being allowed to grow up to half a million tobacco plants a year.[5]


Cospaia was an early centre of tobacco production within Italy, using 25 hectares of fertile soil to grow it.[4] Each citizen was awarded a silver coin by the church to help convince them to continue farming tobacco.[citation needed] One of the reasons for the prosperity of Cospaia was that it was the only place in Italy that didn't follow with the papal ban on tobacco growing, thus ensuring a monopoly on production.[6]



The Republic of Cospaia did not have a formal government or official legal system.[2] There were no jails and there was no standing army or police force within the tiny nation.[citation needed] There was a council of elders and a chief's family who governed at one point, with the Church of Annunciation as their headquarters.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ellingham, written and researched by Tim Jepson, Jonathan Buckley, and Mark (2009). The Rough Guide to Tuscany & Umbria (7th ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 505. ISBN 9781405385299. 
  2. ^ a b c "Cospaia (Umbria)". Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  3. ^ Heywood, William (1921). A History of Pisa: Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. The University Press. p. 104. ISBN 9781177788007. 
  4. ^ a b Marconi, Francesco Testa, Aroldo (2001). The Toscano : the complete guide to the Italian cigar (2. ed.). Firenze: Giunti. p. 43. ISBN 9788809016514. 
  5. ^ "The incredible story of Cospaia |". Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Ploeg, Jan Douwe van der (1995). Beyond modernization: the impact of endogenous rural development. Assen: Van Gorcum. p. 158. ISBN 978-9023229384. 
  • Ascani, Angelo (1963). Cospaia: storia inedita della singolare Repubblica. Tuscany: Città di Castello. 
  • Natali, Filippo (1892). La stato libero di Cospaia: nell'alta Valle del Tevere (1440-1826). Umbertide: stab. tip. Tiberino. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Cospaia at Wikimedia Commons