Republic of Cospaia

Cospaia Republic
Repubblica di Cospaia
Coat of arms
Motto: Perpetua et firma libertas
Status Microstate
Capital Cospaia
Largest city -
Common languages Italian
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Republic
Historical era Early Modern
May 25 1826
The seventeenth century 3.3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)
 The seventeenth century
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][2] It was located in what is now the hamlet (frazione) of Cospaia in the comune of San Giustino in the Province of Perugia.[3]


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 declared themselves independent.[4][5] On May 25, 1826, Cospaia was divided between Tuscany and the Papal States.[3] 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.[6]


Cospaia was an early centre of tobacco production within Italy, using 25 hectares of fertile soil to grow it.[5] Each citizen was awarded a silver coin by the church to help convince them to continue farming tobacco. 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.[7]


The Republic of Cospaia did not have a formal government or official legal system.[3] There were no jails and there was no standing army or police force within the tiny nation. There was a council of elders and a chief's family who governed at one point, with the Church of Annunciation as their headquarters.

See also


  1. "Chiesa".
  2. 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.
  3. 1 2 3 "Cospaia (Umbria)". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  4. Heywood, William (1921). A History of Pisa: Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. The University Press. p. 104. ISBN 9781177788007.
  5. 1 2 Marconi, Francesco Testa, Aroldo (2001). The Toscano : the complete guide to the Italian cigar (2. ed.). Firenze: Giunti. p. 43. ISBN 9788809016514.
  6. "The incredible story of Cospaia |". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  7. 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. 
  • Gennaioli, Settimio; Gennaioli, Emilio; Selvi, Giovanna (1999). Cospaia e la sua storia in ottava rima: la straordinaria storia di un borgo dell'alta valle del Tevere, Cospaia, libera repubblica dal 1440 sino al 1826 : festa degli auguri-Natale di fine millennio, Bologna, 19 dicembre 1999. S.l.: s.n. OCLC 954844777. 
  • Milani, Giuseppe; Selvi, Giovanna (1996). Tra Rio e Riascolo: piccola storia del territorio libero di Cospaia. Lama di San Giustino: Associazione genitori oggi. OCLC 848645655. 
  • Natali, Filippo (1892). La stato libero di Cospaia: nell'alta Valle del Tevere (1440-1826). Umbertide: stab. tip. Tiberino. 

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