Bella Marsilia Tower - This land is located in Collecchio old estate ( Collecchium), which belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family until 1210, when the Emperor Ottone 4th gave Ildebrandino, Palatine count, the territories that had already belonged to the deceased Count Raniero of the deceased Count Bartolomeo (1). In 1203 Ildebrandino undersigned an act of subjugation in Orvieto (2), which was renewed on the 24th June 1216 by Ildebrandino the elder and his sons (3); on that occasion, due to the continuous disagreements within the members of the family, the brothers were forced by the Orvieto authorities to accept an act of territorial division which was contracted between the 22nd and the 29th of October of the same year (4).
This caused the weakening and the end of this powerful family. Later, as Tuscany underwent a change of political dispositions, the brothers formed an alliance with the city of Sienna ( Siena), and Frederick ( Federico) 2nd confirmed the rights they had over their twenty two vassals (5).
On the 11th of December 1274, the land of the Aldobrandeschi family was again divided between Ildebrando of Guglielmo, Count of Sovana, and Ildebrando of Bonifazio, Count of Santa Fiora (6): the last one, besides the territories he had already inherited, was also given Magliano, Collecchio and Talamone.
It was reported :
[..] In alia vero parte posuit idem Comes Maglianum, Collecchium, Martham cum Portu Talamonis [..]
At the beginning of 1300 the rights of San Salvatore Abbey ( Abbazia San Salvatore) on Mount Amiata ( Monte Amiata) are certified ( 7).
From 1326 to 1327 the territory under Magliano Commune ( Comune of Magliano) and the surrounding areas were temporarily occupied by the Neapolitan fleet.
In 1335 the Counts of Santa Fiora sold Collecchio Estate to the Marsili family of Sienna ( Siena) (8) and in 1339 Jacopo and Pietro, of the deceased Bonifazio from Santa Fiora, subdued half of Collecchio to Sienna Commune ( Comune of Siena ): the same was repeated by Guido and Stefano of the late Ildebrandino Novello (9).
On the 25th of April 1349, the sons of Marsilio of Scotto signed a convention with the Republic (10).
At this time Agnolo Marsili owned some furnaces near Collecchio: they are reported in the Sienese registers regarding the building work which was being carried out in Talamone (11). This also explains the unusual use of bricks for these territories, as shown by Bassa Tower ( Torre Bassa), which was still the property of the same family. This first settlement, on top of the hill, was likely to have been extremely important as still today there are ruins of the many pre-existing buildings, such as the circular shaped apse and walls of the church, both in worked stone.
In other parts the bastioned walls are still visible: they enclosed the complex which, to the northern border, included another tower, whose surface was perpendicular. Near the church there was the so called Bella Marsilia Tower, whose typology, clearly later than the previous one, suggests it might have been a late buiding, probably of the sixteenth century, like the majority of the towers of this area.
His name is linked to a sad event for the inhabitants of the castle: it was during the war between Charles 5th and Francesco 1st that the last one was helped by the Turkish fleet, led by Khair ed Din, alias Barbarossa.
They were spreading terror and distruction everywhere. According to Warren (12) on the 22nd of April 1543, the pirates kidnapped Margherita, daughter of Giovanni Marsili ( who was also nicknamed “ the beautiful Rossellana” because of the intense red of her hair) while she was on a boat with her brother. According to Niccolosi ( 13) and Ademollo (14) the girl was instead abducted during the night when the pirates occupied, and set fire to, the castle.
Another historian Mazzolai (15) reports that the culprit was the pirate Ariadeno, leader of the Ottoman Fleet of Solimano 2nd the Magnificent; he brought the girl to hid sovereign who chose her as his favourite slave and had a son from her, who later became heir of the throne.
This could have been the first cause of the distruction of the complex, followed by abandonment and negligence.
In the indicative tables of the Leopold’s land Register ( Catasto leopoldino) in Grosseto State Archives ( Archivio di Stato di Grosseto), in the section F of Magliano heading 199, the complex is still the property of the Marsili family and more precisely of Giulio of Francesco, with the phrase Ruins of the Building of Beautiful Marsilia ( Rovine del fabbricato della Bella Marsilia), of about 32.823 squared ells. The planimetry was drawn up by the land surveyor Luigi Banti and it is dated the 8th of March 1824; from it one can notice that the complex was surrounded by city walls which are still partially existing.
Under the heading 191, along the access road, another little church was also mentioned and shown, which unfortunately has been destroyed.