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Umbertide in the twentieth century

(edited by Simona Bellucci)

Umbertide yes  opens the new century with an economy and a society that is not particularly dynamic, but not as static as it might seem at first sight. In fact, there are changes in the agricultural sector, the largely prevalent one, thanks to the introduction of tobacco, forage plants and mechanization. However, the agricultural system remains within the framework of the sharecropping contract, a contract seen as the peacemaker par excellence. For the rest, furnaces are the main economic activity not linked to agriculture.

PIAZZA UMBERTO I - 1905Storiche archivio

Piazza Matteotti 1905

In politics, the old liberal ruling class prevails, but from 1909 the Democrat-Republican Francesco Andreani won the elections and remained in power until 1919. Meanwhile, in 1915  World War I broke out,  to whom  Umbertide pays a very high price for a life, with as many as 268 dead at the front.

MONUMENTO AI CADUTI - 1926Storiche archi

War memorial: 1926

The immediate postwar period presents itself as a period full of tensions due to the economic crisis and consequent social conflicts. The peasant struggles resume, for the improvement of the sharecropping contract that had already characterized the Upper Tiber Valley at the beginning of the twentieth century and, among the political innovations, there is the victory in the municipal elections  of the socialists in 1920, as had already happened to those policies the previous year. However, in 1921 the socialist administration, overwhelmed by a financial scandal, resigned. Meanwhile,  even in Umbertide the fascist squadism rages, a  starting from this period, hitting several left-wing politicians, some of whom took refuge in France, first of all the socialist Giuseppe Guardabassi.

After the affirmation of fascism, the municipality is managed by  an after all moderate mayor like Gualtiero Guardabassi, for the whole twenty years. He resigned in 1943 and was replaced by the prefectural commissioner Luigi Ramaccioni.  In this  time lapse, considerable changes take place in the economic life of the city, with two new production realities born in 1926 and 1927, namely the tobacco and ceramics factory, which mainly employ female labor. For the rest, as we know, the opposition is reduced to the margins.

SCUOLE ELEMENTARIStoriche archivio Bellu

New early 20th century school building

The Second World War hit Umbertide deeply, with  93 dead on the war fronts  and the 70 victims of the aerial bombardment that destroyed Borgo S. Giovanni, as well as the victims for reprisals and others for various reasons. They remember, above all,  the massacres of Serra Partucci and Penetola, where 5 and 12 civilians were killed respectively.

The Umbertidese community reacted to the Nazi-Fascist occupation by participating in the Resistance with various partisan formations, the most important of which is the San Faustino Brigade and the Cremona and Legnano Combat Groups, where two Umbertidesi Quirino Pucci and  Giuseppe Rosati in the first e  Giuseppe Starnini in the second.  

Learn this period through memory with  " Aristide and the twenty years ", " Lamberto and the Resistance ", " The voices of memory" and the bombing of 25 April 1944.


The bombing will hit the parish priest's house next to the "Collegiate" which will not be rebuilt.

The transition to democratic life registered a high adhesion to the republic in the referendum of 1946  and the victory of the communist and socialist left, who ruled  at an administrative level until 2018, when for the first time the Municipality was conquered by the center-right. The first mayor of Umbertide was Astorre Bellarosa and, later, in the fifties Serafino Faloci, Umberto Cavalaglio  in the sixties, Celestino Sonaglia in the  seventies. Following this, Maurizio Rosi and Gianfranco Becchetti held the position until 2013  and Giampiero Giulietti.

Meanwhile, after the war the economy changed rapidly with the sharecropping crisis and the consequent flight of farmers from the countryside. This determines very consistent migratory currents towards other regions. It was only in the sixties that the birth of the textile and mechanical industry constituted a brake on emigration. Meanwhile, the urban center was growing rapidly and, becoming a more complex reality, Umbertide also recorded a rapid growth in associations: AVIS, Teatro dei Riuniti, Basket Club Fratta and others.

Since the eighties the textile industry has gone through a crisis which in the following years leads to the prevalence of the mechanical and metalworking industry. The period 1960-1990  it is crossed by a dynamic trade union movement that gives rise to numerous demands, especially in conjunction with the company crises. All this, however, in a context in which the Communist Party remains firmly in power, holding an absolute majority in the local government, in which there is almost always a coalition government with the socialists. Since the nineties,  during the second republic, the political framework changes again, the Communist Party which has been transformed into the Democratic Party of the Left and then since 1998 into the Democrats of the Left, together with its allies  keep winning the election  and maintain hegemony over the common.  


Umbertide 2005 from Monteacuto



  -  Simona Bellucci: Umbertide in the 20th century 1943-2000, Nuova Prhomos, 2018.

- Photo: Francesco Deplanu  

- Photo: historical photos of Umbertide from the web and from various private archives  to which  we applied the " umbertidestoria " watermark  in this way we try to avoid that the further disclosure on our part favors purposes not consonant with our intentions exclusively  social and cultural.

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