The Republic of Cospaia was a small state within modern day 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]

Cospaia Republic

Repubblica di Cospaia
Flag of Cospaia
Coat of arms
Motto: Perpetua et firma libertas
Largest city-
Common languagesItalian
Roman Catholic
Historical eraEarly Modern
• Established
25 May 1826
The seventeenth century3.3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)
• The seventeenth century
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Papal States
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Papal States



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 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.[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.[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.[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 alsoEdit


  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. ^ a b c "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. ^ a b 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.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Cospaia at Wikimedia Commons