Hidden treasures

Domenico Tiburzi: the Tuscan Robin Hood

Historical Curiosities
tomba-di-tiburzi

Domenico Tiburzi: the Tuscan Robin Hood

We really have it all in Tuscany: we even have our own Robin Hood! His name was Domenico Tiburzi, he was born in the province of Viterbo in 1836 and was one of the best known Maremma brigands. At that time the area was unfortunately also famous for the gangs of criminals that ravaged the lands with their deeds. Tiburzi, nicknamed Domenichino because of his height rather than his build (he was only six feet tall), was certainly not a saint. In fact, he was guilty of various crimes: murders, assaults, thefts and robberies. In short, he was one hell of a brigand! So why is he compared to Robin Hood, the British hero who stole from the rich to give to the poor?

The answer is simple: because he had established in Maremma a real law of brigandage that somehow tried to protect and favor the weakest at the expense of the rich. Those rules were the expression of the idea of solving, not through words, the injustices of society. What did Domenichino get up to? He asked the big landowners for a fee in exchange for his 'protection', he helped the families in need of the villages using the proceeds of extortion and robbery, he fought all those who used violence to achieve their goals and killed, but only to avoid further bloodshed. Some of these theories can make one feel a little perplexed... but at the time they must have worked. So much so that he was loved by the people of Maremma who considered him a true hero... just like Robin Hood.

When he died, in 1896, people wanted to bury him with full honors, whereas the curate of Capalbio, in charge of the funeral and burial, refused to deal with both operations because of the crimes committed by Tiburzi. The town folks became so enraged that in the end they found a 'midway solution'... quite literally, too. The tomb of Domenichino was buried 'half in and half out' at the cemetery of Capalbio so as to please everyone! If you want to go and see it you will be disappointed, because the cemetery has become so large that the tomb is now underground. To remember the Maremma hero, there is now a plaque on a Roman-style column.

Do you like stories like these? Would you like to hear more? Why not take a look at our section on the Villages of Tuscanytext? Going on one of the guided tours that we have to offer would give you the unique chance of listening to our expert guides give you many interesting anecdotes and curiosities. An interesting and pleasant way to discover new and unusual aspects of the wonderful region of Tuscany

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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