The foundation of the new town of Agliana, in 1913, effectively reduced the territories that until then were included in the Municipality of Pistoia. The course of the river Bure to the south and the torrent Agna to the east defined the boundaries of Montale, separating it from Agliana and Montemurlo. This decision, as you can imagine, wasn’t well received at first.
After the war Montales economy was still based on lumber agriculture, with a few companies that managed all the plantations of the area with a system of sharecropping.
The modest economic resources and even more difficult life conditions on the mountains forced the inhabitants and their families to try to integrate the family budget with small earnings that derived from the processing of straw, with which they would weave the famous “trecce” (braids). These were used to produce the typical Florentine braided hats.
War marked indelibly Montale from 1943. The peak of violence was reached the following year. The town was literally dominated by the Gothic Line of defense and there were many partisans operating in the area. As a result, Montale was the victim of various Nazi reprisals, the bloodiest of which was consummated in September 1944 with the hanging, along Via Roma, of five innocent men, now remembered by a plaque placed in 1947 in the street of Via Martiri della Libertà.
After the Second World War the desire for renewal was the driving force behind the remarkable process of industrialization of Montale. The city focused from the very beginning on textiles, while the neighboring Prato developed a thriving industry of fabrics and yarns.