Provisioning - Grain storage and distribution - Market - Urban history - Italian cities, 13th-18th century
How widespread the public granary in the north-central Italian cities during the XIIITH-XVIIITH century, it is sufficient for to questioning about the traditional idea of Annona. In the cities the creation of food stocks in excess in respect of the needs of consumers is a mirage. Granaries, warehouses, attics, specialized facilities for the storage of food are a scarce commodity. The distribution of the annual crop is unequal, the structure of grain stocks among particulars even more. Even where the governing class or authority manifests the will to set up a granary municipal (or statal), it is not possible to escape from the subsidiarity between public and private granaries, mainly because of the scarcity of spaces for grain storage. The establishment of a public granary on a permanent basis, it is more the exception than the rule in the cities of the old regime. If, however, a granary is created, or is this a temporary institution (as in a war economy), or it tends to become a fundamental economic lever to wich the ruling class assigns the task of stabilizing the market prices even in periods of oversupply.