Until 1864 the town was known as Asinalunga (long donkey) as is almost certainly of Etruscan origin. Traditionally an agricultural centre, the town today also has some industry: brickworks, pottery, furniture manifacture, light engineering and glass. The comune includes the villages of Rigaiolo, Scrofiano, Bettolle, Farnetella, Guazzino, and Rigomagno.
Its numerous remains and finds also make it attractive to tourists. In the oldest part of the town we can still see the line of the medieval walls, of which some towers still remain. In the collegiate church there is a "deposition" by Girolamo del Pacchia and paintings by Benvenuto di Giovanni and Sodoma.
Famous people born here include Giuseppe Stocchi, great writer, historian and man of letters, the zoologist Ezio Marchi (1869-1908), the musician Ciro Pinsuti (1828-1888), pupil of Rossini, author of the novel "Il mercante di Venezia". In 1867, in palazzo Agnolucci, Giuseppe Garibaldi was arrested by the army to prevent him from marching on Rome.