Tour of the Tuscan hills, the hills of Pisa

The Tuscan hills: backpack shoulder, discovering the Pisan hills

The day starts early, when the timid light is lost in the mountains; it's off to the Monti Pisani also called Pisan Hills. A vast area ranging from Fauglia to Lari, from Lajatico (birthplace of Andrea Bocelli) to Terricciola, until you get to the enchanting Volterra, one of the municipalities to the south of the province of Pisa known for alabaster.

Backpacking is to conquer a territory that combine the green of the hills, the genuineness of the many holiday farms, the scent of the wine route where it produces the excellent Chianti and spectacular of the many climbing walls confidential. The means by which to move it left to the free choice: car certainly, suburban buses but also alternative means such as mountain biking, free to move and not get lost thanks to the many paths prepared by CAI Pisa.

The choice of the area to visit depends on the soul of the person, so said the ancient farmers of that place. For the more adventurous, for those who aim to get on and do not move without a helmet dangling from the rucksack, a must is the via ferrata Sant'Antone in the municipality of Buti that develops around the Monte Serra, one of the highest peaks of the Pisan hills along the mountain Faeta and San Allago.

Must clearly enough breath because the path is recognized by the CAI as challenging. But the mountains Pisani also reserve emotions to those who want to get off. Beautiful caves for lovers of caving wind the mouth of the mountains. For those who simply want to walk and to leave behind the stress and frenzy of everyday life, is the area of the Pisan mountains to help. Good trails equipped for trekking, allow you to visit beautiful chestnut trees or immerse yourself in the green wooded area of Santa Luce or even lie down towards Lake of Santa Luce.

It is the festival of nature, between the Mediterranean maquis and oak trees among beech and pine forests down to the town of Chianti where you can decide to do a Chianti wine tour or a Chianti tour, or a Bolgheri wine tour famous throughout the world. It is advisable to move slowly because you can meet the real people of the hills of Santa Luce: deer, foxes, hares, squirrels and birds of all sizes.

But the Pisan hills are also the privileged meeting point between nature and man: medieval village, churches, dirt roads, ancient castles, all describing a climate of serenity quite different from the warlike climate that hundreds of years ago, the Pisan Hills breathing because of 'incessant battle between Pisa and Florence for the possession of these areas.

Walking, you know, makes you hungry, and what better stop for the visitor if not in one of the many farmhouses used for gastronomic points that arise, immersed in the green, along the Wine Route or the Oil Road. Products of the past, obtained by reproducing systems passed from father to son, which give off a smell that is not easy to find in town. Like their wine, their oil, their bread, not to mention their pasta with wild boar or their wild vegetables.

A full stomach is reason better and who is passionate about wine can not take advantage of a Sassicaia wine or Super Tuscan wine and Brunello wine, splendid wines that are found in these areas.

Val d'Era: what to see in Tuscany (Pontedera, Montopoli, Ponsacco, Palaia, Capannoli, Crespina, Fauglia, Lari, Peccioli, Orciano, Casciana Terme, Lorenzana, Terricciola, Chianni, Santa Luce, Lajatico).

Directions: to reach the Era Valley (Val d'Era) and move easily in the countries that make up this area of the province of Pisa, if you plan an excursion from Florence or if you arrive with a shore excursions from livorno port you can rely on the rental with driver services that will allow you to reach these beautiful places.

What's to see: coming from a cruise excursions from Livorno you will see the main towns of the province of Pisa, but if you want a transfer from Livorno to Florence, can rely to hire a car with driver which also offers a transfer service from Pisa airport to Florence.

Here is a summary list of the main city of the province of Pisa:

Pontedera: Museo Piaggio Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, the Cathedral, the Holy Crucifix Church, Castle, Bridge Napoleon, Palazzo Stefanelli, art installations

Montopoli: Poggio di Rocca, Pieve of Saints John the Evangelist and Stefano, Villa Capponi Piaggio, the Conservatory of Santa Marta, the Bishop's Palace and the Podesta, Torre di San Matteo, Castruccio Arch

Ponsacco: Church of the Madonna of the Cough, Villa Medici Carmugliano, Baptistery Ancient Pievania

Palaia: Civic Tower, Pieve di San Martino

Capannoli: Villa Bourbon del Monte, Church of the Annunciation

Crespina: Castle of Crespina, Valdisonzi Villa, Villa Belvedere, of San Rocco Oratory Fauglia Church of Lucia Luciana, underground granaries deposits Market Square

Lari: Palazzo dei Vicari Palazzo Leoli, Market Lodge

Peccioli: Praetorian Palace, Pieve di San Verano, Peccioli Chapel, Prehistoric Park, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Orciano: Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Old Parish Cascina Terme Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Terme di Cascina

Lorenzana: Church of St. Bartholomew and Christopher, Palazzo dei Lorenzi, Villa Scotti

Terricciola: Camaldolese Abbey of Morrona, Shrine of Our Lady of Monterosso, Villa Pieve a Pitti, Villa Gherardi Del Testa

Chianni: Chapel of the Society of SS. Annunziata, the Church of San Donato, the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine, Chianni Castle

Santa Luce: Palazzo dei Conti Finocchetti, Villa Family Roofs, Church of St. Bartholomew

Lajatico: Stone Rock Case, Villa Spedaletto

The heart of the province of Pisa is represented by the so-called Valley of the Era, geographic area, comprising 16 municipalities of varying size, which takes its name from the river Era Staying in hotels of the Era valley means venturing into a pristine area, composed mainly by small medieval villages that cluster around fortified castles or towers heirs of a history of tensions and conflicts between Pisa and Florence, the great republics that once were alternating in the domain of the Era valley.

The large geographic area can be safely visited by car, also because many of the Era valley cities are not equipped with railway and bus stations, however much time you lose. Better then a tour by car from Florence to Pisa, the villages of the Era valley are very close together and you can decide for themselves the path to do going to the discovery of typical products in the farm, accommodation in many municipalities of the Era valley.

The geographical proximity of the Era valley and Pisa, Livorno to the west and Florence to the east, can of course suggest the tourists a stay in Valdera and then point even visits in the city of the Leaning Tower or the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence. It would, undoubtedly an excellent solution also from the economic saving point of view.

The northern boundary of the Era valley consists of the city of Ponsacco, situated between Pisa and Pontedera and away from the latter just a handful of kilometers. You can visit Ponsacco fast enough, before a longer tour in the town of Pontedera home to Piaggio, makers of the Vespa. Having regard to its position as a gateway into the Era valley substantially still close to Pisa, takes nothing away from this town that can be chosen as a place to stay at one of the many hotels, and then easily move the rest of the Era valley.

Ponsacco, known as the city of furniture, historically speaking was long a battleground between Pisa and Florence. Its artistic heritage is now represented by the Church of St. John the Evangelist (1374) that contains a statue of the Madonna by Benedetto da Maiano and is completed on the outside with a much more recent neoclassical bell tower; from the nearby Baptistery Ancient Pievania, built in 1400 and best known for the old bell of the village of Appiano and the small church of Modanna the Cough, in Piazza della Repubblica, which offers a unique dark tablet depicting the Madonna and Child author and unknown period.

Then near Ponsacco, just 3 kilometers from the center of the city, at the old town Camugliano, is a charming and impressive Villa Medici, in Renaissance style, completed during the government of Cosimo I. The structure of this castle villa has towers at the corners, then merging the Renaissance aesthetics with military requirements. The most striking is undoubtedly the front: a long, articulated double staircase opens the eyes of tourists.

The most significant city of the Era valley is Pontedera, an important industrial center located between Pisa and Florence, the prestige that this town has taken in the manufacturing and engineering industry (also evidenced by the Piaggio Museum in Viale Rainaldo Piaggio), he has often helped to tarnish its Tourism offer. Is that you book your hotel in the town of Pontedera and whether you entrust yourselves to the bed and breakfast or to farms in other countries of the Era, the stage in Pontedera is mandatory.

Most of the monuments of this city are concentrated in the historic center, home to the Cathedral, the Pretorio Palace and the Clock Tower. The Cathedral is also called the new church and is built in neoclassical style, its typicality is given by the porch, the bell and the fountain that stands in the center of the square dinazi religious building, although it is worth pointing out that these items are later the construction of the Cathedral. Inside the new church contains the relics of Saint Faustino, in which the structure is consecrated. Always at the center it is the Palazzo Pretorio, a branch of the Court of Pisa, dominated by the Clock Tower.

Other place of worship that characterizes Pontedera is the Church of SS. Crucified in Piazza Curtatone, that old church, to differentiate it from the Cathedral of St. Faustino, or new church. The history of the Holy Cross church is very charming. Its name in fact is due to a miraculous event: in 1600 a fire caused by a candle was lit destroyed the entire property dated 1300 with the exception of the crucifix. Subjected to fire bombing in World War II, the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix was also damaged.

This does not prevent today's visitors have the opportunity, thanks to the restoration work, to visit a church with paintings, sculptures, frescoes of respect: the Annunciation Nino Pisano, the Madonna del Carmine of the fourteenth century, the Madonna of the Rosary between St. Monica, Augustine and Bishop Domenico, made by the painter Cigoli.

Moving then from religious Pontedera to a civilian, the structure that most of all witnesses of the historical vicissitudes of this city of the Era valley, would the Castle Pontedera. Let's say it would be because the only actual evidence of this castle are the marco white cubes visible in the pavement of the central Piazza Cavour, nothing remains of the fortifications and the majestic walls. The civil work so that most characterizes Pontedera is the Napoleon bridge, made of white marco di Pisa, destroyed during the Second World War and then faithfully rebuilt at. Always the German bombs have deleted on the ascent of the bridge of the baroque Church of St. Joseph, of which today remains only a chapel of St. Joseph, formed by a central room, an altar and a baroque chapel.

It deserves to be visited Palazzo Stefanelli, now the town hall, built in the early nineteenth century on four floors, present the old folks with large triangular tympanum and in important works of Otello Cirri and civil and modern inspiration paintings. This is not the only evidence of a Pontedera projected in the art of the future. In cities there are in fact many modern art installations: The girl standing in Piazza Cavour, the Dove of Peace in Piazza Garibaldi and the mosaic wall Pontedera Henry Buy, 100 meters long and 3 meters high, in Viale Risorgimento.

From Pontedera you can easily move to nearby Montopoli, medieval town, situated between Florence and Pisa and natural border between Valdera and Valdarno. Montopoli was once dominated by a castle set on a hill with around long fortified wall. To date this past little remains: the remains of the fortress are indeed placed and protected in the Park of Remembrance, an engineered structure surrounded by green and archaeological finds. The symbol of the Poggio Rocca, however, remains the Arch of Castruccio, placed at the foot of the fortress and testimony of what was probably the defensive architecture of Montopoli: imposing arches, built with stone and brick blocks, with the watchtowers side . In the main square it stands instead of the bishop and the Palazzo del Podesta, with the traditional emblems of civil and religious families on the front side. In front of this building is the Tower of St. Matthew in 1400, built and designed by Capponi, when Montopoli was part of the territory of Florence.

Among the religious architecture is rather to be counted the parish church of Saints John the Evangelist and Stefano, not so much for its grandeur and for the enormous amount of works in this church, whose original construction dates back to 1200: the marble holy water font of the XVI century, a painting by Francis Curradi depicting the Madonna del Rosario and the saints; a painting by Horace Fidani subject with the Resurrection of 1643, a painting by Jacopo Vignali depicting the Fall of Man and a fresco depicting the Madonna della Crocetta, built by an unknown master, Andrea in 1519. Staying in the religious sphere, it is worth mentioning the Church and the Conservatory of Santa Marta, active since 1786. Inside the church are two stone altars, respectively, to the right, a painting of the Madonna and Child, St. Dominic and St. Clare of Franks painter and the left altar a canvas with a bishop and Santa Chiara , on top of a Madonna and Child, probably the work of the painter Santi di Tito.

Moving then to the villages of Montopoli and particularly towards Castel del Bosco, you can see numerous aristocratic villas. Villa Capponi Piaggio is undoubtedly the most representative, not only because it was held 60 years ago marriage between Antonella and Piaggio Umberto Agnelli or because the couple's son Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, lived in this house during the visits to its Piaggio Pontedera, but especially for the magnificence of gardens, woods and water features, winding around this villa on a hill. Truly a beautiful sight with which to conclude the tour in Montopoli.

From Montopoli continue south towards Palaia, a town in the province of Pisa, but still bordering the province of Florence. "Borgo" essentially agricultural, Palaia still managed to take advantage of its special features and present itself from a tourist. Today, in fact, there are many accommodation facilities, especially bed and breakfasts and cottages, active in this area of the Era Valley. Structures that integrate the service with respect for the environment.

Palaia is in fact famous for its breathtaking views and its beautiful scenery. Even though the monuments are not far behind, two are the pearls of the city: the Civic Tower in 1500 and the church of St. Martin. The first is at the entrance of town, close to the front door of medieval origin and the bell tower. The Parish of St. Martin instead is just outside the center and is built in brick with arches. The facade then has three doors corresponding to the three nave where the church is divided. A small pearl then, immersed in the tranquility and greenery of Palaia. Then merge onto the road that leads to Capannoli Palaia, another small town of the Era valley. The landscape beside the road is truly impressive.

About roads, a curiosity: the road from Palaia to San Gimignano, near the province of Siena is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Nothing therefore remains that from your hotel in Era valley is devoted one day to such Sienese province with a Montalcino wine tour or a Montepulciano wine tour.

The town of Capannoli, along with Palaia, Chianni, Peccioli, Terricciola, Lajatico, is part of the so-called "Alta Valdera", unspoiled wooded area and protected. This peculiarity makes the journey through the municipalities of Valdera, becomes itself a must see during your stay in the hotel or in the farms in the area.

Capannoli today is essentially an agricultural country, with valuable artistic pearls: Villa Bourbon del Monte and the church of the Santissima Annunziata. The Villa late baroque was built on the spot where once stood the old castle of Capannoli of the Gherardesca counts. Surrounded by gardens and rare flora, Villa Bourbon del Monte is home for some of his wings the Museum which displays Etruscan funerary artefacts found in the Alta Valdera. The Church of the Annunciation as it appears today to tourists is of 1741 and has architectural features late Baroque, not present in the original version was destroyed in 1631. Legend has it that the church of the Santissima Annunziata in Capannoli was built for devotion after a violent plague that struck the Alta Valdera. In the Church there is a wooden statue of the Madonna of 1400.

From Capannoli, immersed in a beautiful landscape, you can move in the direction Peccioli, beautiful almost untouched medieval village. The medieval mark prevails throughout the center of this town consists of the classic alleys, doors, palaces, alleys and dominated by the Praetorian Palace, now the Museum of Russian Icons, placed in the square by Domenico Peccioli near the Town Hall. On the other hand valuable religious sphere is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in the nearby village of Factories. It is a typical Romanesque art structure, consisting of three naves and three apses, the central one, intended to house the choir. Inside this church you can admire the Last Supper of Guidotti and terracotta sculptures of Benedict Buglioni. Very impressive it is also the Parish of St. Verano in Piazza del Popolo, in fact dedicated to the patron Verano. The facade is characterized by the presence of five arches drawn to the sides while you can admire some series of hanging arches. The interior of the Pieve is then made up of three naves, with valuable paintings such as The Madonna and Child with Saints by Bicci Blacks and Stories of St Nicholas.

Very nice is also the Chapel of Peccioli. The tourist offer of this town in the province of Pisa, will not stop at just monuments. Besides the already mentioned Museum of Russian Icons in fact, Peccioli also offers an archaeological museum in Piazza del Carmine which exposes you numerous Etruscan artefacts found in the excavations of Ortagna a few kilometers from the center. The presence of many paths equipped for the trekking then make Peccioli a magnet for lovers of this sport. But Peccioli is also a magnet for the many children in the nearby Prehistoric Park in Via dei Cappuccini have the opportunity to see life-size replicas of prehistoric animals and fiberglass. The tourist offer of Peccioli is therefore quite mixed. This is also why in the country and in the immediate vicinity there are several hotels and bed and breakfast very cheap, that let you use Peccioli as a base for a tour of the whole Era. One final note: Peccioli for many years can boast of the orange flag of the Touring Club, which rewards sustainable tourism. In this town it agriculture, tourism, clean air and cultural events, are combined course.

It is easily accessible from Peccioli Terricciola, another small medieval village in Valdera, consecrated today in all the way to the excellent wine products, which is also dedicated to September the Grape and Wine festival. The excellent nectar of the rest can safely be enjoyed in one of the taverns or in one of the farms that are located in Terricciola territory. The board then, if you stay in a hotel of the Era Valley is to choose Terricciola, as a moment of detachment for lunch before continuing your excursion from Florence to Pisa.

The country, however, is not only synonymous with good eating and drinking, the tourist offer is much more mixed. Monument symbol of Terricciola is the ancient monastery Badia di Morrona even dated 1000 year, once bone of contention between Pisa, Volterra, Florence, now transformed into a winery. Very old it is also the shrine of Our Lady of Monterosso, which is located at the point where it was placed the millennial church of Castelvecchio. The Sanctuary, for its origin is lost in the mists of time, is continuing goal and pilgrimages. From an artistic and tourist sight, the shrine of Our Lady of Monterosso presents inside an image of the Madonna set among the marbles, the work of Carrara Solari and outside a porch that gives this place an unmistakable message of peace and tranquility.

Very articulate in the municipality of Terricciola is also the system of the villas, including emerges Villa Gherardi Del Testa dated 1660 as dated from the plaque that attributes the authorship to Sabastiano Gherardi. The celebrity of this villa is due to the fact that it was the birthplace of Tommaso Gherardi Del Testa, famous playwright.

From Terricciola in a few kilometers we reach Lajatico, small town hills of Pisa, completely surrounded by nature and capable of giving breathtaking landscapes, interspersed with accommodation facilities such as bed and breakfasts and farms in close contact with nature. Start your itinerary in Lajatico from the Rock of Pietracassia, medieval fortress overlooking the Val di Streza. The Rock of Pietracassia consists actually of two separate structures: an outer wall that goes to then wrap the castle. A defensive structure in square shape with impressive mastii and towers on either side. Unfortunately, almost nothing remains of the interior, but the exterior is evidence of a past in which the small village of Lajatico was at the center of wars and tensions. Today, if anything, it is a good place to observe the scene.

Second stage that we propose for the tour in Lajatico is the Villa in the locality Spedaletto on the road that leads from Lajatico to Volterra. Lorenzo il Magnifico also personal property this villa in its functions were affected by the strategic position of Lajatico, port of Volterra. This villa was actually a real farm with another 20 farms and the quadrangular layout with a full-bodied loggia.

From the small village of Lajatico then you can continue or to the nearby Volterra, doing so entered the "Val di Cecina", the southernmost part of the province of Pisa, or be able to complete the visit of the Era by moving westward: towards Santa Luce and Chianni.

Chianni is a small town in the province of Pisa, ideal for those seeking relaxation in tourism, breathtaking views and exquisite cuisine. The village of Chianni is delimiatto the Sterza river and surrounded by oaks, chestnut trees and wild plants that very often end up in the form of wild chicory in the wild boar dishes that welcome visitors who have chosen Chianni as a place to visit. Dominated by two mountains covered with green like Mount Vase and Mount Vitalba that do not exceed 700 meters in height and is still a destination for hiking trails, Chianni has a number of monuments that can be visited easily.

In the Municipality indeed arise a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1300; a church dedicated to San Donato with a nave and four chapels, interesting for frescoes ranging from a Christ between Saints Donato, Maura, Francis, Catherine, Lino Domenico and by Antonio Gaioni a Holy Family and the work of the Tempest , finally, a chapel of the Society of SS Annunziata important to visit the location in the Era, as it presents numerous decorations both sides and both the barrel vault: the Lord, the Assumption of the Virgin and the Nativity of Christ. Your path can then proceed to the nearby holy Light.

Santa Luce is a small village with medieval architectural features of just 1500 inhabitants. The feudal structure is guessed from the layout of the houses and streets: circles of properties that letamente shake concentrically around what was once the fortified castle. This structure makes "topomastica" Santa Luce uin easily visited the village, perhaps as an intermediate stage of your tour in the Era, despite near Santa Luce no lack of accommodation facilities such as hotels and hostels. Worth seeing are the eighteenth-century Palazzo dei Conti Finocchetti, the villa Family Roofs datta 1700 and the Church of San Bartolomeo, founded in 1300 and transformed successivamete first in 1576 and then, at the behest of the Duke Leopold in 1839.

Tourists visiting the village of Santa Luce, the Church of San Bartolomeo is characterized by a very simple facade and an interior structure of a nave with a transept. The holy charm though light, is not only due to its attractions, for tourists who choose to reside in Santa Luce, the nearby Lajatico or in Orciano Pisano, is, because of the increased time available, also the possibility of a visit to the oasis fauna of the lake of Santa Luce, the eco museum of alabaster (branch of the most famous eco-museum of Volterra) and the small abandoned village of Monteforti, including decrepit houses and an old Sanctuary of the Madonna.

One last note: in the hamlet of Pomaia is the Buddhist Institute Lama Tsong Khapa, among the most famous in Europe. Santa Luce was once a mere fraction of the nearby village of Orciano Pisano, located in the heart of the northern part of the Pisan Hills Lorenzana, Rosignano, Collesalvetti and the "Santa Luce". The proximity to Collesalvetti and Rosignano, suggest visitors the idea of being able to visit this area of the Pisan Hills, choosing a hotel in it on the cheap, and then moved towards the coast from Livorno, whose structures are clearly more expensive.

Orciano Pisano as well as offering all the Pisan Hills area spectacular views of woods and orchards, is also included in the so-called Wine Route that winds throughout the region Era to the Val di Cecina and well produces 3 DOC wine: the Chainti Pisan Hills, white pisano of St. Torpoint and the Montescudaio DOC is both white and red.

But not only wine in Orciano Pisano, in the small village in the province of Pisa in fact, there are the church of San Michele, substantially recently and with a Latin cross and the Pieve Vecchia, an old church, in opposition to the Church of St. Michael and the new church , dedicated to Our Lady and Saint John which gives its name to the whole area filled with ancient ruins and ancient chapels.

Continuing north you enter the nearby village of Lorenzana, just 1100 inhabitants. Always linked to the nearby town of Lari, a politically influential time, Lorenzana, thanks to its special geographical location, it allows to ossere, all in one breath, the hills of Pisa. Of medieval origin, the city plan reflects those were his priamarie requirements, ie to build the houses around a fortified center, usually placed on top of a fortress from which you can control the surrounding area. In the city center, between the narrow streets and ancient arcades, you can visit the church of Saints Bartholomew and Christopher, dated in 1300 and rebuilt after an earthquake in 1848 which leveled all of Lorenzana area.

Near this church stands the palace Lorenzi that during the years of Florentine rule was used as the seat of mayor. More secluded is instead the church of Saints Fabian and Sebastian, which is located in the nearby village of Tremoleto and especially Villa Giuli and Villa Sforni, striking examples of farms used for dwelling. Worth visiting in particular villa Sforni since the accommodation facility is connected pregievole a capella in the Romanesque style.

The visit to Lorenzana, very fast, unless you do not want to relax in the woods of the Pisan hills, can safely be combined with a visit to the nearby Casciana Terme, reachable through the villages of Sant'Ermo and Ceppato.

Casciana Terme is probably already known from the fourth century to the sulphurous properties of its thermal waters. The industries of the SPA, however, took off, becoming a peculiarity of Casciana, until many centuries later, at the instigation of the noblewoman Matilde di Canossa, which today is dedicated to one of the two fsorgenti. As part of a sightseeing tour in the Era, the presence of the spas in Casciana, can be an incentive to visit the town. However Casciana is not only a spa, but also an opportunity for a walk through the characteristic streets. Since in fact, in the city center Piazza delle Terme, you can move in the direction of Largo Mazzini, including quaint shops, restaurants and wine bars and then in via Chiari, which flows into piazzqa Miniati where you can admire a particular horse chestnut.

Very nice is also the adjacent Piazza Garibaldi, where stands the church of Santa Maria Assunta, with its pink front and adjoining bell tower. Another very characteristic square of Casciana Terme is the Market Square with characteristic stone benches fixed interspersed by green trees. After a walk to relax in Casciana Terme you can move in the direction Fauglia, a small medieval village nestled on the lower hills of Pisa.

Why visit Fauglia? no doubt the position of the village is strategic: the internal Era, however, is very close to Livorno and Pisa both area. But the scene does its part: from the center of Fauglia in fact you can enjoy great views. agricultural town is famous for hunting (with obvious implications culinary) Fauglia can be visited in a short time. In Market Square, for example you can see the underground granaries, while moving towards the very attractive center are the town hall and the nearby Church of St. Lawrence Martyr located in Piazza. In many claim that this is the most beautiful church of all the Pisan hills, in spite of his young age, considering that the present church dates from 1854, after the previous church of San Lorenzo, in turn a remake of ' originating version of 1251, was destroyed by the 1848 earthquake.

Certainly the church of San Lorenzo is one of the most extensive you'll ever meet in a tourist route in the Valdera: 3 aisles with their term three distinct altars, plus another two altars in the aisles. No doubt a monumental structure. Other Fauglia churches are located in the nearby villages to Luciana the church of Saint Lucia and Valtriano the church of St. Margaret of Cortona.

From Fauglia, in a few kilometers, you can then make a stop in Crespina, a village from which they will be able to easily reach Lari, the last leg of your tour in the Era. Crespina offers a picturesque landscape typical of the Pisan hills characterized by vineyards, woods and chestnut trees. vantage point to view the excellence of the owl's Square, where every year you hold the owls fair. This unique square stands at a hill and is famous for the statue of the owl: marble construction of the Biancini. At the center of the farming town then there is the church of St. Michael the Archangel, 1885, in plain facade. The interior is all decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Christ and of St Michael and two of the three hundred pregievoli boards: St. Michael slaughtering the dragon Daddi and a Madonna and Child and angel musicians of Christians. The church then move towards oratory of St. Rocco, small guesthouse where recently have been found frescoes once comperti plaster, including a fourteenth-century face of the Marquis Malaspina and her son. Also in the village, lies the ancient complex of San Michele Vecchio.

Then taking the starda for Lari advise you to pay particular attention to the many aristocratic villas located at the roadside: Belvedere villa situated in the locality and renowned for its gardens and for his works of art; Villa Poggio formerly of Pisa Lanfranchi lords and now used as a venue for international exhibitions and more isolated Villa Corsini Valdisonzi, completely surrounded by greenery and original floor plan in the shape of L. Modern art is dedicated the villa museum Carlo Pepi, a collector sui generis which offers to its visitors Macchiaoli paintings by Fattori and drawings of Modigliani. In a completely experimental process that reflects the personality of the collector-artist and the opportunity for tourists to see thousands of works of art in Crespina.

The last stop of the tourist route in the Valdera is the Lari town, famous throughout the world for the enormous production of cherries, fruit which is dedicated to a very popular festival. Lari of medieval origins in ancient times was the center that ruled over the area of the Pisan Hills. Today among the countries of the Era valley is probably what you are best preserved over the centuries. Among woods, orchards and vineyards, Lari offers an inestimable artistic heritage, so much so that the small town can boast of the orange flags of the Italian Touring Club.

The visit to Lari has to start from the castle of the Vicars, an ancient center of power, from which, thanks to its special geographical position was possible to control the entire Valdarno. The Castle of the Vicars stands on a rock which can be accessed via three inputs: Maremma door on the west side, Florentine gate on the north and Volterra port on the south side. The facade of the castle of the Vicars input is a concentrate of local history: 92 badges retrace 4 centuries of power struggles in Lari. Inside the castle of the Vicars have today visited the chancellery, the house of the vicar, the Court and jail, with adjoining room of torture. On the fortress, around the palace of the Vicars, arise other important monuments: Leoli Palace, now the town hall and ancient fortified residence of Leoli family of five with adjoining tank; the church and the oratory of Santa Maria Assunta and San Leonardo, with inside the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia and outside a bell spire dated 1700 and the Loggia del Mercato, built by Duke Cosimo I and originally decorated with frescoes that, after the 1848 earthquake have been lost.

The castle of the Vicars dominates a city center where, among boutiques and shops, you can make interesting purchases, walking in a peaceful setting, in close contact with nature, between alleys and arches typical of the Middle Ages. A beautiful picture to finish your tour in Lari and return to your hotel in Era valley or to an immediate return in Florence the quickest way is the transfer from Pisa to Florence, a driver will pick you up wherever you are to take you to your destination. It's also active transfer service from Pisa airport to Florence.


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