Provincia di Pisa
Official Tourism Website for Pisa Province
  • www.pisaunicaterra.it
  • www.pisaunicaterra.it
  • www.pisaunicaterra.it

Villages

Castelnuovo  Val di CecinaThe environs of Pisa offer landscapes of a time gone by, where harmony and tranquillity are preserved and small hidden hamlets are the keepers of history, art and culture.

In the Monti Pisani area, the village of Vicopisano has retained the appearance of a fortress and boasts a considerable medieval heritage. Of particular interest are the twelve towers, two medieval buildings and the Rocca del Brunelleschi, open to the public with guided tours.

A route around the churches of the area starts in Vicopisano with the Church of Santa Maria, the Church of San Jacopo in Lupeta, continues with the Church of Santa Giulia in Caprona and the Church of San Giovanni in San Giovanni alla Vena, and ends with the small Romanesque Church of San Martino al Bagno Antico, inside Uliveto Spa.

The Caprona Tower, between Pisa and Vicopisano, rests precariously on a rock spur overhaging a quarry. The tower is all that remains of a castle that is linked to the great poet Dante Alighieri, who took part in the battle for Caprona in August 1289. The incident is featured in the 21st Canto of Dante's Inferno.

Certosa Monumentale, CalciNear Calci there are two major sites: the Certosa Monumentale (Monumental Charterhouse) and the Natural History Museum of Pisa University, housed in a wing of the complex, where important mineralogical, paleontological and zoological collections are preserved. The Certosa is a monumental Baroque-style complex founded in the 15th century by the bequest of an Armenian merchant. It is formed of a large internal courtyard and a series of surrounding buildings containing cellars, orchards and areas suitable for Carthusian life. It was used by Carthusian monks until the 1970s and is open for visits today.

The village of Buti was the setting of terrible battles between the Tuscan cities and is worth a visit for its Villa Medicea, Castel Tonini, overlooking the town, and the churches of San Francesco and the Ascensione, the latter also known as Santa Maria delle Nevi.

Completing the picture of the Monti Pisani is the ancient fortified village of Cascina, with a partly conserved 13th-century wall, the characteristic hamlet of Filettole in Vecchiano and San Giuliano Terme.

San Giuliano is not just an ideal destination for a break at the thermal springs, but also a starting point for interesting historical and architectural excursions to Ripafratta Fortress, the Romanesque churches of Rigoli and Pugnano and the Rupecava Hermitage.

The Valdarno area presents a landscape where the typically Tuscan hills surrounding San Miniato, covered in olive groves and dotted with medieval towns and hamlets, contrast with the valley bed with its thriving productive and commercial activity. The area is rich in tradition and history and conserves the traces of the Via Francigena, an old pilgrimage trail that is still well preserved in part.

Bientina, MastioIn this area we find Bientina, a village which, despite having lost its medieval appearance, offers the visitor sights such as the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, where the remains of San Valentino are preserved, the Museum of Sacred Art, the Etruscan Museum and the Church of San Girolamo.

Calcinaia lies in the centre of the Valdarno. Its name refers to the ceramic working tradition and to the numerous lime kilns, which have been active since the 1970s. The Historical Regatta on the river Arno is a characteristic event held in the month of May in honour of the patron saint Ubaldesca Taccini.

Castelfranco di Sotto, situated at the foot of the Cerbaie hills, has retained the layout of the Roman era, with two main streets that intersect at right angles and lead to the four gates. Among the points of interest are the Palazzo del Municipio and the Chiesa Collegiata.

Montopoli in Val d’Arno was defined by Boccaccio as a 'model castle' on account of its powerful fortifications. The Arch and Tower Torre di Castruccio remain as reminders of a past that the town relives through an archery challenge, the Disfida dell’arco, on the second Sunday of September.

The urban structure of Santa Maria a Monte is very special: the houses and buildings delineate the entire spiral path of the street. A stroll along the streets reveal traces of the medieval defensive system: arches, tower-houses, the clock tower, the mayoral building and the Chiesa Collegiata, containing prized works of art. There you can also find the "Casa Carducci" Museum, the family home of the widely renowned poet Giosuè.