Ancient towns

Small villages feature the area alternating to a flourishing and cultivated country with spaces of natural vegetation untouched.sentieri-paths

The many bell towers that rise on the territory, almost always valuable, identify the various human settlements that already in the past have made the cultural landscape.

There are numerous testimonies that still offer us, especially from the Middle Ages: the urban structure, the narrow alleys that branch off from the main roads, some stretches of old stone paving, brick facades of the houses of brick, the arches of old entrance doors to the town... these are the characteristics of the pretty villages that you can visit in our area.


Here you can find some ancient towns to visit (more information are available in our structure)


In the municipality of Capannoli (10 minutes)

Santo Pietro in Belvedere

Which offers a magnificent panorama. Located in the hills south-west of Capannoli between two rivers, the Cascina and Era. Even today the town has a triple ring of walls and clear medieval origins, although recent archaeological finds suggest that the place was already inhabited in the Etruscan-Roman period.


In the municipality of Chianni (20 minutes)


With its houses built on the ruins of the castle, the village still has old buildings dating from the fourteenth-fifteenth century and was, as Chianni, the feud of Marquis Riccardi. The Dominican friar beatified Giordano who invented the glasses to put on the nose, was born in Rivalto.


In the municipality of Lajatico (10 minutes)


At 313 mt. sea level. It was also an ancient Castle and it suffered the same historical events of Lajatico. It is possible to admire the historic village with its fortress and the tower of the castle and a beautiful view over Valdera.


In the municipality of Palaia (10 minutes)


Great panoramic point. Due to recent archaeological discoveries it is possible to trace the Etruscan origins of this village, although its name seems to derive from the cultivation of the Triticum spelta and of the Roman alicae campus that support its Roman origins. There is an ancient castle, which name is mentioned for the first time in a document of Lucca of 980th. The present church is the one of Santa Maria Assunta. In the village buildings dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century.


It was an important castle in the middle of fights between Lucca and Pisa. It was mentioned for the first time in a document of Lucca of 980th. The farm house is now a luxury resort. The church has been recently built and inside presents two large paintings of the seventeenth century.


Of Etruscan origin, as per most important archaeological finds in the area. It stands on a clayey spur with cliffs that recall the famous crags and gully of Volterra, among beautiful and winding hills is an area of great scenic interest. Ancient castle in the middle of battles between Pisa and Lucca, and finally in the hands of Florence after the defeat of Pisa in 1406. Today Toiano is a charming village almost deserted, with masonry arched street and the remains of the door of entry to the village and the ancient Parish church.
Close to the San Michele holding, before reaching Toiano, there is an  interesting park named of "Toiano Vecchio" with the fortress, detached from the villa, where, once probably there was the first inhabited place. It is possible to visit it.


In the municipality of Peccioli (less than 10 minutes)


The Montecchio castle was one of the most contested between Pisa and Florence in the thirteenth and fourteenth century. The Church of St. Lucia and Pancrazio was built in the same period of the castle, the present building dating back to 1893.


Ancient Templar or Knights of Rhodes residence, it was the residence of the high and noble Tuscan families as Gaetani, Quarratesi, Frescobaldi and others. Visitalbe places: San Domenico Chapel, built in 1860 at the place of the demolished San Martino Church. The Villa Ballata Neri of XIII-XIV century on the municipal way to Montelopio. Palazzo Mazzetti (1248) in Via San Martino, modified in the nineteenth century.


Important castle, subjected to the historical Peccioli events. It is named in a document dated 988, which refers to two farms in Ghizzo and in a document dated 1139 where the count Ranieri, gave all his property to the Bishop of Volterra.
The palace Venerosi Pesciolini in Via della Chiesa, 19 (privat property), which inside preserves furniture and frescoes of the XVIII-XIX century and has a beautiful Italian style garden.
Churc of San Germano and Prospero - Known since 1406
Oratory of SS. Annunziata - In neo-Gothic style, inside a wooden statue of the Annunciation (mid-fourteenth century) by Tommaso Pisano brother of the famous Nino.


In the municipality of Terricciola (10 minutes)

Badia di Morrona

The abbey is located north west of the village of Morrona. The abbey is composed of a complex of buildings that held the functions of the monastery. It was founded by the Uguccione della Gherardesca in 1109. Later on it became property of the Brothers Camaldolesi, under which the abbey acquired great importance. In 1482 the abbey was suppressed and joined together with the Bishops's revenue of Volterra. Today in the Medieval Monastery is located the farm Gaslini, which is a winery. Inside the "Abbey of Morrona there is the Pieve di Santa Maria, a Roman church of the 1152.

Pieve a Pitti

It was a small fortress with a village. In 1794 the small rural village was the property of the Pitti's family and later underwent several passages. It dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and includes the villa, chapel, stables and warehouses.


The name seems to derive from a Roman commander, "Scianus ", who placed his camp in this area during the republican period. It was a great castle and the apse of the church was made into the Mastio fortress.
In the village there were five Romanesque churches, of which today the oldest existing is the one of San Michele. The Nativity Church (or of the Company) has ancient origins, unfortunately not documented.

AlicaChianniGhizzanoMontecchio (Peccioli)MorronaOrciaticoPeccioliSanto Pietro BelvedereSoianaToiano