From Leonardo to Pinocchio: museums within the area

Visiting our land with the family, maybe strolling around with a map, maybe just following just your personal taste is quite an experience: from the Apennines to the marhslands, from thick medieval walls to astonishing contemporary art. From Leonardo to Pinocchio nothing must be given for granted!

Here are some itineraries, both self catering and within museums,  to enjoy the area: the territory museums are organized in seven thematic itineraries including all the most important spots of the area: by entering just one of this cultural sites the tourist is kept linked to all the others, and is enabled to track its own itinerary, provided the diverse tastes and art interests people may have. These seven itineraries do not describe the entire cultural offer of the area, but may contribute to create simple and clear reading keys to such a complex, rich and old territory.

Itineraries
THROUGH CASTLES AND STONES

Includes: Borgo a Buggiano, Stignano, Buggiano and Massa e Cozzile Starting few kilometers from Montecatini Terme, this itinerary includes some of the most interesting borgos and villages of the whole valley, once named the “living room” of Tuscany.

  • Borgo a Buggiano Villa Bellavista This name, litterally “beautiful view Vista” was given thanks to the incredible view on Montalbano and Cerbaie area, up to the Arno Valley, that can be disfruted from the sweet hill where the villa is located. Once featuring gardens, fountains and statues, it used to be considered the most beautiful Villa In Italy after Caserta.Via Livornese di Sopra, 28, Borgo A Buggiano PTPhone : +39 0572 32026The entrance is not permetted, however the view from outside is worth the miles.Church of San Peter and Aposthols Once meant to be an Oratory, the developing of this structure in the XIV century made it theatre of continuous changes, until the Baroque touch given during XIX from the Bernardini brothers from Pescia. It has just one nave, while the absid is square shaped, and contains a relevant sculpture and paintings treasure.Corso Indipendenza, 56, Buggiano PT Phone: +39 0572 32047 Open everyday (it is a regularly used as a parish Church- FREE ENTRANCE. Proceed to Stignano, driving under the railway bridge on the back of the Town hall of Borgo a Buggiano, up to the village of Stignano.
  • StignanoPieve of Sant’Andrea This little Church is well known for its bell tower: indeed the last order of windows of the bell tower is a rare example of Sicilian Romanesque, probably from the taste of the Architect at that time. Very visible and quite peculiar!
  • Buggianois a beautiful borgo that kept the urbanistic medieval layout it used to have, including the remains of imposing difensive walls and a castle that domains the whole valley. On the main little and cosy square the Palazzo del Podestà offers its shadow to sweating tourists climbing up the ripid narrow stone roads of the village. The Palazzo shows many coats-of-arms on his façade from XV and XVI Century; in the same square a Benedictine church founded in 1038 finds its solid placement, with a tall and simple bell tower, visibile throughout the valley.Palazzo del PodestàPiazza Pretorio 51011 Buggiano CastelloPhone +39 0572 31711 Openings: The palace is kept open by the volunteers of the Association Buggiano Castello during any festive afternoon between April and October from 3,00pm (4,00 during peak summer) to 7,00pmFREE ENTRANCEChiesa di San NicolaoPiazza Pretorio – Buggiano CastelloPhone +39 0572 32850 Openings: Any Sunday Morning the Holy Mass is celebrated at 10am ; it is regularly kept open during Sunday afternoons betwen 4pm and 6:30. FREE ENTRANCE
  • Massa e CozzilePieve di S. Maria Assunta The Church, located in the Borgo of Massa, is tracked since 787 AD. It used to be a Romanesque building, period of which only the bell tower and the left side remain.Loc. Massa – Piazza Cavour 1 – Massa e CozzileOpening: everyday from 7:00 am to 7pmFREE ENTRANCEThe Castle of Cozzile Cozzile is just 3km away from Massa, and it’s known because of its well preserved castle: from its dominating position on clear days any province of Tuscany can be seen.Loc. Cozzile – Massa e Cozzile Opening: Free VisitFREE ENTRANCE

UZZANO & PESCIA

A splendid itinerary that includes the village of Uzzano and the peculiar county of Pescia, such a relevant cultural spot in this land. Furthermore, a journey within the “Dieci Castella” and the famous Collodi

  • UzzanoCastle of Uzzano The Castle of Uzzano is an open-air village, 250 metres over the sea level: inside the thick walls a large number of lemon and orange groves are visible, grown up in this special favoring weather conditions, given the “midday” orientation of this village. Notables: The Palazzo del Capitano in the main square and the parish church of Saints Jacopo and Martino.Chiesa dei SS. Jacopo e MartinoPiazza Santissimi Iacopo E Martino – Uzzano (PT) Phone: +39 0572 476224Openings: everyday from 5:30pm FREE ENTRANCEPalazzo del Capitano del PopoloPiazza Unità d’Italia Uzzano (PT) Phone +39 0572 447738Openings: By AppointmentFREE ENTRANCE
  • PesciaGipsoteca Libero AndreottiChiesa della Madonna di Piè di piazza This church, closing down the south side of the main square of Pescia, was originally built on 1447, most probably on a drawing from Andrea Cavalcanti, also known as “il Buggiano”. Its peculiarity is a system of large arcades, creating the famous “serliana” trabeation, known since the ancient Roman Emperor. The interior of this small jewel features a wooden polychrome roof, placed on the XVII century. Also well known the Madonna with Child fresco, dating back to XV century.Via Santa Maria, 4-28 – 51017 – PesciaOpening : by appointment; it is open during the weekends in Saturday morning and in the afternoons close to the holy mass scheduledFREE ENTRANCEPalazzo dei Vicari The Town Hall of Pescia was originally built in the XII century: its facade is decorated with coats of arms. Fully restored in the XIX century (in style), it can be visited everyday in the areas kept open to the public.Piazza Mazzini 1 I – 51077 PesciaPhone + 0572 492265 or 492219Openings: from 7:00am to 7:00pm Mon-Fri, from 9:00am to 12:00pm Saturdays – closed on SundaysFREE ENTRANCESan Francesco Church Originally built in 1241 it was completely transformed in the XVIII century; the façade is decorated with pensile arcades with animal figures. It has just one nave with a large transept, where three chapels open up. On the left side of the church there are some monumental chapels, while the right part is decorated with grey stone “serena” altars. Most interesting is the table of SAN FRANCESCO and the stories of his life, from Bonaventura Berlinghieri, dating back to 1235, told to be the closest image to the real face of San Francesco, for it was painted just 5 years from his holy death.Piazza S. Francesco, Pescia PT Phone: +39 0572 476046Openings: EverydayFREE ENTRANCEBiblioteca Capitolare This Library was left to the town from the Cardinal Romualdo Cecchi, who donated all his book sto the Cathedral office. Later recognised by the Pople Alessandro VII in 1666, the Library kept on increasing the volumes by donations from Puccinelli, Bonvicini and Pesenti, Forti in XVIII century and Galeotti in XIX Century.Via della Cattedrale, 1 – 51017 PesciaPhone +39 0572-476224Openings: everyday, but it is strongly recommended to call in advance during office times.FREE ENTRANCE

VALDINIEVOLE PILGRIMS

A brief itinerary between Nature and Culture crossing Chiesina Uzzanese and Ponte Buggianese, housing important churches, ending up in the quiet peace of the untouched nature of Padule Marshland, one of the biggest natural riserves in Tuscany.

  • Chiesina UzzaneseChurch of Santa Maria della Neve This Church was realized mid XIX century over an older building; indeed the portal is from the XVII century. It has just one nave with cross vaults and a couple on the transect. There is a Virgin with two Saints.Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 13 51013 Chiesina Uzzanese Phone +39 0572 48384Openings: everyday FREE ENTRANCE
  • Ponte Buggianese Sancturay of Madonna del Buon Consiglio Originally built in 1500, it was meant to be a small oratory, until it was enriched in 1628. The Sanctuary is an official spot from the Art & Culture Italian Ministry for it keeps a most valuable cycle of paintings from Pietro Annigoni and his pupils, started in 1967 and ended in 1988, all focused on bible themes.Via Buggianese, 51019 Ponte Buggianese PT – Phone +39 0572 635022Openings: Everyday – FREE ENTRANCE
  • Padule di Fucecchio

VALDINIEVOLE DEFENSES

This itinerary is one of the most intense: art and culture throughout medieval villages and territory museums.

  • Pieve a NievolePalazzo del Comune Pieve a Nievole is a small town known for guesting the Hunting premises of Medici, where the Town Hall is now located.Piazza 20 Settembre Pieve A Nievole PT Phone: +39 0572 95631Openings: from 8:00am to the 1:00pm Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sundays FREE ENTRANCE
  • Monsummano TermeSanctuary of the Madonna di Fontenuova Founded in 1602 due to the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici will, the Sanctuary is indeed the cultural and urbanistic heart of Monsummano Terme. The Building, such a rare sobriety and elegance example, is perceived as beautiful because of symmetric building and decorating criteria.A traditional latin cross plant, with just one nave, it is surrounded on three sides by a porch, only accessible with stairs. Miracles were told to have happened close to the Fontenuova fresco preserved in this Sanctuary, hence it is really important for the whole Diocesis.Piazza Giuseppe Giusti n. 305/e – 51015 Phone: +39 0572 51102Openings: it is open everyday (Holy Mass regularly celebrated) but we strongly recommend to call in advance to make sure to be able to visit all the areas; FREE ENTRANCEOfficial website : www.madonnadellafontenova.itEmail address: fontenova@tele2.itTerritory Museum Giuseppe Giusti Home National MuseumMonsummano Alto Today, of the ancient castle on the hill are preserved only the remains of the elliptical walls that surrounded the castle with a perimeter of about two kilometres and two of the three access doors: the north-western “Nostra Donna” door, and the one called “del Mercato” or “Porticciola” that, practically intact, faces the hill of Montevettolini. Of the numerous towers that equipped the castle remains, at the western extremity of the walls, a sturdy pentagonal tower, which is among the most impressive of the entire provfince. The best preserved building of the hamlet is the Church of San Nicolao.Montevettolini rises on a hill with olive trees at 187 metres above sea level. Over the decades the complex historical events that characterised Valdinievole lead Montevettolini to be first subjected to Pistoia, then Lucca and lastly to Florence. The Florentine Gran Dukes elected Montevettolini hunting ground. Therefore the MediceanVilla, built on a previous ancient fortress, and many other patrician residences were constructed. In 1775, Pietro Leopoldo, with the creation of “La Comunità delle due Terre” (the Community of the two Lands), united the territories of Montevettolini and Monsummano, in a sole town “La Comunità delle due Terre di Valdinievole” today Monsummano Terme.Open Air Museum Serravalle PistoieseSerravalle Pistoiese Visiting the open air museum of Serravalle Pistoiese means walk through one of the most relevant borgo in Tuscany, remained almost untouched within centuries: on the east side of town you can still see parts of the 13th century castle: the Tower of Barbarossa, which dates from 1177 has been recently restored and is now open to public. Inside the perimeter of the castle is the Parish church of Santo Stefano, with a Romanesque façade and bell tower built with fortification material.Another monument in the church square is the tiny Oratory of the Compagnia della Vergine Assunta.On the west side of town, some relics of the 14th century castle built by Castruccio Castracani, including the unusual hexagonal tower facing the valley of Nievole river.

MONTECATINI ALTO & THE SORROUNDING HILLS

2015 is the 700th anniversary of the Big Battle, the battle between Florence and Pisa, lead by Castruccio Castracani and remembered in Dante Alighieri’s words.

  • Montecatini AltoThis little borgo is a pure medieval jewel, that still keeps its original structure, with a central Piazza Giusti, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Loggia of Parlascio, where public assemblies and old marked used to take place. At the top of the village the Rocca and the Torre del MastioChurch of San Peter This was originally the Church of the Castle of Montecatini Alto, and it used to be dedicated to San Michele. During XII century it became a parish church and changed dedication due to the rebuilding. Important artworks can be found inside it, such as the Ascended Christ of Santi di Tito, and the Santa Barbara Martirium from Ligozzi, or the Virgin Assunction from Maratta.Vicolo Prataccio 7 – 51016 Montecatini Alto (PT) Phone: +39 0572 73727Openings: It is open every day (Holy mass is regularly celebrated) but we recommend a phone call in advance in order to be able to visit all areas FREE ENTRANCEChiesa del Carmine The Church of Saints Jacopo and Filippo (also known as “del Carmine”) was completely rebuilt in 1764 in a baroque style over an original Romanesque building, founded in 1296 from Carmelitan rodersi. It has a sole nave inside and a font made with sculpted white marble, and some artworks from various centuries.Montecatini Alto Borgo Phone: +39 0572 73727Openings: by appointment only FREE ENTRANCE

LARCIANO, LAMPORECCHIO and VINCI

At the fines of this land, from Leonardo to Pinocchio, visiting the sights Leonardo grew up with, and developed his genius mind.

  • LarcianoIl Castello e il Museo Civico The historic centre of the municipalità is the borgo of Larciano Castello, which was mentioned even in Roman Times. It later became a feud of the Counts of Guidi, before being annexed by Pistoia. Its convenient position on the crossroads of pilgrim route of the Via Francigena and the road that winds up from here into Montalbano area proved to be of strategic advance to the Castle. Within the remains of the castle it is possible to visit the Civic Museum, and to perceive superb views of the whole land, between Leonardo and Pinocchio.The Church of San Silvestro is also notable, and among its treasures there is a XVI century font and one of the oldest pipe organs in this land, dating back to XVI century as well.
  • LamporecchioVilla Rospigliosi
  • VinciIl Borgo Vinci is a village that lies on Montalbano hills and it’s sorrounded by Wineyards and Olive groves. It is medieval and it still keeps some parts of the ancient thick walls, other that the Castle of Conti Guido, also known as “Ship Castle” because of its shape. Coats of Arms can be seen inside and a precious tile depicting a Madonna with the Baby from the worldwide famous hands of Giovanni della Robbia, in 1523.Museo Leonardiano

Museums Itineraries
Devotion

This itinerary includes museums containing sacred art pieces

Monumental gardens and buildings

This itinerary includes historical gardens with their Villas, monumental buildings with valid artistic resonance

Technology and civilization

This itinerary includes all the museums related to field and country work, to the fishing means in the marsh area, and to the process of creating paper. The visit of such museums is fully integrated with a complete territory visit, whose these activities have always been a vital part.

‘900 and Contemporary Art

This itinerary includes museums, parks and buildings which are expression of ‘900 art and which show the tendence to a constant growth, where the diverse artistic expressions have been finding a natural home.

Archeology

This itinerary includes all the museums containing archeological relics, or significant study sections on this field.

Peculiar People

An itinerary to discover monographic museums over Life and art of real and fictional characters related to this territory

Territory and Civilization

In this itinerary all open air museums are included, such as territory oriented museums, natural – history related spots and natural reserves.

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