Piedmont itinerary

<p>&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">The Monti Pisani are mountains of moderate height dominated by Mount Serra. The area offers spectacular landscapes and nature reserves where visitors can enjoy an abundance of flora and fauna in the name of biodiversity. The landscape is characterized by caves dug into the limestone, terraced olive groves (the area is crossed by an Olive Oil Route), vineyards and chestnut woods, and is dotted with medieval villages and fortresses (worthy of note is Brunelleschi Fortress in Vicopisano), Romanesque <em>pievi</em> and churches. Definitely worth a visit is the Charterhouse of Calci, which also houses a Natural History Museum. The entire area boasts an abundance of cool, curing waters which, ever since antiquity, have been the cornerstone of a hydrothermal heritage that finds its greatest expression in the spa of San Giuliano Terme and the thermal park of Uliveto. Starting off from the pieve of Pugnano, we come to the church of San Marco Evangelista at Rigoli. The route leads on to the ruins of the church of Santa Maria at Mirteto and thence to the pieve of Calci and the monastery of Sant&rsquo;Agostino at Nicosia. The next stops are the pieve of Santa Giulia, the little church of San Martino al Bagno, in the thermal park of Uliveto, and finally the pieve of Vicopisano and the church of Sant&rsquo;Jacopo in Lupeta. An extensive network of medieval roads and a mild and often sunny climate make the whole area a choice destination for excursions, trekking, horse and bike rides.</p>

The mountain range of Monte Pisano snakes at the borders with the region of Lucca.
In the Middle Ages, these rises emerged like an island from the surrounding wetlands. The road surrounding them, raised above the ground level, allowed to access the area even when it was most subjected to turn into a marshland.
As confirmed by Strabo, a Greek geographer, this territory was known since the Roman age for the richness of its resources: water, wood and construction stones. Quarries offered various qualities of materials, employed to build Pisan medieval edifices, either civil and religious.
Therefore, small architectural jewels of Romanesque architecture rose across the mountainside, dotting the road that skirts the mountain range on the Pisan side, between Ripafratta and Vicopisano: pievi, abbeys and small subordinate churches built between the 11th and the 14th  centuries by highly skilled workers, who imported building techniques and decorating repertoires from the construction of Pisa cathedral.

Itinerary map

Accommodation711|715|712|716|713|714 [6]

Art and culture590|591|592 [3]

Handicrafts and typical products763|767|764|768|765|766 [6]

Cultural centres1095|1096|1097 [3]

Cinemas and theatres563|564|565 [3]

Nature and wellness459|460 [2]

Restaurants1142|1146|1143|1147|1144|1145 [6]

Leisure605|606 [2]