Staying at Podere Casavecchia means having the choice to savor the serenity of the true countryside, perhaps by taking a dip in the panoramic pool, which is almost always gently breezy. Alternatively, you can reach the sea, which is about 40 minutes away, or visit the famous nearby cities of art, as well as the picturesque and characteristic villages that surround the area. These include Chianni, a medieval village; Terricciola with its wineries; Lari with its beautiful Vicar’s Castle; Casciana Terme with its wellness facilities and more; Peccioli, awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club, home to a diverse museum complex; Lajatico with its Theatre of Silence conceived by the famous tenor Bocelli, one of Italy’s most unique amphitheaters, and much more.
Volterra is a highly sought-after destination in Tuscany, known for its typical products and its urban layout reminiscent of its Etruscan origins. Much of the city’s walls built in the 4th century BC can still be visited, along with two of the city’s entrance gates, Porta Diana and Porta dell’Arco. The old Acropolis houses several buildings and the foundations of two ancient temples, preserving the rich historical and archaeological heritage of the area.
“I came to Lari, and from its fortress, I beheld a vast countryside, the most beautiful part of Tuscany.” These are the words of Leopold II of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Lari is well-known for its cherry production, celebrated every year during the traditional festival held on the last Sundays of May.
The town is located on a hill spur that overlooks the Era Valley. Of Lombard origin, it was initially a castle of the Bishop of Volterra before being conquered first by Pisa and later by Florence. A historical symbol of its territory is the imposing Rocca di Pietracassia, one of the most important examples of early medieval architecture in Tuscany. It was built during the Lombard period to oversee the road leading to the copper mines of Montecatini. Situated at 550 meters above sea level, it takes its name from a fissure in a huge limestone boulder that rises from the ridge (“cassa” means split).
Peccioli boasts a diverse Museum Complex that includes the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio, the Museum of Sacred Art, and the Bell Tower (which is 42 meters tall). The Archaeological Museum houses artifacts discovered during excavations at the Etruscan site of Ortaglia and the medieval site of Santa Mustiola di Ghizzano. The Palazzo Pretorio Museum features a collection of lithographs and engravings, as well as Russian icons.
This small fortified town is famous for its architecture and beautiful medieval towers that give the city’s skyline a truly unique appearance. During its most prosperous period, the wealthy families of San Gimignano built a total of 72 towers as symbols of their wealth and power. Today, 14 of these towers still stand, adding to the city’s charming atmosphere. San Gimignano also offers excellent local products such as saffron and the white wine known as Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
The Rocca di Pietracassia is located in the municipality of Lajatico and represents a formidable example of early medieval architecture, as one of the first barbarian fortifications built in Tuscany. Its position already reveals its strategic role: situated at over 530 meters above sea level, it allows overseeing the entire Valdera and much of the Val di Cecina, with the possibility of extending the view to the nearby Volterra. A steep precipice protected it from attacks from the north, while a thick defensive wall shielded it from other threats. To reach it today, one must undertake a challenging trek, but the view undoubtedly rewards the effort.
Podere Casa Vecchia may seem immersed in the Tuscan hinterland, but the nearby sea is hidden behind Montevaso Hill, where Etruscan tombs have been found. The sea can be reached in 30 minutes by descending from Castellina Marittima to the coast below Livorno, passing through places like Rosignano, Vada with its white beaches, and Cecina with its extensive pine forest. A beautiful day trip, with just under an hour of travel, takes you to the enchanting Gulf of Baratti, overlooked by the Etruscan town of Populonia.
The Ghiaccione Waterfalls, known as “il Ghiaccione” due to their icy waters, are located near the medieval village of Chianni in the province of Pisa. Through a forest trail along the Carbonia stream, you can reach the first waterfall, followed by the more majestic one called the “Tonfo degli Ebrei.” The water cascades down 10 meters into an inviting pool, perfect for a refreshing swim. It’s a delightful natural experience waiting to be discovered.
A place that we particularly love and frequently visit in the summer is the “Masso delle Fanciulle” in the Berignone Reserve, near La Rocca dei Vescovi.
The “Masso delle Fanciulle” is located in a swimmable stretch of the Cecina River, flowing through a lush valley between the municipalities of Pomarance and Volterra in the Province of Pisa, Tuscany.
Welcome to the heart of Tuscany, where the Chianti hills embrace the picturesque towns of Colle Val d’Elsa and San Casciano Val di Pesa. Here, tradition and beauty blend into a timeless landscape. Explore the vineyards that produce the renowned Chianti wine, stroll through cobblestone streets, and discover charming squares. Colle Val d’Elsa, with its medieval city walls, and San Casciano Val di Pesa, surrounded by gentle hills, offer authentic experiences and breathtaking views. A blend of history, food, wine, and unforgettable landscapes awaits you.
Chianni is a small village in the Upper Valdera, located in the Pisan Hills. With medieval origins (though Etruscan tombs have been found), it has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. It lives in an eternal duality between wild and unspoiled nature (in its mountainous areas, the Mediterranean scrubland reigns supreme) and land cultivated by man, with plots used for olive groves, vineyards – often painstakingly cleared from the scrub – and wheat-covered hills.
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