Fascinating itineraries to discover in Pisa and surroundings

Fascinating itineraries to discover in Pisa and surroundings

Valdera is a wonderful place full of medieval towns, in the central part of the Province of Pisa, crossed by a small tributary stream Era, dominated from the commercial point of view by the city of Pontedera. It’s exactly here where you should make another stop, at a four-star hotel between Pisa and Valdera, in order to make your trips to some wonderful villages like Ponsacco, Peccioli and Lari – real indisputable jewels of the Pisan Hills.
Let’s start from this perfect base that, in addition to it advantageous position in the area and a possibility to choose between 68 rooms of various types, offers an access to a restaurant where the imagination and creativity of the Chef is combined with a great attention to details and careful selection of local raw materials of high quality – things that all together will make you live an unforgettable gastronomic experience. So, the first stop will be Ponsacco; it’s easily reachable, and even the road that leads to this place will not leave you indifferent: you’ll pass through vineyards, grape nurseries and sunflower fields. Here, on the right bank of the Cascina river, a tributary stream of the Era, you’ll find this beautiful town with its marvelous fortified castle of 1197. In the center of the town there’s the Church of John the Apostle projected by architect Alessandro Gherardesca.
After a pleasant walk in this ancient town, it’s time to visit Lari.
It’s worth emphasizing that these roads and paths are easily traversable by bike, on foot and even on horseback, and all of them give you a chance to live new enogastronomic experiences, trying local wine and olive oil, produced by different oil press factories – hospitable inns second to none, always eager to give their guests a warm welcome. Lari was built around a fortress raised at the order of the Medici dynasty in the first half of the sixteenth century on an ancient cliff. It’s enough to look out of the Castle of the Vicars to realize you’re admiring one of the most fascinating landscapes of Tuscany.
Not only marvelous mansions scattered here and there in a surprising way, or vineyards and olive groves make Lari so famous. It owes its fame also to its special products: spaghetti and cherries. Their cultivation is secular, there are 19 varieties, and there’s also a themed festival, dedicated to this fruit that takes place annually since 1957. Between the end of May and the beginning of June Lari turns into a colorful open-air market of this delicious red fruit, and if all this were still not enough, you may visit the famous Martelli pasta factory, founded in 1926, where you can observe artisanal production of spaghetti, macaroni and feathers (“penne”), following antique recipes and using traditional technologies, all packaged by hand in bags with the Martelli brand.
The third part of the journey through the villages of the Pisan Hills at this point can be Peccioli, famous for its furniture production, but also for a great plenty of wineries, scattered over its surroundings, where you may make a pleasant stop off.
In the main Square of the town there’s a Parish Church of San Verano that should be also visited, and inside the garth there is Madonna with the Child of Neri di Bicci, and a ceiling fresco of Jacopo Vignali.
The festival of Saint Colombun in October is also very characteristic and awaited – during this festival the harvest is celebrated with shows and various kinds of music, desserts competitions and the game “pigia-pigia l’uva nel tino” – a competition between several districts of the town.
At the end of December a great fairy-tale festival takes place: the “fiabesque”, ideal both for children and adults.







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