An area which will surprise you, in the heart of the most genuine part of Tuscany, marked by gentle hills which give off generous fruits, in the area that was once called ‘vallis nebulae’ – the fog-filled valley – and that today is an unpolluted world, a proud guardian of its traditions. Valdinievole is a terrain to be discovered.
Your journey can begin from Montecatini Terme, an art nouveau jewel famous for its precious, beneficial and therapeutic waters. A place where you can find wellbeing and peace surrounded by beauty: the natural one of the parks and luxuriant gardens and the other one created by master painters and sculptors who have celebrated the town, rendering it their chosen place for the Italian Art Nouveau style.
The Grotto Giusti‘s waters that flow out from the underground will give its visitors unimaginable pleasure: “the eighth wonder of the world” is a thousand-year old cavern adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.
A little jewel close to Monsummano Terme, an area of cliffs and crags, an ideal place for sports lovers, for rock climbing, for paragliding, for trekking. All over the Valdinievole area, there are so many paths and trails to walk along while contemplating the beauty of the surrounding nature, paths that were used in ancient times by pilgrims and wayfarers on their way in prayer.
Water makes the Marshland of Fucecchio, near Larciano, unique: it is the largest internal marshland in Italy and it is a paradise for birdwatchers and for enthusiastic naturalistic photographers; to be explored on foot, by bike, by mountain bike, by little boat or by SUP (stand up paddleboats).
Every hamlet in the Valdinievole area offers you breathtaking views and picturesque scenes, starting from Montecatini Alto, a pretty village that you can reach by cable car. At Montevettolini, climb to its highest point so that you can admire the valley below where, centuries ago, Leonardo da Vinci did exactly that. Or go for a walk through the lanes of Buggiano Castello, the hamlet of citrus fruits.
On the slopes of Montalbano, a land of oil and wine, in the district of Larciano – well known for its handling of marshy grasses – and the villages of Cecina and Larciano Castello are also well worth a visit.
Pescia, with its elegant historic town centre, is the ideal point of departure if you want to explore Valdinievole: this area is also called the “Svizzera Pesciatina“, with its ten “Castella’: tiny and picturesque hamlets built in pietra serena. Not to be missed is a visit to the Museum of Paper at Pietrabuona to discover the tradition and art of handmade paper.
Nearby stands Collodi, birthplace of the writer Carlo Lorenzini, which houses the Park of Pinocchio and the Villa Garzoni with its splendid 18th century garden, one of the most lovely in Europe.
Lamporecchio is the home of the “brigidino“, the aniseed flavoured wafer, which you can always find in village parties and country festivals. It is still today an extremely lively tradition. More recently, but just as delicious is the production of chocolate which makes Monsummano Terme one of the centers of the Tuscan Chocolate Valley.