For centuries a crossroads of cultures, exchanges and encounters, the Valdinievole extends between Lucca and Pistoia and vaunts famous thermal baths, wild nature and gems of art and culture known throughout the world.
The lush hills are home to villages and castles, while the territory as a whole, nicknamed "Svizzera Pesciatina," extends all the way to Montalbano. The first human settlements developed right in these hills, which reached their maximum splendour during the Middle Ages. Today, visitors can see traces of the process of fortification thanks the strongholds still visible in their positions defending the entire territory.
Starting in the chestnut forests and passing through a landscape dotted with olive trees on the way down into the valley, visitors will come across the springs of precious waters in Montecatini Terme, which can still today be enjoyed in one of the Liberty-style resorts. This is where the vapours rise from the earth in Monsummano Terme and where the Fucecchio Marsh is located. Thousands of years ago, part of this territory was covered by the sea, which ran right up to the foot of Montalbano, and the Fucecchio Marsh is what remains of that distant geological era.
The Valdinievole is also the home of Pinocchio, the most famous puppet in the world. This is where the mother of Carlo Lorenzini, the author of the timeless story, was born. Carlo was the son of a modest family, which worked for the aristocratic Garzoni family in Collodi, where Carlo got his pseudonym from.
The Valdinievole is also a land of inspiration. Its waters, the amenity of its landscape and its rolling hills have always been a relaxing environment for musicians, including the illustrious Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, painters and artists of all kinds: from literature to theatre, opera to cinema. Nature in this region is the muse of all the arts, but it’s also closely tied to the locals, who’ve transformed it into a resource. The area is known for its plant nurseries, especially in Pescia; the unique Bonsai Museum and the fragrant Citrus Garden are evidence of this.
Lastly, the territory boasts excellent typical products, like the IGP Toscano olive oil, top-quality white and red wines, Vin Santo and the delicate but tasty Sorana bean. The sweets produced here are delicious, including the exquisite wafers from Montecatini and the famous brigidini made in Lamporecchio, a star at every town fair and a favourite of every child in Tuscany.