Groppoli is one of the most evocative areas in the Pistoia countryside, full of history and nature. Its name is likely Lombard in origin and means “rounded mass”. Groppoli is home to a church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel (the Lombard’s preferred saint thanks to his warrior-like characteristics), located at the top of a hill near Serravalle Pistoiese: it was a centre of life for the rural communities found along the road linking Vincio Valley and the village of Castellina.
The church dates to the 12th century, even if the first verified mention of it can be found in a document from 1174, when the monks at San Mercuriale in Pistoia bought an olive grove in the parish church’s territory. Today, the church is a robust travertine building and is unique in that it vaunts stylistic elements popular in both Pistoia and Lucca.
The Church of San Michele is not the only interesting building in the area. Groppoli is also famous for its large estate, which includes the farm, villa and eleven farmhouses used for hosting tourists. The farm is equipped with a pool and every kind of comfort for families looking to spend their vacation surrounded by nature. The valley offers visitors stables, plant and flower nurseries, a lake and a dense network of trails that can be explored on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike. The estate is also a private hunting reserve home to wild boars, deer, mouflons, hares and pheasants.
Another reason to visit Groppoli include the elegant villa, located just beyond the farm and built in the Liberty style. In recent decades, the villa has become one of the liveliest cultural centres in Pistoia. The villa is owned by the Amici di Groppoli, founded in 1984, which loves to describe itself as “a congregation of bon vivants with cultural demands” and offers its members a rich program of initiatives every year ranging from tourism to theatre, festivals to art, music, literature and more, all in the name of conviviality.