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The Delle Fonti Valley

A series of footpaths to discover the Pisan Mountains

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San Giuliano Terme
On the south-western slopes of the Pisan Mountains there is a valley of reclaimed land near the town of Asciano. This valley, which is close to San Giuliano, is known as the Valle delle Fonti, meaning the valley of fountains, or springs. The mountain slopes are home to many natural springs which all flow down into the river Zambra, which winds it way along the valley floor between Mount Mirteto and Mount di Costa Grandie.This area has taken not only its name from the presence of so much water, but it has also been shaped by it over the centuries. The water that comes from underground here is incredibly pure and has been highly valued for its purity and goodness since ancient times.

Most of the natural springs are on the eastern side of the valley, thanks to the geological make-up of the area which consists of sloped sandstone rocks and magnesium-filled siliceous screes. When it rains, water flows down the slopes and goes in between the rocks, eventually coming out on the other side of the mountain. As the water passes through the mountain, it is naturally filtered and purified in the rock bed and is of the highest quality when it finally flows out into the Valle delle Fonti.

The Pisana Valley is lacking in such an abundant natural source of pure water and so from the sixteenth century, this water has been used to supply the city of Pisa. The city used to collect rain water in large cisterns and it wasn’t until the rule of Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo I that channels were constructed to pipe water to the city from the largest springs. The channels were completed under the rule of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and it was in the year 1595 that Asciano water first arrived directly in Pisa.

The Medici aqueduct (acquedotto mediceo) starts in Bottino di San Rocco and ends at Pisa’s city walls. It is 6km long and is supported by 934 equidistant arches which gradually decrease in size. It is made from a mix of brick and stone. The landscape consists of a variety of plant species such as elders, Scotch elms and different climbers. There are also many ferns, rock-loving plants such as moss and also mushrooms during the autumn.There are many footpaths for walking enthusiasts which cross the valley and which provide the perfect way to appreciate the full beauty of this area of the Pisan Mountains. The footpaths are all well-signed and there are specific walking routes especially designed to help walkers get the most out of their hike.
San Giuliano Terme
Villas immersed in nature and thermal waters on the oil Route
San Giuliano Terme is located halfway between Pisa and Lucca, protected by the Pisan Mountains and immersed in the valley carved out by the Arno and Serchio rivers. The well-being fostered at its thermal springs has a millennia-old history; indeed, Pliny the Elder spoke of them as Pisan waters and of how even the Romans benefitted from their therapeutic properties. ...