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Church of San Donato - Chianni
Photo ©LigaDue


Ancient castle immersed in natural beauty

Chianni is an ancient castle located on the border between Pisa and Volterra. Thanks to its strategic position it was fundamental for dominating the valley.
Thus, this castle became the object of a power struggle between the Republic of Pisa and the bishop of Volterra. Its ancient fortress stands upon a rocky outcrop where the ancient parish church of Chianni was built. Said church, dedicated to San Giovanni a Paterno, was constructed at the summit of the castle’s ancient square. The village still retains most of its ancient architectural characteristics and historical urban planning features.

The church’s apse was almost certainly built using parts of the ancient structure’s main tower; most of the complex’s surrounding structures are plaster-free and made with terracotta bricks. Thus, they all maintain their original characteristics. Among the towns monuments of historical and artistic importance, we must recall the Parish church of San Donato and the Church della Madonna del Carmine. Inside the chapel of the Compagnia della Santissima Annunziata, visitors are sure to admire a cycle of frescoes created by Pisa painter, Giovanni Battista Tempesti in 1739.


A trip through a land rich in natural beauty
As with the river Era, the Valdera valley begins at the foot of the Volterra hills and runs to the town of Pontedera. ...