Another symbol of the territory is the imposing Pietracassia Fortress, built during the Lombardic era to watch over the road that led to the copper mines in Montecatini. Abandoned for centuries, it’s considered one of the most important examples of Early Medieval architecture in all of Tuscany. The fortress takes its name from an open cleft in an enormous limestone rock that rises up from the ridge on which it sits (indeed, cassa means “cracked”).
Worth a visit, close to Lajatico, is Orciatico, whose historical center was recently restored and is home to a fortress with a tower that offers a splendid view of the Valdera and the Pisan hills. Orciatico is also famous for chestnuts and the presence of wind mills built at the end of the 1600s and well-preserved today.
Those interested in geothermics shopuld pay a visit to the mofetta of Borboi, an area characterized by phenomena originating from the emission of carbon dioxide and the subject of studies carried out by the National Research Council.
Lovers of small and charming countryside villages will find a paradise in the Terre di Pisa. Chianni, a medieval town of Etruscan origin, that was historically disputed between the bishop of Volterra and the Republic of Pisa, is an ideal place to take long walks in nature and to taste the typical recipes of the area that are based on wild boar or the Rivalto chestnut.
Along the gentle curves around Orciano, that are much-loved by motorcyclists, runs the Colline Pisane Wine Trailthat unites companies and producers of the area's high-quality food and wine products.
Peccioli is lively and dynamic centre that's home to contemporary art. In the hamlet of Ghizzano, for example, there are works of art created by Alicja Kwade and Patrick Tuttofuoco permanently on display.
Thanks to the work of Andrea Bocelli, every year, in July, the evocative Theatre of Silence host a concert of Bocelli himself, accompanied by world-renowned artists such as Laura Pausini, José Carreras and Katherine Jenkins, Roberto Bolle, Igor Mitoraj and Arnaldo Pomodoro. The theatre, founded in 2006 to host just one performance a year (hence the name), is an open-air amphitheatre that makes use of the shape of a small hill outside the town.
Typical dishes and products
In addition to the woods which cover much of the Lajatico area, vines and olives also play a fundamental role and oil and wine are two of the main typical products of the area. Also noteworthy is the production of cereals, cheese, honey and chestnuts.