Once in the area of Lamporecchio it really is worth visiting the Villa Rospigliosi, whose name derives from the family who owned a huge amount of property here since the Middle Ages. The building, built in the second half of the 17th century as part of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s project, is majestically impressive against a typical Tuscan background of rolling hills dotted with olive trees.
Just 7 kilometres from Lamporecchio is San Baronto, a small village perfect for getting some peace and relaxation, immersed in the silence of the woods that still surround the town. The centre of San Baronto developed around the church, once a monastery until the 1700s. Being in Montalbano’s mountain pass – beyond which you can head down to the plains around Pistoia and Prato – the town is like a terrace overlooking most of the plain.
Papiano is also worth a visit, a small village between San Baronto and Porciano. The town consists of a handful of farmhouses overlooked by an aristocratic residence, Villa dell’Americana. In the Middle Ages, there was a hospice for pilgrims, which was later transformed into a farmhouse that still exists today.
The historic Orbignano also deserves a mention, first documented as early as the 8th century (the donation of an olive grove ad Urbignanum by the Lombard Aufuns to the monastery of San Bartolomeo in Pistoia dates to July 10, 779). Other documents attest that between 957 and 981, the rectory of the Cathedral of Pistoia rented out a house located in locus qui dicitur Orbignano.