The small town of Lari has been inhabited since Etruscan times.
It is situated where three hilltops meet in the Pisan hills. The castle looms over the town centre and originally dates back to the Medieval era. Most of the present structure dates back to the mid-seventeenth century. This castle was an important military garrison for the Pisan Republic due to its dominating position over the whole of the Valdarno area – from its walls it’s possible to see from the Pisan hills to Volterra and from the Livornese coast to beyond Peccoli.
The castle is protected by a defensive wall with three entrances: the Porta Fiorentina, the Porta Pisana and the Porta Volterrana. The latter used to be the main entrance to the town and had a drawbridge which was removed in 1798.
The town’s important monuments include the fifteenth century San Leonardo and Santa Maria Assunta Church which houses canvases by Melani and two marble statues attributed to Andrea Pisano. There are also the market loggias, parts of which date back to the end of the sixteenth century although most of what’s visible today was built in the 1800s after an earthquake damaged the building.
Lari is a place that visitors should take their time to look around and explore on foot. The Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopoldo II said of the town: "I came to Lari and from its fortress I observed the vast spread of the countryside which is the most beautiful part of Tuscany".
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