The territory around Massa and Cozzile is divided between the upper hill and the plain, nestled between the first stretches of the Pistoia Apennines, forests of chestnut and olive trees, vineyards and cultivated fields. With their farmed products, the two towns are stops on the Towns and Castles of the Valdinievole Oil Trail.
The two towns, as often happened in these areas, were fought over between Pistoia, Lucca, Florence and Pisa. Today, they are clearly separate, but they are linked by an ancient Roman road that can still be travelled today. Both are characterized by their medieval atmosphere and for the landscapes surrounding them.
Massa is perhaps one of the oldest fortified towns in the area, and some stretches and towers of its defense walls can still be seen. Visitors can enter the town through Porta dei Campi before heading to the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Assunta; inside, there are a wooden crucifix from the 1400s and a glazed terracotta depicting the Madonna and Child, coming from the Buglioni workshop. To learn more about these works of sacred art, visit the San Michele Museum, located in the chapel of the same name. There are paintings, liturgical vestments and sacred furnishings on display.
Travelling down the historic road, you’ll come to Cozzile. The first thing you’ll notice is Palazzo De Gubernatis, which stands out on a ridge, but once you’re in the town, you’ll be fascinated by Cozzile as a whole. The town is comprised of a small, simple piazza surrounded by very few streets, but every corner of the town is quite picturesque. From its position up on a hill, on clear days it’s as if you could see the whole of Tuscany from the town.