The name of Vecchiano was recorded for the first time in 762 as Vecliano, and probably comes from the name of the Roman senator Vetuleius, whose families owned these lands. In Latin, the name means “land of Vetuleio”.
The territory in the municipality of Vecchiano is particularly important from a nature point of view, with typicaly Tuscan charming landscapes: soft hills, streams, and the sea, making it a veritable oasis. The territory includes a major portion of the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Park, the mouth of the Serchio river and the Bufalina beach.
The town is located along the right bank of the Serchio, towards the mouth of the river.
Among the historical attractions is the Romanesque parish church of Sant’Alessandro, built from 1104. It was dramatically transformed over the centuries, with the mighty bell tower dating to the mid-late 12th century.
Just outside the town, at a point overlooking the entire plain below, you'll find the church of Santa Maria in Castello. The church was once part of the Vecchiano castle, with evidence dating it to 1120.
The stretch of coast in the territory of Vecchiano is protected by the Macchia di Migliarino and is a pristine strip of coast that is home to an important dune ecosystem. The area is part of the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Natural Park, a protected area that extends along the coastal strip of Pisa and Lucca. It's made up of 3,000 hectares of wetlands, sand dunes, large pine forests, marshes, lush forests and fragrant Mediterranean scrub.
To the north of the mouth of the Arno in the heart of the park, hidden within the dense Mediterranean vegetation, is Marina di Vecchiano: four kilometres of beach in an unspoilt and protected setting that make this place a small gem.
Along the coast in Vecchiano, next to the mouth of the Serchio, is the Gabbiani Peninsula, a strip of land formed by the contrasting currents of the sea and the Serchio, making it change in size depending on the intensity of the currents and the coastal surges. This beach is much loved for its particularly clear waters.
Vecchiano and its territory are part of the Monti Pisani Olive Oil Trail that begins from the mountainous area of the Terre di Pisa, crosses the hills, and then reaches the sea. It's an ideal path to make the most of the artistic and natural beauties, the artisanal traditions, and the typical products of the area, starting with extra virgin olive oil.
Miele di spiaggia is one of the niche products in the area, as are the pine nuts from the Migliarino-San Rossore Park. They are organic and harvested with traditional methods.
Torta co ’bischeri is a traditional dish that was created to welcome and refresh pilgrims when they stopped in this area along their journey. The dish is therefore essentially substantial, as well as tasty. The rich shortcrust pastry contains a filling of rice, chocolate, raisins, candied fruit and pine nuts from the park.