Pisa and its province, culture and shopping itineraries

Art and history but also beautiful shops

Let's walk along the most characteristic streets of Pisan territory with its variety of historical locations of rare beauty and cultural interest.

Here are 5 recommended itineraries to discover the Pisan territory in all their uniqueness:

1. Pisa's historic centre is made of streets like Corso Italia and Borgo Stretto, which are near the Leaning Tower and connect the 19th century area and Medieval sections of the town, running to the old city walls which date back to 1150. The best shops in town are along these streets.

2. From Marina di Pisa it's easy to get to the western towns of the Monte Pisano. First stop is Vecchiano at the foot of the cliff where the old Vecchiano Monastery is built. Next is San Giuliano Terme built around the thermal baths, then Pontasserchio along the Serchio River which runs from Garfagnana and Lucca. To the east there's Calci with its parish church and the beautiful Certosa, a monastery founded in 1366 and boasting signs of later Baroque interventions.
The commerical centre in Cascina is located on the main street with its typical portico and alleyways. Heading north, once passed San Giovanni at the foot of Monte Serra, there is one of the most beautiful historic villages: Vicopisano, with its Brunelleschian fortifications and medieval towers. Buti's historic centre is set in the Valley of Monte Serra.

3. The next itinerary starts from Buti. After a few kilometers you arrive at Bientina which has been an important commercial centre due to its central location between Lucca and Pisa. At its heart you'll find the central shell-shaped piazza. After Bientina and the Cerbaie hills, lead to Santa Maria a Monteborgo, a snail shaped town set in the hill above the Arno. On the banks of the Arno you'll find Calcinaia and Fornacette, another important commerical centre due to its lcoation between Pisa and Pontedera. Corso Matteotti in Pontedera is the ideal destination for shopping throughout the central Valdarno, with its elegant shops and popular locales.

4. After Pontedera head south towards Ponsacco which is known for its furniture industry. The area of 40 kilometres between the Caldera and the Valdicecina is an agricultural land until you arrive to Balze di Volterra. After the old churches and Etruscan walls you arrive at the heart of one of Italy's oldest towns: Volterra. Built on Etruscan foundations dating to the 7th Century BCE, Volterra still has a strongly Medieval character, but its streets are full of trendy shops and restaurants.

5. Volterra looks over the entire Val di Cecina which is full of charming Medieval villages andimportant historic centres, like Pomarance, next to the ancient Church of San Giovanni. Then head towards Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, a village built on the slopes of the hill. To the east rises the historic centre of Monteverdi Marittimo and Montecatini Val di Cecina, a village characterized by its towers and its historic centre built centuries ago as accommodation for miners at the copper mine nearby. The tour ends near the sea at the historic village of Guardistallo with its view of the Tyrrhenian coast.

Cover image credit: Michael Wünsch

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