Monte Serra and the Monti Pisani Olive Oil Route
Monte Pisano separates the plain of Pisa from that of Lucca, and it is here that the Monti Pisani Olive Oil Route develops. This itinerary points to the northern side: starting from Casciana Terme, we will face the challenging climb of Monte Serra and cross the plain of Pisa of the river Arno.
Arriving at the hamlet of Tre Colli, the climb, 8.4 kilometers long, is already difficult, exceeding 10%, and then gives us some breathing space once we reach the village of San Bernardo: here we can admire the ancient hermitage, erected before the 11th century. Continuing to climb, the slope often reaches double digits until the last kilometer. When we arrive at the bar restaurant "I Cristalli" we are now at an altitude of 650 meters; here begins the descent towards Buti.
As we descend, the panorama sweeps between the territories of Lucca, Pistoia and Florence, and there is no shortage of glimpses of the outlines of the Pizzorne, the Pistoia Mountain and Montalbano. Once in Buti, we continue uphill to the hamlet of Castel di Nocco. With a little more effort we will be rewarded with a view of the Rocca del Brunelleschi and the tower houses of the medieval village of Vicopisano, long disputed between Pisa, Lucca and Florence because of its strategic location. Here we can devote some time to the Palazzo Pretorio and the Torre e Camminamento del Soccorso, ending with a must-do extra-virgin olive oil tasting.
Back on our bikes, in Calcinaia we cross the Arno to reach the town of Pontedera: here the Piaggio Museum is worth a visit. After the stop, we set off again in the direction of Ponsacco; a few more kilometers and we will be back in Casciana Terme.