Cutigliano is a borderland. Since the beginning of time, those exiled from the cities and fugitives who found refuge here formed a people of rebels, guerrillas and smugglers. This explains how a summer captaincy came about in the fourteenth century. This safeguard, which would have been ordinarily out of proportion for the size of the place, became necessary to alleviate the endless revolts of the residents, always reluctant to pay duties. Equally significant was the founding of the Doganaccia, which joined the roads from Lizzano to Cutigliano. The pass was opened and closed in the sixteenth century in less than fifty years: the nature of a people so rebellious that make the lives of the guards literally impossible.
The warrior nature of the Cutiglianesi has survived, giving rise down to the centuries to people with strong manual skills, strength and recklessness. Consider the mastery of tools to carve pietra serena, whose works are found all over the town. Consider the coalmen, famous everywhere. The tightrope walkers who emigrated to America: the Cutiglianesi have walked suspended in mid air hundreds of metres from the ground. Thanks to them buildings like the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center were constructed, as well as the longest star in Europe, which is hung in the Setaione Valley between Cappel d'Orlando and Pian degli Ontani at Christmastime.
Cutigliano still lives according to its age-old vocations. It’s how our land has become a bona fide “outdoor gym”, with a truly one-of-a-kind funicular railway. It all began in the Fifties with the Doganaccia ski resort. Then came of the first theme parks in Italy. Here, in the mid Nineties, downhill was introduced with its top slopes, providing the perfect training to the world’s best bikers, such as New Zealander Brook Mcdonald, 2007 world champion. Orienteering also takes place in our woods, a sport that blends intelligence and physical fitness, essential skills to find your way around Pian di Novello and Doganaccia.
Sport is not the only reason to come here. Around Cutigliano the views are something else: on a clear day from Monte Spigolino, you can see as far as the Tyrrheanian and Adriatic coasts, a total of three quarters of the country. Equally lovely is the walk as far as Lake Scaffaiolo, where, in the late nineteenth century, one of the first CAI shelters was founded: Duca degli Abruzzi. Cutigliano’s magic continues along the Setaione walk as far as Prato Berlincioni in its only beechwood, but it continues especially in the myth and legends of our land, with its witches and wizards… But we’ll tell you about them another time, when you come and get lost in our magic woods perhaps.