Chapter #1

Strategic defence

Larciano dall'alto

Larciano stands on the slopes of Mount Albano. During the Middle Ages, in these very hills, where numerous settlements were found, Larciano was the main center of the area. History indicates that the castle was a fief belonging to the Guidi counts from the second half of the 10th century. In 1226, the City of Pistoia purchased it due its strategically dominant position, and it became the center of the city’s defensive systems. But in 1302 Larciano fell under the siege of Florentine troops, who were allied with the Lucchesi. To take it back in 1310, Pistoia had to pay some 10,000 gold florins. In 1391 a common danger brought together Florentines and Pistoiesi, and the castle became a shared base for the two armies. Just a few years later, when Pistoia formally surrendered to Florence, Larciano became the headquarters of one of the magistrate centers that divided this territory.

Chapter #2

A terrace overlooking the past

Larciano, Museo Civico

A privileged standpoint over the green expanse of Valdinievole. As it has been for centuries, the Castello di Larciano with its tower, which you can climb via an internal staircase, dominates the surrounding territory. Away from the chaos of the nearby city, you can immerse yourself in another time and abandon the restlessness of worldly life. Once in the village of Larciano, it's easy to walk to the highest part of Larciano Castello. Here you’ll find the Civic Museum, which preserves the memory of this ancient village’s past: everyday objects, metals, ceramics, pottery, fragments of other materials from the Tuscan countryside and archaeological remains dating back to prehistoric times are all fascinating testimony of the history of the territory.

Chapter #3

A medieval town on the slopes of Montalbano: Cecina

The town of Cecina, located on a hill in the Montalbano area, has ancient origins and during the medieval period it was an essential strategic point. Today, the town vaunts a peaceful balance of the past and present. The ancient walls are only visible in part. Within them you’ll find the Church of S. Nicola: of Romanesque origin, it still retains the external semi-circle of the original apse. On the back end of the church, near the arch above the east entrance, you’ll find a significantly restructured building—yet on its facade you’ll see two narrow windows, now walled up: it’s said that at one time, this building was the home of the garrison captain.

Larciano extends into the Tuscany “From Leonardo to Pinocchio”, that is, from the hills of Vinci and Montalbano to the steep slopes of Collodi. A land that “is a sort of suspended wonder”.