Pieve Santo Stefano: "The Diary City. National Diary Archive, diaries, memoirs, letters". In this corner of Tuscany, a story is born from the stories of others, a present rich in the past and a future that is born from memory. For over 30 years, Pieve has been home to the autobiographical writings of ordinary people. In 1944, the retreating Germans destroyed the town. Under the rubble, only crushed memories remained. The hands of the survivors moved the stones soaked in pain. So Pieve was reborn and through the intuition of journalist Saverio Tutino, the Diary Archive was created in 1984, closely followed by the Piccolo museo del diario, a multi-sensory and interactive journey.
The tasty flavours of the countryside and the woods, the cyclical nature of the seasons with their first fruits, the ancient bond with the land narrated by the Museo della Civiltà Contadina. The pristine and wild nature of the mountains, our own farms, the frankness of the beloved flavours of our homeland come to life in the folk traditions of the small town, through the festival of the St. George's mushroom, a typical spring mushroom, the shepherd's day, the food and agri-tourism events and festivals. A link between the traditions of our grandparents and the trends of today.
In 1527, the locals struggled to keep the Lanzichenecchi out over five days of conflict and uncertainties. United and proud, the locals defended the town and won the battle for their freedom. From the plague of 1631, fulfilling a vow made on September 7, Pieve celebrates the passage of the Virgin Mary in a procession before burning two huge straw effigies. The town dresses up in a festival of light and colours until September 8, when the town districts, Centro Paese, Rialto, Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Nuovo, play Calcio in costume (a game similar to the Florentine soccer).
Up on the pass, there was once a large hawthorn where the silence of a village on a hill, the curves of the landscape, the climb through the woods and a passion for cars gave birth to the "Lo Spino" hill climb in 1965, named after that old hawthorn. The roar of engines, the thrill of the race, the serpentine uphill curves, blood flowing through veins, heart beating when the finish line is in sight, the precision of each movement and the party with the drivers and citizens have animated the town for over half a century.
What the war did not destroy was jealously guarded. Among the rubble, the citizens of Pieve searched for a history that could have been lost and was rebuilt thanks to their memories. The footprints on the rock of the animals that followed St Francis to the Eremo di Cerbaiolo, the art of Girolamo and Andrea della Robbia in the churches and the Palazzo Comunale, Giovanni Papini’s life in Bulciano, the man who wrote at Soffici of the beloved valley: - “You should see the town!” The words of Giosuè Carducci and Sergio Corazzini and the poems of Giuseppe Ungaretti while writing to fellow poet Giovanni Papini.