The Territory - Hotel dei Conti Toscana - Castelnuovo Val di Cecina - Pisa

Castelnuovo Val di Cecina is situated in 600 meters heigth, surrounded by woods and hils up to 900 meters, has an enjoyable clima in the summer months and is entirely warmed in winter due to the geothermic ressources which heat the land and are used to produce green elecric energy in the near Larderello.

The territory of the Municipality of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina occupies the southern part of the Province of Pisa, on the borderline with the Provinces of Siena and Grosseto: it is built by the upper Valleys of Cecina and Cornia, two areas which are quite distinguished from each other from a geographic as well as morphologic point of view, belonging to two different catchment areas, divided by some mountains which act as water dividers.

This part of Tuscany is characterized by geothermic performances, better known as "lagoni" (from Latin lacunae), which can be found mostly in Sasso Pisano. Also known in Etruscan and roman age, the "lagoni" were largely used in the Middle Ages for the production of alum and brimstone.

Numerous findings lead to the opinion that the cupriferous fields were exploited since pre-Etruscan age.

Big chestnut woods grow around the ancient Hamlet and totally overflow the mountain reigning over Castelnuovo being an ideal route for walks and excursions.

Among the naturalistic routes the one of the Torrente Pavone with its two gorgeous renaissance bridges is particularly enjoyable.

The medieval Hamlet is still intact and characteristic for its architectonic homogeneity, the narrow and tortuous lanes, covered with stones, the medieval doors, the sights on the valley.

To see:

Montecastelli Pisano

Montecastelli has Langobard origins and was an important point of sight and defence on the road that crossed the Hills from north to south. This place was visited since the Etruscan age, which is witnessed by some tombstones belonging to the Villonovian Epoch (VII sec. a.C.), where the first Christians practised their cult in a period of Arian prosecution.

Around the XI Century the Hamlet got a Castle and was divided between the two families of the Aldobrandeschi and the Pannocchieschi. From a near village with a Castle, Bucignano, the titles of the Saints Jacob and Philip were brought there. First an episcopal feud, long fought for by Volterra and Florence, finally a free municipality, it found itself in the middle of hard fights for the possession of its copper and silver mines. Its municipal statuts of 1427 are quite important and original. The church of the Hamlet, that owns a beautiful painting of Cosimo Daddi, is a pure architectonic example of romanic style with the Pannocchieschi Tower that is very suggestive and important.

Sasso Pisano

The Langobard Castle is anciet and was first mentioned in the 10th Century.

There was built first the feudal chapel and then the church of St. Bartholomew Apostle, addictive diocese of Pieve di Commessano which got its baptizing fount in 1440; the mentioned fount was carved into an Etruscan sepulchral stele of the VII century b.C. In 1882 the church was enlarged and became Archpresbyteriate.

The religious history of Sasso is entwined with the lives of the following Saints: S. Peter, S. Rocco and S. William, the last one having stayed there for a long time. When the ancient and precious relics were burned, the church was left with an important painting dated 1585, painted by an unknown local artist. In a small distance from that village, at the Lagoni, there is the modern church of Giovanni Michelucci (1958), an important step in the creative growth of this famous architect coming from Florence. On the road to "La Leccia" you can turn left and reach the site of the "Aquae Populoniae", an important thermal town belonging to the Etruscan-roman Age of the 3rd Century b.C.

Leccia

The Hamlet of La Leccia is fascinating with its Medieval history. The church of the Castle, dedicated to Saint Bartholomew Apostle, belonged to the "sesto di Montagna" of Pieve di Morba.

Next to the Hamlet a chapel was built for Virgin Mary, in order to be faithful to a vow made to the Holy Virgin as she appeared in the "selva lecciatina". Until a few years ago the painting of the "Madonna del Libro", made by Matteo di Pierantonio dè Gondi da Leccia (1540 - 1632), a local painter, was kept there.

Near the oratory there was the small Chapel of the "Madonna of milk", next to a thermal fount which water is still known to be good for women in childbed. In the Leccia the cult of the Holy Virgin is always vivid and since ancient times her celebration is to be held in June, 14, when she is invoked to give shelter from hail.


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