Articles

The beautiful areas of the Monte Pisano

In Pisa on September 10, 2009 by lamiatoscanablog Tagged: , ,

View from the river Arno up to the Monte Pisano; Foto: alidada

The Monte Pisano seems like a southern foothill of the Apuan Alps and extends over almost 15,200 hectares between the provinces of Lucca and Pisa. It is one of the oldest mountain ranges of Tuscany and is bordered by the Serchio River  in the west, the plain of Lucca in the north, the Lake of Bientina in the east and the River Arno in the south. From its summit one can enjoy breathtaking views of the Apuan Alps up to the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.

View from the Monte Pisano over the valley up to the sea; Foto: marco83

The Monte Pisano has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Etruscans and Romans left many traces of their presence in the many caves and in the various archaeological sites which an be admired in the small mountain villages. In the Middle Ages the hill was populated by monasteries and abbeys, which brought the mountian its second name “Mountain of the hermits”. In the Middle Ages the Monte Pisano also served as a fortification of the two hostile cities of Lucca and Pisa. The aqueduct is of great interest. It was built by the  Medici in the 16th Century, in order to bring the water of the springs to Pisa. The mountain is rich in resources, which have been used since ever by the people such as timber, water, wildlife, fruits, chestnut and olive groves. Above all, the Monte Pisano is of great importance, because of the olive-growing. The oil, which is extracted here has the certification “Controlled Denomination of Origin”.

The floristic diversity is extremely high. It could not even be affected by the intervention of  the humans in nature. The vast oak forests have been preserved since the ancient world. There are also a huge number of olive, pine and chestnut forests. The poisonous plant Periploca graeca is a valuable witness from the geological age.

The forests of the Monte Pisano house foxes, badgers, dormice, porcupines, wild pigs and some rabbits and many species of bats. Among the birds we find the hoopoe, the nightjar, the barn owl and several species of songbirds.

Among the most beautiful mountain villages are Calci and Montemagno. A must,  is a visit to the charterhouse of Calci.

When you visit  us in Tuscany, we show you a part of Pisa, which you certainly do not know. We visit the Carthusian monastery of Calci and the enchanting park of San Rossore. For accommodation we recommend you romantic farms, which are located off the beaten track, but still close to the art cities of Tuscany.

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