From thermal baths to the mountains, guide to discover hamlets to see near Pistoia
Pistoia has a rather extensive province characterized by the presence of very different areas. They range from the plain where some of the most important spas in the region are located, up to the mountains with the renowned ski slopes of Abetone. A very varied landscape full of historic villages and places of interest.
In this guide you will find the main medieval villages of the province of Pistoia but also some spa towns such as Montecatini and Monsummano and mountain centers.
So here we are at the classic list with the main villages to see around Pistoia. The list can only be incomplete, but it wants to be as representative as possible of the great variety of places that there are in this province of Tuscany.
- Monsummano Terme
- Montecatini Terme
- Montecatini Alto
- Serravalle Pistoiese
- San Marcello
We begin the review on the main hamlets to visit in the province of Pistoia talking about Monsummano Terme. Monsummano is an eclectic center that is divided between the upper part with the Castle of Monsummano Alto and the lower part born around the Santuario di Santa Maria della Fontenuova. Rich in historic houses and museums, Monsummano is a renowned spa center characterized by the presence of two natural thermal caves called Grotta Giusti and Grotta Parlanti.
We continue in the name of relaxation and well-being talking about one of the most famous spas in Tuscany: Montecatini Terme. Rich in hot springs, Montecatini has a long tradition as a spa and over time it has been consecrated as one of the most important and prestigious spa resorts on an international level. The establishments of Montecatini are a real spectacle, real monuments, each with its own style: ranging from the Art Nouveau of the Terme Excelsior to the neoclassical of the Terme Tettuccio. These spas are certainly among the main points of interest in the Province of Pistoia.
From Montecatini Terme to Montecatini Alto the journey is short. The best way to reach this pretty hilltop village is with the historic funicular that connects the two Montecatini. Developed along two close hills, the village was born as a castle in the Middle Ages and in fact among the most interesting things to see here are the remains of the ancient fortress and the Clock Tower which was once part of the castle.
Located in the center of Valdinievole, Buggiano is one of the oldest villages in the area. In reality when we talk about Buggiano we should distinguish between Borgo a Buggiano, Buggiano Castello and Colle di Buggiano. In this municipality there are several things to see among churches, palaces and historic villas; among the most interesting things there are Villa Bellavista and the sanctuary of the Santissimo Crocifisso in Borgo a Buggiano, thepieve di Sant’Andrea a Stignano, the Palazzo Pretorio and the church of the Madonna della Salute and San Nicolao in Buggiano Castello.
Serravalle Pistoiese is one of the most beautiful fortified medieval villages in Tuscany. Here, in fact, we find the remains of two castles, an older one (perhaps from the Lombard period), of which there remains a very high tower known as the Torre del Barbarossa, and a more “recent” one, the Rocca Nuova, which dates back to the 14th century. Among other things, I suggest oto visit the Church of San Michele and the Church of Santo Stefano (XIII century).
We move to the west, almost to the border with the province of Lucca, to talk about Pescia, the historic capital of Valdinievole. The historic center of Pescia is characterized by a clear division between two distinct residential poles that were formed respectively around the center of religious power, the Duomo, and around the buildings that represent civil power such as the Palazzo del Podestà and the Palazzo del Vicario.
— Centuries ago there lived–
— “A king!” my little readers will say immediately.
— No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.
We arrive in Collodi and I cannot fail to mention the Adventures of Pinocchio. Here lived the author of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi, and here we find a theme park entirely dedicated to Collodi’s novel and his famous puppet. The Parco di Pinocchio is a magical place for the little ones and if you have children you must surely accompany them to discover this fantasy place. The older ones, on the other hand, will appreciate the village which has the most striking monument in the magnificent Villa Garzoni. Inside its splendid garden there is also the Collodi Butterfly House, a large glass greenhouse inhabited by many butterflies. Going up to the historic core of the village, you will finally find the beautiful medieval church of San Bartolomeo.
With San Marcello we begin to talk about the Pistoia mountains, the ideal place to go trekking in nature, perhaps following the itineraries created by the ecomuseo della Montagna Pistoiese. San Marcello is a beautiful center immersed in the green of the woods that enjoys a significant historical and artistic heritage. Among the most interesting things to see are the Pieve di San Marcello and, if you don’t suffer from vertigo, the Suspended Bridge that connects the two sides of the Lima stream between Popiglio and Mammiano Basso.
With Cutigliano we arrive at the end of this review on the hamlets to visit in the province of Pistoia. Cutigliano is a medieval village with a delightful historic center full of monuments such as the Palazzo dei Capitani di Montagna and the church of San Bartolomeo. Even more than for its artistic heritage, Cutigliano is famous for its mountains and winter sports: skiers come here for the Doganaccia ski resort and to reach the Abetone, which is just 15 kilometers away.