Valdinievole offers almost every type of tourist attraction you can imagine: medieval castles and fortresses perched at the top of fortified villages, the famous town of Pinocchio, and the precious natural reserve of the Padule di Fucecchio.
Furthermore, there are villas and fairy-tale parks, museums and art treasures preserved within the boundaries of historic churches of Valdinievole and the surrounding areas, the Cathedral of Pescia being a fine example.
All the Valdinievole cities were built on the hills surrounding Montecatini Terme. And each village has its own characteristics which make it unique and beautiful to visit; starting from Montecatini Terme, which rises above the health resort and can be reached with the typical red funicular.
Monsummano Alto is famous for the fortress at its top and the amazing views Montevettolini is known for the Medici Villa.
Montecarlo features the fortress built by Emperor Charles IV.
Buggiano is the village of citrus gardens.
Serravalle is located at the turn along the route between Montecatini and Pistoia, with its fortress built by Castruccio Castracani, the greatest warlord of the 13th century.
Pescia is famous worldwide for the production of flowers.
Svizzera Pesciatina: a string of ten medieval castles grouped in a mountainous area, a few kilometres away from Montecatini. The area was named so by the historian Jean Sismondi, since these mountains reminded him of the Alpine towns of his country.
Should these not suffice, consider that these are just a few castles and villages that represent the Middle Ages in Valdinievole.
Collodi is located in Valdinievole, about ten kilometres from Montecatini, and is renowned around the world as "the town of Pinocchio". In fact, this is where the adventures of the most famous puppet in the world evolved, written by Carlo Lorenzini. The author of Pinocchio was in fact born in this small town and this is why there is a theme park in Collodi dedicated to Pinocchio.
Padule di Fucecchio is a marsh area of great natural interest because it represents one of the most important nature reserves for nesting migratory birds, including grey herons and egrets, grebes, mallards, lapwings, cormorants, little egrets and the very rare stork.
It is a haven for countryside hiking for bird-watching enthusiasts
The best examples of Valdinievole villas and palaces, which you should visit, are:
Located in Collodi, it overlooks the small medieval village that is the fantasy home of the adventures of Pinocchio. It is best known for the water games, statues and fountains of the Italian- style garden.
Located in Borgo a Buggiano, it belongs to the family of Marquis Feroni, clear favourites of the Medici family, Lords of Florence. The villa is named after the large and stunning panorama enjoyed along the overlooking expanse of Padule di Fucecchio, thanks to its raised position.
Named after Giulio Rospigliosi, who had it built in Lamporecchio. Its creator is famous for being elected Pope with the name of Clement IX.
It is currently used to host wedding banquets.
One of the country residences that the Medici family, Lords of Florence, had in their possession. It is located in Monsummano Terme and was used by the Grand Dukes of Tuscany when they visited the Padule di Fucecchio area, at the edges of which the building was built.
Villa medicea Montevettolini
Located in the village of Montevettolini, which stands opposite the top of Monsummano Alto. The Villa, just like Fattoria di Monsummano, belonged to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany of the Medici family, and with its white turrets, visible from several kilometres away, within the walls that once defended the small fortified town.
Villas of Marlia
These are located in Marlia, a town in the countryside, a few kilometres from the city walls of Lucca. Marlia is famous because the most important noble families in the area had mansions built within its territory, many of which can still be visited today and are often used for weddings and other ceremonies.
Villa Reale, Villa Grabau and Villa Torrigiani are among the most famous Ville di Marlia but there are many more in the immediate vicinity and they can be visited in the "Marcia delle Ville", which is the running festival held every year in April. This festival allows all those who wish to combine sports (walking or running, depending on
The treasures of sacred and secular art, ranging from ancient sculptures to paintings and the most beautiful Romanesque and Gothic architecture but including also Neoclassical and Liberty styles are found in the Valdinievole museums but also and especially in the oldest and most beautiful churches in the territory.
You can visit the special web page for a complete overview of the Museums, Churches and all the routes to discover the treasures of art and culture of Valdinievole.