Lajatico, history, culture and good living

Lajatico is a hilltop tuscan village in the district of Pisa in the Valdera area and separates the river Era from the Sterza stream, its territory lies between 50 and 628 meters above sea level.


The first settlements have a roman and etruscan origins while the oldest records can be traced in the 891 AC when the place was a property of the counts Pannocchieschi D’Elci.

During the Middle Ages the castle was contested between Pisa and Florence and when in 1435 the florentines finally recaptured it, the wall and the fortress were dismantled.

On the main square stands a turreted structure, once (13th century) the Palazzo Pretorio, used as a prison. On the façade, can be seen the coats of arms of the Corsini family and the Camaldolese monks who lived there when the building was a monastery.

A historic symbol of the Era valley (Valdera) and once part of the Castle of Lajatico is the Civic Tower located in the west part of the village with its bronze bell dating back to 1279.

Worth of mention are:

  • The Church of San Leonardo erected in the 3rd century and transformed in the 19th century
  • Villa Fattoria Medicea Corsini once hunting residence of Lorenzo il magnifico, now a large farm
  • The Mofetta of Lajatico a natural phenomenon of muddy water affected by a carbon source of geothermal energy
  • Rocca of Pietracassia one of the most ancient defensive buildings in the region of Valdera
  • The Windmills, the remains of two mills built in the 17th century placed in spectacular panoramic position
  • Teatro del Silenzio, a natural amphitheater, a brilliant idea from singer Andrea Bocelli to promote its homeland with music and culture

Lajatico is also part of an important step on the Wine road of the Pisan Hills, a route where visitors can find quality agri-farm hospitality, wine culture that stretches from tasting and enjoying fine tuscan wines, savor a local typical dish or visiting vineyards and wine cellars, to be part of a cultural event.

Lajatico is a point of interest all year around and Arianna & Friends, a local tour operator, can be of great help in order to make a worthwhile experience of this territory in terms of food, wine and culture.

The Carnival of Santa Croce sull’Arno


Floats, masks and streamers : Carnival started ! In every part of the province of Pisa gives rise to spectacular parades and festivals , and every country has its own traditions . The oldest is the Carnival of Santa Croce : a genuine popular festival in which the creativity and imagination of of Santa Croce create unique masks for beauty and originality. The four masked groups ( Il Nuovo Astro, La Lupa, La Nuova Luna and Gli Spensierati ) are committed to the utmost with their sumptuous costumes covered in sequins , parading in the main square in a profusion of colors and choreography.

The parade of Santa Croce dates back to 1928 , when some villagers decided to masquerade to liven up the gray winter days . In those days there was no television and radio sets were few and a dozen or so friends led by Caesar Pacchiani did take to the streets floats and one thousand masks. At seventy years later the spirit has not changed. The tradition has been handed down from father to son , or rather, from mother to daughter in ’28 , the wagons were the great-grandmothers of the pretty girls who will dance and dance today . It is not a trivial party masks and floats but a real “show” : a swirl of glittering costumes and colors placed in sets accurate.

In 2014 the Carnival of Santa Croce will be staged on Sunday, February 16 , Sunday, February 23 and Sunday, March 2nd

New Year’s Eve in Peccioli

End of year party in Peccioli dancing and laughter !

Comic musical evening in the streets of the historic center

The Proloco Peccioli in collaboration with the Municipality is preparing to toast the arrival of 2014 with the usual festival that will take place in the streets of the historic center starting at 22:30 and midnight fireworks will light up with a fireworks display auspicious .

At the center of Piazza del Popolo, where the party will be the protagonists of the evening will be comedian and impersonator Amedeo Ceppini the orchestra show Sonia Borghesi , with a repertoire that spans all genres of music . For fans of ballroom dancing , the festival pecciolese store for an evening of dancing with the duo ” Ornella and Saints ” at the Multipurpose Center preceded by a delicious dinner in the same premises .

To reach the city center in addition to the multi-storey car park in Via Mazzini will set up a free bus shuttle from 22.30 at 4:00 am with departure from the hotel parking Portavaldera .

For more information contact the tourist office at no. 0587 / 672 088 Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 19.00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 15.00 to 19.00.

Santa Claus’s Home in Montecatini

babbo natale


In Montecatini, a small town in the heart of Tuscany, away from the hustle of big cities, from the 15th November to the 6th January 2014 you can visit a stunning reproduction of Santa Claus’s home.

Clowns, puppet shows, jugglers, face painting and elves are waiting for you at the home of Santa Claus located in the castle of Terme Tamerici.

Children will also have the chance to write a letter with a wish list and deliver it to the Elf postmen who uses a special machine to send it directly to Santa Claus.

A real wood lab, where children can build a real wooden toy with the help of skilled craftsmen, and even a playdough workshop, to knead, shape and create whatever you like.

And for those who are curious to meet little Santa’s helpers,the Village of the Elves where you can play and have a lot of fun, in a magic, carefree, unreal atmosphere.

Opening times and entrance fees

Open every day from 10 am to 21 pm


Adults € 7,00

Children € 6,00
(including labs)

Shows € 3,00
Chocolate Tasting € 3,00