Montecatini Val di Cecina

The town of Montecatini Val di Cecina is in the province of Pisa in its homonym valley.

Montecatini val di Cecina

The town of Montecatini Val di Cecina is in the province of Pisa in its homonym valley. It is set at 416 m. of altitude with a population of about 2000 inhabitants and keeps numerous architectural structures dating to the medieval period.


In effect, it is possible to visit the "Piazza del castello" in Montecatini Val di Cecina. The church of San Biagio, raised in 1356, and the XIV-century Palazzo Pretorio, having a porch with arches and vaults set on columns in Ionic style, are set here. Moreover, the Tower Belforti, built shortly after the year 1000, overlooks the square. In the nearby Sassa, the stone that keeps "Christ's footsteps" can be observed. According to the legend, Christ appeared to Peter who had looked for a refuge in those places to avoid Roman persecutions.

Cisterna e Palazzo Pretorio - Montecatini val di Cecina

The presence of the Romans was testified by the some finds on one of the hills along the road from Montecatini to Volterra. This places was re-named "Camporomano" where many findings showing the rising of a big military camp were unearthed. On the basis o the objects that have been discovered, this hypothesis is very realistic. In effect, the Romans could have chosen this area either during a campaign against Volterra, one of the most powerful Etruscan cities, or for the abundance of minerals on the hill.


The castle of Montecatini was built around the half of the X century with the name of "Castrum Montis Leonis" as established by the Belforti, direct feudatories of the German emperor Otto I who followed him and had come from the North to settle those places. Yet, the first document about the presence of the castle dates to 1099. Thanks to this document, a bull issued by Pietro, the Bishop of Volterra, we learn that at that time the castle was within the jurisdiction of Volterra's Episcopal curia.

Miemo - Montecatini val di Cecina

After entering the "comunitas" of Gabbreto in the XIV century, Montecatini became one of Volterra's direct properties in 1351. Its geographical distance from Pisa caused the territory to be marginally interested by the battles that had involved many towns of the Pisan territory against Florence since the beginning of the XV century. In effect, only in 1472 the Florentines conquered the town when most of the modern province of Pisa had been under their dominion for more than half a century.


Another characteristic that distinguishes Montecatini from the majority of the Tuscan towns was that it had to wait for the Kingdom of Italy to experience a real phase of economic and demographic growth. In effect, in the majority of cases many centres benefited from the reforms carried out by the Lorraine grand dukes in the XVIII century. In Montecatini, instead, the development of mining activities increased the turnover of the village. Unfortunately, the closing down of copper mines at the beginning of the XX century inexorably inverted this positive tendency.


Montecatini Val di Cecina: discover the surroundings

  • Volterra Volterra (9 km)
    Volterra is one of the finest and lesser known hilltop towns tucked away in the heart of Tuscany.
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  • Montescudaio Montescudaio (12 km)
    The town of Montescudaio lies on the first coastal hills that rise from the Cecina seashore but it is included in the province of Pisa.
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  • Chianni Chianni (14 km)
    The town of Chianni, where the castle and the churches of Santa Maria del Carmelo and of San Donato can be admired, is in the province of Pisa.
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  • Pomarance Pomarance (14 km)
    The village of Pomarance, whose origin is prior to the year 1000, preserves its structure of medieval castle with walls and access gates.
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  • Casale Marittimo Casale Marittimo (15 km)
    Casale Marittimo has always been a territory rich in resources with numerous springs and salt mines and it has been inhabited since the Etruscan times as the above-mentioned Necropolis of Casa Nocera demonstrates.
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  • Santa Luce lake Santa Luce lake (17 km)
    The oasis of Santa Luce lake, with the over 150 censussed kinds, it represents an important area of standstill for the migratory birds and every season it has his protagonists.
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  • Valdera Valdera (17 km)
    The Park of the Valdera region consists of six municipalities: Capannoli, Chianni, Lajatico, Peccioli, Palaia, and Terriciola.
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  • Peccioli Peccioli (17 km)
    In the town of Peccioli, founded in the Middle age, you can visit the Beyond preserving its medieval structure, Peccioli includes a territory rich in rural landscapes and ancient small villages.
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  • Casciana Terme Casciana Terme (18 km)
    Numerous building of architectural interest rise in Casciana Terme territory, such as the church of Santa Maria Assunta. Yet, the town is famous for its baths, above all.
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  • Etruscan coast Etruscan coast (18 km)
    Etruscan coast is the name of the coastal belt which encloses the natural oasis of Bolgheri, the splendid pine-wood of Cecina, the rolling countryside of Bibbona, Bolgheri and Monte Calvi.
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  • Bibbona Bibbona (18 km)
    Located in the middle of a wide countryside, interrupted by suggestive views of the coast, Bibbona represents a destination that really permits to live a holiday in a deep contact with the nature.
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  • Montaione Montaione (22 km)
    The town of Montaione is in the province of Florence, but it is at an equal distance from all the most important cities in Tuscany.
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  • Monastery of San Vivaldo Monastery of San Vivaldo (22 km)
    The monastery of San Vivaldo is certainly bound up with a succession of the Franciscan's Office leaving here a notable trace.
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  • Lari and Vicari Castle Lari and Vicari Castle (23 km)
    The small town of Lari is situated where three ridges of the highest Pisan hills meet and has been inhabited since Etruscan times.
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  • Palaia Palaia (24 km)
    Palaia is an agricultural zone situated on one of the highest ridges that divides the valley of Arno from the Valdera.
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  • Casole d'Elsa Casole d'Elsa (24 km)
    Casole d' Elsa is a village characterised mainly by its buildings of ancient brick, placed on the ridge of a hill from where one can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view.
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