Pisa and on the coast south of the mouth of the Arno is Marina di Pisa,
a beach resort whose layout dates back to the second half of the 19th
century. There are a number of Art Nouveau buildings here.
A little further along the coast is Tirrenia, a modern beach resort
surrounded by extensive pine woods. On the other side of the mouth of
the Arno there is the Tenuta di San Rossore, which became a regional
natural park in 1979 and stretches as far as the Lago di Massaciuccoli.
This park comprises 23,000 hectares of alluvial plain.
Monte Pisano (also mentioned by Dante in his Inferno), is an extension
tacked onto the end of the Apuan Alps, and consists of an isolated group
of high hills that divide Pisa from Lucca. Appreciated since the 18th
century for its olive groves, the summit of Monte Pisano offers one of
the most beautiful views in the whole of Italy. The slopes of the
mountain are dotted with fortresses, convents, and other monuments of
great interest, including the Certosa di Pisa, a vast complex founded
in 1366 as a secluded monastery. Its moment of greatest splendour came
in the 18th century, but after various ups and downs it was finally abandoned
in 1969. Part of the complex houses a museum belonging to the University
of Pisa devoted to the area and its natural history.
It's also worth making a visit to Vicopisano, which has a number
of interesting historical buildings.
Besides fish dishes, the Pisa area also offers meat dishes like
cinghiale in salmì (jugged wild boar) and bordino,
a tasty country soup made with polenta, bacon, creamed beans, black
cabbage, and onion.
The wide valley of the river Elsa has always been a natural communications
route within Tuscany.
Even now both a railway and a highway run through the Val d'Elsa.
San Miniato is situated on three small hills controlling the main
road and river network (the Arno and the Elsa).
Fotografia di Sandro Santioli