Where we are – Serravalle Pistoiese

Agriturismo Foto 50a

The village Serravalle Pistoiese is about 1 km from the Agriturismo I Pitti and can be reached by a short walk along the dirt road that leads to the Farmhouse. It is a small village nestled in the gentle sloping countryside of Montalbano in a natural and harmonious setting.

Although there are few references to the Roman and early Mediaeval times, we know that the via Cassia ran between Lucca and Pistoia, crossing the mountain chain of Montalbano and through the pass below Serravalle.

The castle of Serravalle began to assume a particular strategic importance only after the midtwelfth century, so that the neighbouring Comune of Pistoia, in its own interest, built wall, defences and terraces. This process continued with periodic constructions, ending with a fortress with a tall tower on the highest point of the hill.

This solitary tall tower of Federico Barbarossa still remains today.

In the period between the end of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th, Serravalle knew a time of major development, and with its artistic and monumental buildings even today makes it one of the most interesting examples of Mediaeval fortified Tuscan villages. During that time, its role as a military base ensured a prominent position in the political sense, standing as it did between the opposing factions of the white and the black Guelphs. Later on, Serravalle was besieged by the forces of Morello Malaspina of Lucca who, in 1302, built a new fortress against the enemy Pistoia. After many vicissitudes Serravalle was conquered by the Ghibellino Castruccio Castracani, who came from Lucca to fight and defeat Pistoia. After his death, in 1328, Florentines and Pistoians followed each other in gaining control of the pass, until Serravalle finally came under the rule of Florence.

From 1351 Serravalle was virtually isolated until recent times, only being affected by sporadic outbreaks of fighting.

The traditional cultivation of olives and grapevine still exists in the whole hilly areas surrounding Serravalle, where the typical Tuscan landscape still exists.

For adults and children: it is possible to climb on the tower of the castle of Castruccio and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

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