Montemagno is a cozy village of early medieval origin nestling amidst the olive groves of Monte Pisano, where narrow streets and alleys with cobblestones can still be travelled. Proceeding from Calci towards Montemagno, we tackle a beautiful uphill road bordered by old walls and beautiful olive groves to the car park on the outskirts of the village. From the top of Montemagno we can admire the course of the Arno river as far as the sea and the entire plain as far as Pisa. A beautiful panorama, especially at sunset.

Pope Eugene III, one of the first popes of the Christian Church, was born here. Almost nothing is known of his life before he ascended to the papal throne in 1145, except that before his election he was called Bernardo. Official documents only allow us to establish that in 1115 he was a monk and cleric and in 1128 prior of the Camaldolese monastery of San Zeno in Pisa, before becoming in 1141, during Bernard of Clairvaux’s stay in Italy, abbot of the monastery of Saints Anastasius and Vincent in Rome, restored and entrusted by Pope Innocent II to the Cistercians.

In addition to the house where the Pope was born, the church of Santa Maria della Neve is located here. The small church stands at the top of the village. It has a gabled façade, completely plastered, with the main entrance portal in the centre, surmounted by a modern rectangular window. On the left side of the façade rises the rectangular bell tower, with a pyramidal spire and a belfry with four single-lancet windows. The interior has a single nave with a wooden truss roof, concluded by a triumphal arch. A side chapel opens in the left wall of the nave and houses the altar dedicated to the Madonna of the Snow with a valuable wooden statue of the Madonna attributed to Andrea Pisano or his school.


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