Monte Castellare is a protected natural area of local interest of 240 hectares on the northern side of Monte Pisano, above San Giuliano Terme. It is featured by the “gariga”, a scattered and bushy vegetation that gives it a wild appearance in contrast with that of the nearby heights.

Forty species of orchids

The area surprisingly presents areas rich in water where about forty species of spontaneous orchids bloom, some of which are endemic: a real “garden of perfumes”. Here there is the “Buca delle Fate”, a 200 meters deep hypogeum about which legends originate from the mysterious clouds of steam that in winter go up from the mouths.

The Dante Pathway and Villa Bosniaski

The territory has been inhabited since ancient times, as evidenced by an Etruscan settlement of the 8th century BC. Right on the summit, archaeological excavations have been in progress for some years, whose finds even come from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Once it dominated the road that joined Pisa with Lucca through the Passo di Dante.

A much more recent example is Villa Bosniaski, a 19th-century building named after a Polish naturalist who collected plant fossils. From the villa, reachable by the so-called “Dante pathway”, you can enjoy a breathtaking view up to the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago.

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