The red of the cherry is indissolubly rooted in Lari, where for over half a century the harvest has been celebrated with a festival between the end of May and the beginning of June.
In Lari cherries have been a constant presence over the centuries, generous in their biological diversity: 19 varieties stain the territory of the hill town of Pisa, from the oldest, the Marchiana, to the most suitable for processing, such as the Morella, the Papalina and the Gambolungo. Some, unfortunately, are at risk of extinction: they survive on a few plants, like the last speakers of a language without heirs.
The farmers of Lari, who take care of the six thousand plants scattered all over the territory, and the Germplasm Bank of the Region of Tuscany, which preserves the biological variety in predisposed deposits, take care of this richness. Today, cherry producers must also face the problem of processing, which concerns the varieties most subject to perishability. An excellent way to get around this problem is the production of jams.
The history of cherries in Lari is pretty recent, we do not have any document attesting its cultivation before the 15th century. Wars and precarious socio-economic conditions made its cultivation difficult before this century, and until the 17th century it was destined for family consumption. Since the 18th century from Lari the loads of red cherries reached the markets of neighboring cities and the fame of the fruit went beyond the local borders. Even though the annual production is not very high and reaches 500 quintals, cherries continue to have a place among the most common crops, vineyards and olive groves, and Lari continues to be associated to cherries.