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Description

Set in the Val Graziosa, at the foot of the Pisa Mount, Calci takes its name from the ancient Roman limestone (calce) quarries. The territory represents a unique environmental context, a natural basin with slopes that have been terraced by man and cultivated with olives, which produce a top quality, highly sought after oil.

Since the Middle Ages the abundance of water, channelled into the River Arno from the nearby secondary rivers, has resulted in a thriving activity with olives and cereals which since the early 1900s gave Calci the name “Paese dei cento mulini” (village of a hundred mills).
Calci lies in a unique environment that features terraced slopes, characteristic spots and charming villages, kilometres of accessible itineraries for beautiful walks and cycling trips surrounded by nature and dominated by the imposing ruins of the Verruca Fortress.

Among the architectural little gems are the Romanesque Pieve of San Giovanni and Ermolao, the many hamlets, the villas and palaces

Not be be absolutely missed are the Certosa Monumentale (Cartusia Pisarum), a 14th-century monastic complex that also houses the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa, one of the most important in Europe, showing permanent or temporary exhibitions.

Information
Ufficio Informazione Turistica
c/o Biblioteca Comunale
Via Vincente della Chiostra, 49
56011 Calci
t. + 39 050 939561
www.comune.calci.pi.it

 

Geographical area
Monte Pisano

Population
over 6.000

Distance from Pisa
12 km

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Culture

Monumental Charterhouse
Founded in 1366 by Archbishop of Pisa Pier Francesco Moricotti the Charterhouse soon gained great religious and social significance. It was only between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that it grew to the size and historic and artistic importance that today makes it one of the gems of the territory of Pisa. There are important pictorial works by seventeenth and eighteenth century artists. The cloisters, the Grand Duke’s Chambers, the Refectory, the Prior’s Apartment, the unique Monastic Library, the historical Archive, the Pharmacy are all of great cultural importance taking us back to a world that for centuries was a self-sufficient community.

Natural History Museum
The Certosa Monumentale, houses one of the oldest museums in the world dating to the end of the sixteenth century. The exhibitions are mainly permanent: most admired are the Mammal and Cetacean Galleries, but the entire museum can boast absolutely impressive collections: the Amphibious and Reptile Gallery, the mineral collection, the history of man hall and the garden located in one of the internal courtyards of the Charterhouse. The museum offers the possibility of taking a fascinating time journey, starting millions of years ago through to the present day.

Pieve of San Giovanni and Ermolao
In the centre of the village is the parish church dedicated to the patron Saint Ermolao (eleventh century) that was completed by Countess Matilde of Tuscany the following century. The facade is in the Pisan-Romanesque style.

The Verruca Fortress
The Pisa Hills area abounds with medieval fortresses and castles that the Republic of Pisa used to control the territory defending it from attacks by the Florentines. The Verruca Fortress was built in the thirteenth century and has four large angular towers. Over the centuries, the structure has undergone several alterations, one in the sixteenth century when two polygonal bastions attributed to Antonio da Sangallo were added.

Villa Scorzi
Documents from the fourteenth century describe the villa as a simple rural house. Over the years, it was enlarged to become, in the second half of the seventeenth century, an elegant country residence belonging to the noble Scorzi family. The eighteenth century facade, surmounted by a clock, faces an Italian garden with a frescoed chapel dedicated to the Madonna of Loreto.

Gangalandi Mill
A perfectly preserved mill that was part of a thriving system of water-powered works in the Pisa territories. It no longer operates but can be visited.

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Food and wine

Olive oil
Calci is a member of the Strada dell’Olio dei Monti Pisani (Monti Pisani Olive Oil Route).
The local oil is obtained from specifical kind of olives, such as “Frantoio”, “Leccino” and “Moraiolo”, it’s hand-picked and cold pressed and has been rewarded with the “Extra Virgin Olive Oil – IGP Toscano – sub Monti Pisani” trademark. The oil is more or less green depending on the olives maturity degree and has a spicy taste with a certain degre of bitterness.
As the months pass by, it turns into yellow, while keeping its particular taste and its fruity smell. Olive oil can be directly purchased from the local olive farms and mills as well as in specialized stores and restaurants associated with the Monti Pisani Olive Oil Route.

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Activities for visitors

Trekking or biking trails
There are numerous CAI trails all over the Pisa Hills. Accessible to expert hikers and to those who want to just go for a walk.
A challenging bike itineraries with several climbs and breath-taking views.

 

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Camper area