Hillsides offering beautiful views and waters with therapeutic properties: these are the most characteristic elements of an area once called Castrum ad Aquas, today Casciana Terme. These areas were inhabited beginning with the Etruscans (as demonstrated by recent excavations in Parlascio and Colle Montanino) but detailed information can be found starting with the 9th century attesting the existence of a parish church. There are various other later documents on the benefits of these thermal waters, apparently a common thread through the centuries, up to the present day. It is said that the first to realize the benefits of the waters of Casciana was Matilde di Canossa, who saw an oldand sick blackbird regain its strength after daily dives in “steaming water”. Since then the blackbird has been a symbol for the baths, still particularly appreciated today for cardiovascular therapy and motor rehabilitation.
Numerous small villages litter the hills around Casciana Terme.
In 2014 the “diffuse” municipality Casciana Terme Lari was established.
Like many other villages in the Pisan countryside, Lari had a very lively history during the Middle Ages, because it was fought over for its strategic position. It belonged first to the Pisa then to Florence, under the control of the Vicars, who built an imposing Castle also used as a prison and a torture place. Until 1848 the vicars used the castle to host important Tuscan politicians from Medici and Lorraine families. Today the Castle houses the Filippo Baldinucci museum, which contains Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance finds.
Lari is surrounded by trails spreading into the countryside to approach charming cozy villages such as Usigliano, or to climb the roads leading to Casciana Alta, with a Romanesque church of San Martino and the Oratory of the Madonna della Cava. In the hamlet of Parlascio there are some 15th-century frescoes depicting the saints, the image of the Holy Face and a Nursing Madonna.