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Description

At Cascina there’s a sense of the medieval in the air. One can easily imagine living in another time, with the remains of the city walls, of a tower, and of the Pieve di Santa Maria church in Romanesque-Pisan style. In short, much testimony to a very lively past that saw Cascina at the center of clashes between Pisa and Florence, who both wanted to rule it. Even Vasari documented one of the battles in a work from 1364. The territory of the municipality also abounds in Romanesque-Pisan churches, such as San Casciano, in Settimo, and San Jacopo, in Zambra.

Cascina still keeps its medieval look, with the rise of the buildings and structures we can still see today, like the 13th-century defense walls, originally equipped with 12 towers, which only a part of continues to stand today. Or the still existing  Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta e San Giovanni: the Pisan Romanesque church boasts an imposing façade, but the interior truly stuns visitors with its elegant appearance.

The artisans in the area are also worth taking a look at, who with their abilities and skilled hands have turned Cascina into a furniture-making town. This woodworking activity surely has centuries-old roots, because even the furniture in the pharmacy at the Certosa di Calci seems to have come from some Cascina-based workshops.

Information
www.comune.cascina.pi.it

 

Geographical area
Monte Pisano

Population
over 45.000

Distance from Pisa
17 km

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Culture

The walls of Cascina
Short-sighted transformations during the last century obstructed the conservation of much of the walls surrounding Cascina; they must have been impressive, counting twelve towers and two gates: Porta Pisana and Porta Fiorentina. Unfortunately, during the twentieth century, a decision was taken to make room way for various industrial enterprises, demolishing part of a heritage we might have valued today.

Oratory of San Giovanni
Its outward appearance gives not a hint of the beauty revealed inside. In 1398, this fourteenth-century oratory, which overlooks Cascina’s main avenue, was completely frescoed by Siena’s Martino di Bartolomeo with Stories from the Old and New Testament. Two twentieth-century restorations have returned the frescoes to their former glory.

Pieve di San Giovanni e Santa Maria Assunta
This very old parish church has a history that crosses the centuries. A document in 876 AD attests the church’s importance. The inserts in slate and Carrara marble on the facade bear mention, as do the lozenges, the arches decorated with rosette and flower motifs and the three portals. The most important works kept in this parish are a terracotta sculpture depicting the Madonna and Child, by Benedetto da Maiano, two 15th-century frescoes and the chapel that holds the relics of the patrons Innocenzio and Fiorentino

Parish Church of San Cassiano 
This beautiful parish church in Romanesque Pisan style is located in the village of San Casciano, near Cascina. The church is mentioned as early as 970, when it was the fulcrum of an important parish in the diocese of Pisa. The remodelling of the late 12th century was carried out with the contribution of Biduino, one of the leading exponents of the artistic culture of the period.

Abbey of San Savino
The Abbey of San Savino, whose remains have been incorporated into rural-style houses, was founded in 780, destroyed by a flood in 1122 and rebuilt in its present location in two distinct phases, in 1118-1134 and at the end of the 12th century respectively. The abbey hosts a beautiful living crib at Christmas time

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Activities for visitors

Religious itineraries among the towns
The municipality’s online portal presents an itinerary packed with noteworthy religious buildings within 15 km.