Nowadays famous as an area for wild boar hunting and for its walking trails across its landscape, during the Middle Ages Chianni was fought over by Volterra and Pisa, and then finally came under the dominion of Florence. Every year in November, the town celebrates its wild boar hunting tradition with a fair where boar meat is stewed and served with its classic condiments, polenta and olives. Around Chianni are oak and chestnut woods, as well as olive groves that deliver a deep coloured, fruity oil, with below 1% acidity level.
Chapel of the Compagnia della Santissima Annunziata
This underground chapel contains a fresco cycle by Giovanni Battista Tempesti from Volterra, one of the most talented and versatile Tuscan Rococo artists, who here left highly scenic representations of The Nativity of Christ and The Assumption of the Virgin.
Church of Saint Donato
The earliest records of this church date back to 1277, but its structure was completely reconstructed, modified and enlarged in 1812. Inside are a majestic late seventeenth century high altar in polychrome marbles, and notable apse frescoes by Antonio Gaioni, with Giovanni Battista Tempesti’s Holy Family and a Saint Anthony in Adoration of Baby Jesus attributed to Ventura Salimbeni
Rivalto, a hamlet 3km from Chianni, takes its name from the Rio Alto River. Originally a medieval fortified castle, Rivalto was fought over by the bishops of Volterra and Pisa and subsequently owned by the Riccardi family of Florence.
Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine
Dedicated to Saint Mary, the Sanctuary is located in the green hills of Chianni. The thirteenth and fourteenth century theologian Blessed Jordan of Rivalta, famous in Paris for his encyclopaedic culture, was born here.
Food and wine
The high number of wild boars living hidden among the holm oaks and oaks in the woods around Chianni are an attraction for hunters.
Marrone di Rivalto – Rivalto Chestnut
The Marrone di Rivalto – the Rivalto chestnut – is a natural local speciality that plays a key role in Chianni’s gastronomy. Early mentions of this fruit in medieval documents testify its traditional and identifying impact on these hills. Its fame is increased by the fact it does not grow in great quantities. The defined organoleptic qualities of the Rivalto chestnut confirm its authenticity.
Eleven municipalities of the Pisa hinterland, including Chianni, produce the Olio delle Colline Pisane, a quality of oil that is the green treasure of these parts. Thousands of years ago, the Etruscans used to cultivate olives in these areas, and today the farmers of Chianni still produce a top quality oil using the Tuscany olive qualities such as moraiolo, leccino and frantoio.
Chianni is a member of The Wine Route of Pisan Hills.
Activities for visitors
Pontedera – Chianni – Lajatico – Castelfalfi – Pontedera
Cascate del Ghiaccione – Ghiaccione Waterfall
To arrive at the waterfall you take the road from Chianni to Castellina Marittima. Then park the car near the River Carbonaia and continue on foot along a small path.
Parco ambientale e didattico della Vitalba e del Montevaso – Environmental and Didactic Park of Vitalba and Montevaso
The Tenuta Agroforestale Montevaso (Montevaso Agroforestry Estate) has created a park to safeguard and value the beauty of these areas, bringing them to the attention of students and families thanks to specially organised didactic activities.
In the Chianni district, visitors can enjoy endless walks in the woods of evergreen oaks, oaks, untouched willows inhabited only by wild boar, and explore pietra serena (grey sandstone) mines.