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Description

The town of Santa Luce has been inhabited since the times of the Etruscans and the town’s present layout is that of the Medieval period, retaining the circular Castle and walled hamlet structure with two or three surrounding walls. In the town there are various churches, all from the Romanesque period: the oldest church is the Chiesa della Pieve, attested since 877. There are several wild life and artistic sites on the territory, in particular the Oasi LIPU Lago di Santa Luce (Santa Luce Lake wildlife sanctuary), the Pieve (parish church) and the Alabaster Ecomuseum. An interesting fact: every year the small neighbouring town of Pomaia becomes a meeting point for practising Buddhists and oriental philosophies enthusiasts that attend the courses held by the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, one of the most esteemed Buddhist centres in the West.
Inside the Santa Luce woods there are paths leading to the lake. Created in the 1960s as a water basin for the Solvay Chimica company, the lake has gradually attracted various species of migratory birds that find it an ideal place for a stop over and whose numbers increase year by year. Since the 1980s, the LIPU (Italian Bird Protection Association) has paid particular attention to this area, which in 2000 became the Provincial Nature Reserve. Here birdwatchers can catch a glimpse of woodpeckers, kestrels, owls, buzzards or encounter roe deer, fallow deer, porcupines and foxes.

Information
www.comune.santaluce.pi.it

Geographical area
Colline Pisane

Population
over 1.000

Distance from Pisa
42 km

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Culture

Alabaster Ecomuseum
Volterra, Castellina Marittima and Santa Luce are three towns connected by the artisanal and artistic working of alabaster. For this reason they have decided to create the Ecomuseum which introduces visitors to the location where the alabaster is excavated, in Castellina Marittima, and to where the alabaster is then worked, mainly in Volterra.
Santa Luce is home to the Archivio d’Area that integrates the itinerary focusing on excavation.

Lama Tzong Khapa Institute
The small town of Pomaia has become famous because of this institute, one of the most important in Europe, organising philosophy and meditation events and courses. Participants can attend beginners, advanced, short or long courses exploring the different fields of spiritual research.

Pieve of Santa Maria Assunta and Sant’Angelo
Only the apse and the base of the belfry of the original structure remain: the 1846 earthquake destroyed a large part and the reconstruction that followed gave the church, albeit a small church, three naves, lending it a monumental aspect.

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Food and wine

Oil
The Santa Luce farmers have formed a cooperative producing the “Terra di Luce” extra virgin olive oil.

Pasta
The cooperative also produces excellent bronze-die pasta made from the durum wheat semolina growing on the hills of Pisa.

Wine
The town is part of The Wine Route of Pisan Hills.

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Activities for visitors

Santa Luce Wood
The wood covers 1.400 hectares and is a perfect location for walks, trekking itineraries and picnicking in the equipped areas.

Holistic Paths. The LIPU (Italian Bird Protection Association) Garden
This Garden offers a great variety of wild flora and is home to birds and butterflies. In this peaceful sanctuary, yoga, meditation and spiritual dancing holistic programmes are carried out.

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Camper area