Serravalle Pistoiese is unknown to many tourists who travel to Tuscany. It is located between Lucca and Florence, a perfect day trip destination from both cities. It is a small commune, and many of you might have never heard of it. However, it has many interesting monuments, some churches, towers, and Rocca Nuova – a medieval castle. Actually, it is a very good location to explore the surrounding.
We visited it coincidentally on the last day of our summer Tuscany trip. That day we drove from Lucca towards Florence Airport. Because Serravalle Pistoiese is not far from the major road, we stopped at this place and had a quick break. To our surprise, this is another amazing place in Tuscany.
The unexpected silence
The place was very silent. It was surprisingly beautiful. We did not even see a single person on such a sunny Saturday morning. We were able to take some pictures without someone constantly jump into our photos.
Two interesting churches
There are two interesting churches. The first one is Pieve di Santo Stefano, which was built at the beginning of the 13th century. The church had a single nave, and its contemporary bell tower was the watchtower of the castle. In the first half of the 17th century, the interior was completely altered with the addition of structures and decorations in Baroque style. The top section of the bell tower and the steeple were added later.
The other church is San Michele Arcangelo’s church which was presumably built in the 12th century. It was reconstructed in a Romanesque style with a single nave and wall-face in stone ashlars in 1216. The interior still preserves 14th-century frescos of the Florentine school. Along the south side are arcades in bright orange colour built in 1616. It looks like a small street in front of a church.
The friendly tourist office
The other thing which surprised us was the tourist office. It was on Saturday morning this office was still open. The lady could speak very good English. She started to introduce the place and surrounding us and also gave us some gifts such as some beautiful notepad.
There was much information available in the office. We learned that there are so many local events taking place during the different times of a year. Besides, there are also many sites not far from Serravalle, for example, the Montecatini Terme.
The Rocca Nuova fortress
At the end of the village is the Castruccio-era fortress, now known as the Rocca Nuova. It has a unique triangular shape with a hexagonal tower.
Other villages around Serravalle
Serravalle is also interesting for its hamlets which spread throughout the surrounding area among the stretches of olive groves. Each one is unique in its own way. These include Cantagrillo, Casalguidi, Castellina, and Vinacciano which are home to interesting buildings. Immersed in nature these villages boast views of the valleys below.
Where to stay
You can select this village as the base to explore Tuscany. The hotel is relatively cheaper compared to well-known cities such as Lucca and Florence. The hotel B&B Sciatò locates in the centre of this village. Each room has Free WiFi, an air condition and a satellite flat-screen TV. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with bidet and free toiletries. You can enjoy a continental breakfast and have a nice view of the terrace.
How to get there
There are five ways from Florence to Serravalle, by train, taxi, bus or car.
There are also trains running between Pisa and Serravalle. Check here for further details.