The medieval village of Vicopisano
Vicopisano is a small medieval Tuscan village which preserves intact, and tells it every day, its fascinating thousand-year history.
Located between Pisa, Lucca and Florence in the middle of the ancient trades, the streets of passage of people and pilgrims (including the Via Francigena), with river Arno at his feet, Vicopisano was involved in sieges and battles between these city, in constant struggle with each other for dominance in the territory.
Time has not erased the eventful past, so the village today still has visible signs of those events, in its impressive historical and architectural monuments, and particularly in the Mastio Tower, better known as Rocca of Brunelleschi. Fortified by the famous Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi, the imposing fortress emerges from the red roofs of the houses and is open almost all year: if you’re careful, you can also see from afar a red flag with the symbol of the cross of the Maritime Republic of Pisa flying proud on its top, when guided tours and educational activities are ongoing.
Walking today through the village, its narrow streets, walkways along the walls, palaces and towers, is therefore an experience that can make you live in the Middle Ages and in its atmosphere, because it is during this period that Vicopisano reaches its maximum splendor as a inhabited center and as a military citadel. Inside the historic center, concentrates most of the cultural heritage, civilian and military buildings which are extraordinary medieval testimonies, but also the period of the Florentine domination: the fortress of Brunelleschi, the Praetorian Palace complex and secret prisons, the walkway del Soccorso, the walls and cylindrical towers, the Twin towers, the Tower of the Four Doors, the Malanima Tower, the Tower of Salvation, the old Post Office, via Lante with tower houses and the Clock Tower.
What impresses is the extraordinary unity of the urban fabric, where the monumental works, already singularly deserving attention, are inserted with harmony and interspersed with streets, lanes, gardens, and buildings that contribute with equal force to connote the village and make it authentic and pleasant to visit, and even to live.
Vicopisano is a town lived all year: residents are an integral part of its authenticity, of its personality and daily story. Vicopisano is a living village, animated every month and every season from many events and cultural, music, food and wine initiatives: the Medieval Festival that takes place every first weekend of September, is the most important event that animates the village and all its corner with historical groups, camps and medieval jousts, itinerant musicians and themed theater. In the streets and alleys you will meet characters of the time, taste the spiced wine, browse among the stalls and dine among the different taverns or Praetorian Palace on the occasion of the one and special Medieval Dinner: served on the top of the hill, and dedicated to 30 people every night (only two nights), it is the dinner where are served only cooked foods according to criteria and medieval recipes, and consumed by following strictly the “etiquette” of the ‘200. If you want to live for two days as Messere or Mona, get dressed and eat as true inhabitants of the medieval Vicopisano, to know the village and all its secrets, but also explore the surrounding area with walks in the Monti Pisani, relax at the spa park and olive grove excursions to Mount Castellare or Wart, September is a great time to do it.
Vicopisano is waiting for you!