Lari, Province of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
This small town of Etruscan origin is situated 30 km south of Pisa, in he middle of gentle Tuscan hills covered with vineyards and olive trees.
In medieval times all surrounded by walls, dominated by the castle, it is today a lively agricultural and tourist center, in the vicinity of the spa town Casciana Terme.
Altitude: 135 mt a.s.l -- Population: ca. 8,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 56035 -- Phone Area Code: 0587 -- Patron Saint: San Leonardo and Santa Maria Assunta celebrated on 8 September -- Frazioni & Localities: Aiale, Boschi, Capannile, Casciana Alta, Casine di Perignano, Cevoli, Colle, Croce, Gramugnana, La Capannina, Lavaiano, Perignano, Usigliano, San Ruffino, Orceto, Querceto, Quattro Strade, Spinelli
What to see
- the Castello dei Vicari, an important historical fortress in the center of the town, exisitng since ancient times but enlarged and changed into a powerful fortress in the Renaissance, hosts today the Museum "Filippo Baldinucci"
read more on the Castello dei Vicari in Lari
- the Oratorio della Madonna della Neve, also called Madonna of Valcella, was built starting from 1633. The facade has a beautiful lodge supported by columns, and inside there is a fine holy water basin carved from a column of a previous church, San Bartolomeo di Triano, an altar by Giovanni Battista Vaccà (1734) and a choir made by Giovanni Cremoni.
- the borough of Casciana Alta, with fine palaces and fortifications, and the Church of San Nicola, rich of precious works of art by Santi di Tito (1536-1603), Filippo Tarchiani (1576-1645), and especially the polyptich representing the Virgin with Child with St John Bartholomew, Stephen, Thomas Aquinas and prophets, painted by Senese Lippo Memmi (Siena, 1317-1356), brother in law of Simone Martini.
- the house of Eusebio Valli, always in Casciana Alta, born here in 1755, the scientist who developed the rabies serum and died in a yellow fever epidemics in 1816 in Havana, Cuba, where he had moved to study this terrible disease.
An Etruscan necropolis near the hamlet of San Ruffino and other archeological findings in different sites show that the place was inhabited since very ancient times, and the name itself is possibily derived from the Etruscan and later Roman "lar", a spirit that protected countryside roads.
In the early Middle Ages Lari was under the Lombards, who fortified the center. Disputed among the nearby Tuscan towns, in 1406 the town came under the jurisdiction of Florence, which made it the capital of the hilly areas of Leghorn and Pisa, establishing in Lari the Florentine Governors, among them members of the most celebrated families of Florence, such as the Capponi, Guicciardini, Medici and Pitti.
In the 19th century with the annexation to Italy Lari lost its prominence, and was furtherly reduced in the 1920's when the frazione of Bagni di Casciana was made an autonomous commune with the name of Casciana Terme.
Where to stay in Lari:
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