Colle di Buggiano welcomes you in its square, the lively heart of the community.
It is surrounded by a panorama of hills and gentle slopes with terraces cultivated with olive groves and stretches of shady woods overlooking the river Cessana.
Easy to reach thanks to its privileged location between Lucca and Pistoia.
The access road to the village is bordered by a characteristic stone and brick wall. It is the most popular viewpoint of the Colligians, the inhabitants of Valdinievole and the tourists who stop here to admire the valley during the day and breathe the cool that comes from the fields in the evening.
L’ingresso principale del paese si apre in una bellissima piazza appena fuori dal centro storico e dalla vecchia cerchia muraria.
L’impatto è molto suggestivo e lo sguardo è catturato dalla Pieve di San Lorenzo con il suo campanile, proprio in fondo alla piazza.
Un tempo al paese si accedeva da una “stradella” di ciottoli tuttora percorribile e molto scenografica, via del Pippolo (già Strada di Buggiano), che trovate proprio alla sinistra della chiesa.
Lungo la strada si trova anche l’Oratorio di San Giovanni Evangelista rifatto nel 1766 e destinato alla omonima compagnia. L’edificio è ormai sconsacrato e visitabile solo in esterno. Spesso però il prato antistante è animato da feste paesane che più di ogni altra esperienza possono farvi immergere nella cultura e nelle tradizioni locali
The stone door, called “Porta Buggianese” or “Maggiore”, overlooks the square and is the real entrance to the historic center of Colle: a dense network of buildings and streets that gives life to an almost elliptical shape, fully appreciable with a beautiful aerial view.
Walking through Colle di Buggiano you will see prestigious palaces, many of which were renovated between the ‘500 and the ‘600, following the Renaissance renovation of the church of the village. The buildings follow the natural elevation of the land and still communicate the care and attention of the wealthiest families to their land.
Wandering around the village you will come across the Palazzo Pierucci between the “Via di mezzo” and the “Via del Vento” dating back to the seventeenth century. The main door has a beautiful rough stone decoration, with an unreadable coat of arms in the center.
Palazzo Bartoli Vincenteschi overlooks the main square with its mixed stone and brick facade, and its peculiarity lies in the back: in fact, here is still visible a tower of the city walls, incorporated
to the building.
Palazzo Puccini is clearly visible in the particular door that over time has been partially closed and today, curiously, houses a window.
Palazzo Pellegrini Moneta stands out on Piazza Vittorio, with its characteristic stone and brick composition.
The village is rather small, so perfect to discover on foot, enjoying every corner without effort.
There are two main roads you can follow. Both have evocative names, born from events and phenomena that here were and are at home: you will find the Way of the wind, where a more or less intense breeze always blows, and the Way of the Sun.
The village can also be accessed from another entrance through the Gate called “Minor” or “Massese” because it faces the nearby village of Massa and Cozzile.
After passing this door you can continue towards Massa and Cozzile and on the right side of the road you will find the Margine dei Ferri built in 1631 on the occasion of the plague. It was used to celebrate mass in the open, allowing the faithful to keep due distance and thus limit the contagion.
Its current appearance is due to the remaking of 1973 and the current construction is smaller than it should have been in previous centuries, but it still has a great charm.
Da vedere a Colle di Buggiano:
The date of foundation of the village is uncertain, but what is certain is that in 1238 the inhabitants of the near, now destroyed, town of Castiglione Veteri asked the consuls of the Municipality of Buggiano to build a new castleon the hill called Pietrabuona, just north of Buggiano. The union between the two municipalities was sanctioned and the new castle of Colle di Buggiano was built.
The destruction of the oldest village of Castiglione was caused by a fierce fight between Buggianesi and Altopascesi.
The latter in fact, failing to get it with the inhabitants of Buggiano turned to a famous warrior of the time, Romano da Cerraia said Spadaforte. Legend has it that he wore a bizarre military uniform, with sandals on his feet and a “leather cap made in the style of the helmet of the ancient Romans”. He was feared for the atrocities he carried out and was used to “enter the castles he captured on a mule loaded with barley, wheat and weapons and sword drawn, always red of enemy blood”. In the darkness of the night, the people of Altopascio stormed Buggiano and put him to fire. But Spadaforte not yet satisfied, destroyed Castiglione Veteri and damaged the nearby castles of Marliana and Verruca.
In Verruca, however, the most unsurpassed of warriors, was shot to death by an arrow fired from the top of the fortress. It seems that a skull with a dart stuck on its forehead was found a few months after the battle, near the fortress. At Colle he found a hospital where pilgrims were given assistance on their way to Rome and who passed through the Via Francigena.
The importance of the castle of Colle diminished over time, especially for the development of settlements in the plains. However, it maintained an autonomous social and economic structure thanks to the presence of different professional typologies (from ovens, to workshops, to theatre).