A JOURNEY THROUGH ROMANESQUE

Brancoleria itinerary

A visit to Brancoleria reveals a valley of the Lucca plain, also known as Lucchesia, a flat area bounded by the Monti Pisani and the Apuan Alps and surrounding the city of Lucca, in an enviable position located only a few minutes from Versilia and a less than an hour's drive from Pisa and Florence. Lucchesia is an island of greenery and history and a favoured destination for Italian and foreign tourists offering high-level tourist, gastronomic and cultural itineraries – Lucca's historic centre, with its imposing walls encircling towers, palaces and churches; the monumental villas built in the Renaissance in the surrounding countryside, used as summer residences by the lords of Lucca and surrounded by charming gardens with sculptures and plays of water; the placed linked to the composer Giacomo Puccini; the imposing fortresses; the Romanesque pievi and the votive chapels in the small hillside hamlets; the stretches of the old Via Francigena; the historical farms hidden in the greenery; the Wine and Olive Oil routes; the Camelllia route, a charming route amid Mediterranean woods and olive and chestnut groves.

Brancoleria is the name given to the valley of the stream Vinchiana, orthogonal to the route of river Serchio. Comprised within the boundaries of Sei Miglia – a suburban area where the town of Lucca had full jurisdiction – the area was soon dotted with churches, initially subordinated to the Pieve of Sesto. In the 11th century, a time when documents confirm the reiterated stays of Matilda of Tuscany and the bishop Anselmo da Baggio in the area, the church of San Giorgio di Brancoli was granted the power to baptize, gathering under the jurisdiction of the new pieve the whole area comprised within the valley and setting up a parsonage in the nearby San Michele di Tramonte.
Prominently sited into the entrance of the Serchio valley and on the road that, through the region of Garfagnana, once connected Lucca to the north-western Tuscany, this area had been marking local history throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed, a number of political powers – the papacy, the Church of Lucca, the empire, the potent local households – harshly fought over the ruling of the Brancoleria region, the pieve of San Giorgio covering the role of coveted stronghold along with the pieve of Diecimo, located exactly opposite to it, on the other side of the Serchio valley.

Itinerary map

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Leisure2989 [1]

 

THE CHURCHES ON THE ITINERARY

 

OTHERS ITINERARIES IN THE AREA