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Lari and Casciana Terme

Lari and Casciana Terme: Castle and Spa

(by Eduardo Lubrano). Lari and Casciana Terme. Two municipalities merged into one. History, architectural beauty and famous thermal waters already frequented by the Ancient Romans.

Lari is a hamlet of the scattered municipality of Casciana Terme Lari, lying on the rolling hills of Pisa. A scattered municipality is a municipality’s “whose name is different from that of the hamlet in which the local authority has its seats”. The municipal seat is located in the hamlet of Lari. Located about 35 kilometres from Pisa, Casciana Terme Lari was born from the merger between the two municipalities of Casciana Terme and Lari, which took place in 2014. An ancient town of Etruscan origin, it later passed under the control of the Romans. However, it was in the early Middle Ages that the centre began to take on importance.

Evidence of this transformation is the interest of Pisa and Lucca, who clashed for control. In fact, Lari is in a strategic position. From its position, it is possible to control a large surrounding area. The decisive role has always been played by the ancient castle, whose origins are documented by some maps at least as far back as the 11th century. Its most prosperous, though eventful, phase began here. From 1289 it became an important border stronghold of the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Florence. Like other small centres in the area, it was often the object of bitter contention between the two Tuscan cities. WhenFlorence conquered Pisa in 1406, Lari was elevated to the capital of the Pisan hills. The change was propitious for the small centre.

The Castle of Lari became the residence of the Vicars, Florentine governors and members of the noblest families of the city, who transformed it over the centuries into a luxurious residence, suitable for hosting the rulers of Tuscany. The Castle was the official residence of the Vicars until 1848 when the office was abolished and replaced by that of praetor. The Castle then became the Praetorian Palace, a function it held until 1962. Along with Lari, the hamlet of Casciana is of great importance, famous for its calcic-sulphurous thermal waters that flow out at a constant temperature of 36 °C. The Casciana thermal baths are therefore a popular destination for those who want to treat arthrosis, rheumatism and sciatica. Over the years, the spa’s spectrum of action has expanded to include modern motor rehabilitation therapies, cardiovascular treatments and inhalation treatments.

For lovers of walks in the countryside, in the area surrounding the hamlet of Lari, visitors can venture along with the CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) paths, which allow them to immerse themselves in the gentle nature of the Tuscan hinterland. It is possible to take in breathtaking views and characteristic localities. These include Usigliano, where there is a very interesting museum of agricultural activities. Absolutely not to be missed is the wonderful Romanesque church of SanNicola in Sessana and the Oratory of the Madonna della Cava.

PH: https://www.icastelli.it/it/toscana/pisa/lari/castello-dei-vicari-di-lari