San Gemignano

Only a few elements remind us of the Roman origin of San Gemignano Church. Inside there is still the 17th century furniture in carved wood. The wooden statue of San Antonio (14th century) can be ascribed to Antonio Pardini. Typical is the great wooden oven in the centre of the village, once used by the locals to bake their bread.

Pieve di Controne

The Parish of San Giovanni Battista was originally the plebian basilica since 884. In the 14th century it underwent a transformation which also led to the change of orientation, due to a landslide which had blocked the entrance of the façade. For this reason the medieval apse was demolished and re-used as façade, whilst a new apse was placed against the original façade of which today remains the upper part with overhanging blind arches decorated with diamond shapes dating it to the 11th century. A new series of works, mainly regarding the ceilings, were carried out in the 19th century by Giuseppe Pardini, also responsible for the organization of the presbiterian area, which was later decorated around the 900s by Michele Marcucci. The parish also presents important traces of antique furniture. One can still admire the 17th century altars in carved wood; on the main altar there is a 17th century version of the face of Christ.

San Cassiano di Controne

San Cassiano, sheltered by the inaccessible crags of Prato Fiorito and formed by 8 nuclei, is the most inhabited centre of Controneria. In the 8th century the archbishops from Lucca had direct possessions, but at the end of the 10th century the Fraolmi inhabited the area, they were guild of the nobles from Corvaia and Vallechia. In 1197 the municipality adhered to the San Genasio’s alliance with Florence, San Miniato, Prato and Volterra to free the country lands from the feudal bonds and the Controneria swore allegiance to the municipality in 1214. In the second half of the 14th century it became under the feud of Francesco Castracani and joined the County of Coreglia to then go back to the vicariate of Val di lima. The church of San Cassiano, even if it appears never to have reached the status of parish (it was reported as being under the parish of San Giovanni di Controne), presents the basilican shape with 3 aisles divided by columns and pillars, usually reserved to main churches. Thanks to reports written during pastoral visits, we know that the old church had serious problems of stability between the end of the 15th century and mid 16th century, in particular in the foundations, in the right aisle and on the façade where a deep split had formed. Inside the building one can spot traces of consequent restorations, over and above the results of heavy 8th and 9th cent. rebuilding (these have led to the demolition of the semi-circular apse, later replaced by a smaller quadrangular apse) partly eliminated by restoration at the end of the 9th century. The façade of dichromatic freizes and overhanging arches is of debatable date; for certain, it conserves in its upper part a ceramic basin of the late 11th cent. On all the exterior façade, next to the already existing bell tower (datable thanks to an inscription of the 10th century) and in particular on the façade and interior capitals, there are numerous archaizing sculptures that contrast with the flat forms of the arches, of notable interest, the early presence of the bell tower of blind arches and inlaid diamond shapes generally attributed to the inventive and cultured “Buscheto”, the architect of Pisa Cathedral. The church retains its original floor in inlaid marble and houses precious goldsmiths’ work as well as wooden sculptures, among which statues of Sant’ Antonio Abate (4th century) and Sant’ Alessio and an early 15th century crucifix attributed to Francesco di Valdambrino. The “Annunciation” – early 14th century by the Maestro dell’Annunciazione di S. Cassiano and the partly mutilated group of San Martino on horseback by Jacopo della Quercia, perhaps coming from the cathedral of san Martino, are kept in the presbytery.


This little town is situated on a peak overlooking the Fegana Valley boasting a panorama that sweeps the Apennines from Monte Rondinaio to the Tre Potenze. The political events of the area – under the Corvara and Corsena nobles in the 10th and 11th century, then passed on to Lucca in 1245 by Federico II and therefore involved in the war with Pisa and Florence – are reflected on the façade of the church, where still today there are two reliefs: one with the coat of arms of Pisa along with the imperial eagle, the other with the family coat of arms, a tower on top of three hills. The church of San Frediano, dating back to the Roman period, was restructured several times up to 1771 when it took the shape of a Latin cross, which it still maintains today, and the current façade was added. Scattered round the vestment of the new church one can see some slabs and brackets with bass-reliefs. In the parish house there are two paintings dating back to the end of the 15th century, these are part of a broken polyptych, one representing Our Lady with Child, the other representing Saint Vito and Saint Biagio attributed to Vincenzo Frediani or to the “Pittore di Paolo Buonvisi”. Also notable wooden statue of the 14th century representing Our Lady on the throne with Child, which preserves traces of the original polychromy. At the top of the town there is a monument dedicated to Dante (1908) from which one can admire a breathtaking panorama. From Montefegatesi it is possible to reach the natural reserve of Orrido di Botri and Prato Fiorito via 2 partially unsurfaced roads.

Pieve di Monte di Villa

It keeps a great part of the old buildings. The Parish of San Giovanni Battista was built in 1446, and subsequently in 1760 and in 1776 it underwent some restructuring. What remains of the 12th century-building is only the apse. The parish presents a single aisle but in the shape of a Latin cross. The bell tower, rebuilt in the upper-part in 1892, still maintains signs of the original building in the lower part. What really stands out inside are the chandeliers hanging from the transept (17th century) belonging to the noble house of the Boccella from Lucca.

Monte di Villa

The Church of Santa Maria and San Donato, dating back to 1593, was extended in the 700s. Inside one can admire 18thcentury-altars and a painting representing Our Lady with Rosary of an unknown artist similar to Gaspare Mannucci.


The little town overlooks the stunning panorama of the Lima Valley. The Church of San Michele Arcangelo still preserves some traces of its medieval aspects, above the main door of the bell tower, inside a lunette, one can still spot a bas-relief representing a man holding a sword and some animals around him. Luca Tommè’s painting, representing Our Lady with the Child (mid 14th century), currently housed at the National Museum of Villa Guinigi in Lucca, witnesses the oldest form of painting in the area.