Castagno di Piteccio, the #BorgoMuseo of Pistoia

Castagno di Piteccio by CCT-SeeCity 2017 - 37
Elena Mazzoni Wagner

PISTOIA A few summers ago, while we were hosting the #CCTravellers in the Italian Capital of Culture 2017, we discovered a place that we fell in love with at the first encounter. Yes, with Castagno di Piteccio it was love at first sight. And among the Creative Curious Travellers, who came to Tuscany from various parts of the World, with whom we repeatedly visited this tiny Borgo Museo a few kilometers from the city, there’s even someone who told us: “it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen”.

Castagno di Piteccio by CCT-SeeCity 2017 - 37

Perhaps we Italians can’t really understand what it means for the foreign traveller to walk through cobbled alleys between tree-lined hills and mountains, find themselves in a square as large as a little living room, among stone houses that have centuries of history and have been decorated with art works, frescoes under archways and sculptures that look out the windows from which, sometimes, smells of hot coffee or voices of neighbours talking from home to home escape.

I am not a (real) foreigner here, yet I was equally surprised and excited like Teija. I understood the crazy enthusiasm of Tjisse and Debora. I left a piece of my heart here, too. And since then I have not stopped coming back.

Today I tell you this because (from 19 February 2019) Castagno di Piteccio is online! And because, starting from this spring, it will be a place of beautiful events, meetings, walks, workshops, concerts, artist residences and more… Follow the #BorgoMuseo of Pistoia on social and be curious: visit it and tell me if I’m right! :)


Below, text and photos from the official website:

Castagno di Piteccio is a tiny village in Tuscany.

Located 500 metres above sea level, on a ridge of the Ombrone River valley, surrounded by hills and mountains, it offers a poetic landscape and – despite its proximity to the city of Pistoia (about 12 km) – immerses the visitor in an atmosphere of absolute peace.

The narrow cobbled streets, passable only on foot; the stone houses that seem to be fitted on top of each other; the engravings on some walls showing medieval symbols or telling the founding of Castagno, occurred around 1600 (after the mysterious destruction of a nearby Castle, whose ruins have been used to build the first settlement of the village); the small church with fourteenth-century frescoes by the school of Giotto; the little square with a fountain dated 1826. Centuries of history and authentic beauty.

And there’s more.

This ancient Tuscan village is an open-air museum. Artists such as Bueno, Vivarelli, Maccari, Martini, Vaccai and many others – in the ’70s of the twentieth century – have used the walls of the houses as canvas for works that still surprise today while walking through the village: 12 frescos and 30 sculptures that have become decor, integral part of the borgo. And all this is marvellously framed by the spectacle of nature: the Museum Village is embraced by forests – in the past mainly chestnut groves, hence the name “Castagno” (that means ‘chestnut tree’ in Italian) – that change colours and scents every season.

So! If you come to visit us, you’ll see art and nature together.

And you’ll meet people happy to tell you stories, to show you photos of the snowy village, to offer you coffee or a “fettunta” (bruschetta) with freshly pressed oil. The about 80 inhabitants of Castagno are the true soul of this place so magical, so unique: it is they who take care of the Borgo Museo, with love and work, and that you’ll find here to welcome you!

VISIT

www.castagnodipiteccio.it

Elena Mazzoni Wagner