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Pescia and Collodi

Near Pistoia is Pescia, which is now an important centre for nursery gardens.
Its development has been rather distinctive: originally it consisted of two parallel settlements divided by the river Pescia; on the left-hand bank there was the religious settlement while the civic community occupied the right-hand side. Each settlement had its own walls and they communicated by means of a single bridge, which was also fortified.
From nearby Pescia there comes cioncia, a stew made from the soft parts of a calf's head, chilli pepper, and olives. The local wine is the Bianco di Val di Nievole from the slopes of the Appennines to the north.

Leaving Pescia and going towards Lucca on the trunk road, you arrive at Collodi, a small village chosen as a pseudonym by the writer Carlo Lorenzini, author of "Pinocchio"; a large park for children, the Paese dei Balocchi, has been built there in honour of the most famous puppet in the world.
In front of “Paese dei Balocchi” stands the ancient Villa Garzoni, dominating on of the most beautiful garden of Italy.

Picture by Sandro Santioli

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