This time in Tuscany we will visit Fucecchio and its little boats.
Tuscany, as you know, can reserve many surprises like when you go to a place called Padule di Fucecchio.
Have you heard of The Padule di Fucecchio?
Well, I bet not many of you did it. Why? Because it’s importance is known only between Locals.
Where are we located in Tuscany when we talk about Fucecchio?
We are exactly in the middle of Tuscany, between Pisa in Florence. Both cities are at equal distance.
We are along the main river of Tuscany, The Arno, on a little hill that controls the entire territory between San Miniato and the Montalbano mountains.
Once you arrive here, unfortunately you first notice lots of new neighbourhoods built during the 50’s-80’s when Fucecchio it was a vital center for the production of leather shoes.
The real Fucecchio is the historical neighbourhood built on the only hill available in this area.
Fucecchio old neighborhood
It’s truly magical the old neighborhood with its littles steep streets and the magnificent Poggio Salamartano with a view that it’s breathtaking.
I grew up here, in Fucecchio, so I know about this place, even though now there are almost 15 years that I have left.
I like the old neighbourhood, it has everything to surprise you, little bars run like in the 1960’s, a great club for live music and draft beers, https://www.facebook.com/lmnfucecchio/, little steep streets, historical buildings such as the Palazzo Corsini https://www.comune.fucecchio.fi.it/en/vivere_fucecchio/civic-and-diocesano-museum-fucecchio.
The Beautiful Corsini Park where you can also enter the newly renovated tower to admire the stunning view from the top http://www.comune.fucecchio.fi.it/en/vivere_fucecchio/monuments-and-places-interest/corsini-park.
On top of that, you probably don’t know but Fucecchio was the birthplace of a very famous journalist, Indro Montanelli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indro_Montanelli.
He had a very controversial life for his private and political decisions, but still one of the most famous italians of the past century.
All these attractions, would have transformed Fucecchio in one of the main places to visit in Tuscany, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.
Tuscany and in general Italy has so many awesome things to visit so Fucecchio has always been confined in a minor or forgotten position compared to other destination in Tuscany.
This is a great point for us because we can enjoy Fucecchio without the crowds.
Something really out of the box! 🙂
Fucecchio, Tuscany’s marsh land
Fucecchio, it’s a little place in Tuscany but hosts the largest marsh area of Tuscany and the experts say even Italy.
Your first thought can be alligators and mosquitoes. Yes there are many mosquitoes but we don’t have alligators. That’s why it’s very safe to navigate the protected marsh area with the historical little boats.
The Padule di Fucecchio was navigated for centuries by little boats used by fishermen to collect eels and to transbord people from one side to the other during the winter months where this huge area is fully flooded.
There is a legend about one of the greatest episodes that happened here. The famous Hannibal on his way down to Rome settled his army at the entrance of the Padule di Fucecchio.
During his stay he went on exploring the area to find out who was leaving there and he got attacked by robbers and lost one eye.
The Padule from the past to our days
Unfortunately Etruscan and Roman times are the less documented for the padule di Fucecchio but we know that people settled in different areas of the padule since the Paleolithc times. Archaeologists have found proof of a Bronze village in Stabbia and on the hills of Cerbaie villages from the Neolithic times.
Nowadays it is very safe and pretty much abandoned with lots of houses falling apart and nature taking back its space. I don’t think anyone is living right in the padule but all living on its borders.
Until WWII instead a vital area of Tuscany with farmers and fishermen living and working inside the padule.
So in the past 50 years the government has tried to reconvert this area into a reservoir for birds and protected species like eels. Helped by many associations including WWF today the Padule Di Fucecchio has seen a comeback of protected species like storks, pink flamingos and more.
All of this is transforming Fucecchio’s marshes area into a great place for tourists and locals to understand the area that once was their grandparents main income.
Visit Padule di Fucecchio
How can you visit the Padule di Fucecchio?
You can visit the Padule In 3 main ways, by foot, by bike and by little historical boats.
There are many different accesses to Padule di Fucecchio. The main 2 are Porto delle Morette e Casetto del Sordo where you can access mostly by little boats, but one of the best for me is from the cemetery of Stabbia where you can actually enter in 2 ways by foot and by bike.
A walk along The Padule di Fucecchio canals it’s always rewarding for the beautiful white poplar trees and the incredible different types of birds. Last time I had the chance to see a rare Red Heron, beautiful.
The best way to visit the Padule di Fucecchio anyway is by little boats where they can take till the observatory point where you can admire in silence the WWF protected area where even hunting is banned.
Jumping onto this black historical little boat is super cool and having a ride through the reeds and canals it will make you discover much better the beauty hidden in the Padule di Fucecchio.