The territory around Massa and Cozzile is divided between the upper hill and the plain, nestled between the first stretches of the Pistoia Apennines, forests of chestnut and olive trees, vineyards and cultivated fields. The two towns, as often happens in this area, have always been fought over by Pistoia, Lucca, Florence and Pisa.
Today, they’re quite distinct from each other, but are brought together by an ancient Roman road that is still in use today. Both are characterised by their medieval atmosphere and for the landscapes surrounding them.
Massa is perhaps one of the oldest fortified towns in the area, and some stretches and towers of its defense walls can still be seen. Visitors can enter the town through Porta dei Campi before heading to the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Inside, there is a wooden crucifix from the 1400s and a glazed terracotta depicting the Madonna and Child, by the Buglioni workshop. To learn more about these works of sacred art, visit the San Michele Museum, located in the chapel of the same name. There are paintings, liturgical vestments and sacred furnishings on display.
Travelling down the historic road, you’ll come to Cozzile. The first thing you’ll notice is Palazzo De Gubernatis which stands out on a ridge, but once you’re in the town, you’ll be fascinated by Cozzile as a whole. The town is comprised of a small, simple piazza surrounded by very few streets, but every corner of the town is quite picturesque. From its position up on a hill, on clear days it’s as if you could see the whole of Tuscany from the town.
The territory of the Valdinievole offers various hiking trails perfect for walking, horseback riding and cycling, to discover the small hamlets, villages and castles.
A few kilometers from Massa and Cozzile is Montecatini Terme with its historic spas and the medieval village of Montecatini Alto, which can be reached by a funicular in full liberty style.
The main product of this area is Tuscan IGP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is obtained by pressing olives from the Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino varieties. Bruschetta, soups or broths are never lacking in the menus of typical local dishes, and the oil enhances the taste. Furthermore, due to its locally produced products, the two localities are included as stops on the Valdinievole Olive Oil, Villages and Castles Trail.