The gateway to the mountains of Pistoia

From natural beauty to ancient history, from hospitality to genuine culinary traditions. The panoramic and strategic location, medieval alleys, ancient walls and Tuscan culinary traditions make Marliana a small jewel that opens the door to the most authentic Pistoian mountains. An ideal destination for nature and sports lovers, from mountain biking to road cycling and trekking. But also an unmissable stop to immerse yourself in the typical Tuscan atmosphere of hospitality, history and village festivals. The bread trail and road bike trail passes through Marliana.


The first to settle in Marliana were the Ligurian Friniati and later the Romans, who, probably as early as the 3rd century BC, founded a colony here. The first fortified nucleus of the village, already known around the year 1137, probably stood where the parish church and town hall are now. A real castle that could probably be accessed from the Porta Castellana. The fortress of Marliana was destroyed during clashes with Montecatini, only to be rebuilt in 1177. But a short section of the ancient defensive walls is still visible. What has remained intact is the overall layout of the village, characterized by the steep inner streets that converge toward the upper part of the town.

What to see

An ideal place for those who love the charm of ancient medieval history, which can be felt here in every corner. The village still preserves a gate and a section of the authentic medieval walls. Getting lost in the alleys of Marliana means being amazed by the fascinating votive shrines, the ancient wash house or the war memorial: an open-air museum, framed by breathtaking views that open onto the Nievole valley. Don’t miss the church of San Niccolò and the 17th-century Oratory Sant’Antonio Abate. But neither are the surroundings and hamlets encountered along the way, such as Goraiolo and Alteto.

Church of San Niccolò

The Church of St. Nicholas dates from the 1300s but was transformed into a parish church in 1593. Some traces of the 14th-century layout are visible in the exterior masonry and the stone ashlar bell tower along the left side of the church. On the side of the bell tower facing the churchyard, however, the ancient pontaie holes are visible. Inside the parish church there are also some works of the Della Robbia school, such as a polychrome terracotta statue from the first half of the 16th century depicting the Madonna and Child, attributable to the Buglioni circle.

The organ

Inside the church of San Niccolò is one of the many wonderful organs found in churches in the Marliano area. The organ is made by the Pistoia-based Agati and Tronci families, among the most important manufacturers in the world. The company of the two families also made the prestigious organs of the 1903 Church of the Dutchmen in Livorno (destroyed during World War II) and that of the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the province of Lucca.