The second gateway to the mountains of Pistoia

Discovering Montagnana means getting lost in a village that still preserves intact ancient and rural charm. The town’s most historic houses are still those typical of the fortified medieval village. Here history can be breathed in the traditional festivals and alleys that smell of freshly baked bread. Nestled in the chestnut forest, Montagnana is one of the gateways to the Marliana area. From here pass the chestnut trail, the bread trail and the trail dedicated to mountain biking. All just a few kilometers from the Pistoia Zoo.


Overlooking the Vincio valley, Montagnana is nestled in the green landscape of chestnut forests. It perhaps owes its ancient origin to the link that led toward the Apennine pass of Croce Arcana. The village is found mentioned as early as 1067, and traces of its ancient fortification are still clearly visible today: both on the north side of the church of St. Lucy and St. Just and in the bell tower.

What to see

The discovery of the village of Montagnana can only begin at the church of Santa Lucia and San Giusto. Here traces of medieval walls have remained intact along the northern side. So has the bell tower, built on the remains of the ancient defensive tower of the fortified village. Inside the church it is possible to admire a real jewel: the historic organ by the Tronci masters. Montagnana is also home to the “Andrea Bruschi” field hockey stadium. Just before Montagnana there is also the small hamlet of Giampierone, touched by the path dedicated to mountain biking. Here is present the small church of San Pancrazio.

Church of St. Lucy and St. Just

Although documented only from 1345 under the sole name of San Giusto, the church was probably founded as early as 1100. During the 17th and 18th centuries it underwent various transformations and extensions, but it still retains traces of the medieval walls, still visible along the north side, which has remained substantially intact. The bell tower was built on the remains of the ancient defensive tower of the fortified village. It is in fact set on a large vault that probably corresponded to a gate in the castle perimeter. It was probably modified in 1724, as evidenced by a plaque placed above the gateway.

Traditions and festivals

An autumn event not to be missed by foodies is the traditional Sagra della Frugiata in Montagnana. The roasted chestnuts (or frugiate in fact, as they are called in some areas of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines) are cooked in a large frying pan. The skilled hands of the inhabitants prepare other delicacies such as necci (to be enjoyed in sweet or savory versions), chestnut fritters and castagnaccio. All accompanied by a good glass of wine.