Serravalle Pistoiese and the surrounding area <ul><li>The schools of our Institute are located in different places: </li></ul><ul><li>The middle schools in Casalguidi and Masotti. </li></ul><ul><li>The primary schools in Casalguidi, Cantagrillo and Masotti. </li></ul><ul><li>The nursery school in Casalguidi and Serravalle . </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Comune of Serravalle Pistoiese is situated in the beatiful sloping countryside of the Montalbano, and in a natural and harmonious setting. The whole area, typically hilly where the small districys of Castellina, Serravalle and Vinacciano lie, extends on level land where the districts of Cantagrillo and Casalguidi are irrigated by the river Stella. Althougt there are few references to the Roman and early Medieval times, we know that the via Cassia ran between Lucca and Pistoia, crossing the mountain chain of Montalbano and through the pass below Serravalle. </li></ul>
<ul><li>By the 11th century better documentation exists which mentions the localities of Casale, Castelnuovo and the churches of Verrazzano and Castellina. The castle of Serravlle began to assume a particular strategic importance only after the mid-twelfth century, so that the neighbouring Comune of Pistoia, in its own interest, built wall defences and terraces. This process continued with periodic constructions, ending with a fortress with a tall tower on the highest point of the hill. This solitary tall tower of Federico Barbarossa still remains today. In the period between the end of the 12th century and first half of the 13th, Serravalle knew a time of major development, and with its artistic and monumental buildings even today makes it one of the most interesting examples of Medieval fortified tuscan villages. During that time, its role as a military base ensured a prominent position in the political sense, standing as it did between the opposing factions of the white and the black Guelphs. Later on, Serravalle was besieged by the forces of Morello Malaspina of Lucca, who in 1302, built a new fortress against the enemy Pistoia . </li></ul>
Rocca di Castruccio Castracani This powerful fortress was wanted by the Lucchesi after they had conquered the castle in 1302. It was finally completed by Uguccione della Faggiola and then by Castruccio Castracani. Standing as it does right at the farthest part of the village, its profile is characterized by the hexagonal tall tower formed from well shaped blocks of stone, and with its two bastions, it has an ancient cistern for the conservation of water which is visible at the centre of the fortification.
<ul><li>Barbarossa Tower </li></ul><ul><li>This tower is all that remains of the eastern ancient fortress of the 12th century, and even its rough state is very impressive. It was contructed by the Pistoians who in 1177 need fortifications to better control the pass. The tower has recently been consolidated and restored, and keeps its primitive system of construction with hand hewn blocks of limestone even today. </li></ul>
Gabella’s Gate The gate opens with a semicircular arch set on the town walls, probably built at the beginning of the 14th Century when it became necessary to link the old walls to the newest ones. From the gate we reach Gabella Vecchia, an old hamlet at the castle's feet, in which ancient houses we can still find some old inscriptions. During the 12th century Serravalle had two gates, Castellina Gate (also known as S.Andrea Gate) in the north of the village, and Nievole Gate in the west side, but today there are no certain traces of them.
Casalguidi's Church <ul><li>This is one of the oldest churches in the countryside around Pistoia. There are historical references to it right up to the 12th century, and the building itself benefited from enlargement and trasformation around the middle of the 18th century, with only some traces left of the romanesque structure. It is entered through an elegant portico, inside there is one of the best paintings of the pistoian artist Leonardo Malatesta (1483-1518?) with an enthroned Madonna among the saints Peter, Sebastian, Julian and Silvester. The Crucifix on the High Altar dates back to the 17th century and is noted for the fine quality of its carving, particularly in the anatomical detail. The sacristy preserves precious sacred ornaments, while the liturgical furnishings belonging to the Company of SS. Sacramento are today lost in part. Worthy of note is the Agati - Tronci Organ (today restored), mentioned for the first time in a 1778 document. </li></ul>
This building is called ”Sala Francini” and it is a multi purpose venue which comprises of: theatre, cinema, exhibition venue, conference and events venue. There is also a very modern library. <ul><li>There are some plays for our students. </li></ul>
Vinci is only 17 km away from Casalguidi It is situated in the heart of Tuscany, only a few kilometres from Pistoia Vinci, Leonardo's home town, lies in the heart of the most verdant countryside. This gives the surrounding landscape a magical and enchanted quality, worthy of the most suggestive of Leonardo's images.
<ul><li>Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519), </li></ul><ul><li>was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect,musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention.He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. </li></ul>
<ul><li>THE MUSEO LEONARDIANO </li></ul><ul><li>Housed in Palazzina Uzielli and the Castello dei Conti Guidi, the Museo Leonardiano is a documentation centre devoted to Leonardo and Renaissance scientific knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>In Palazzina Uzielli, where visitors begin their tour of the museum, there are exhibits focusing on building site and textile machinery, which are also illustrated by animated digital reconstructions. In addition, the building has spaces for temporary exhibitions and educational workshops. </li></ul><ul><li>Visitors then move on to the Castello dei Conti Guidi, which houses machines and models dealing with various fields of study: machines for military use and ones for flight, machines for travelling on waterand land, including Leonardo’s selfpropelling cart or “car”, and scientific instruments. The castle also contains the Optics Room, featuring exhibits devoted to Leonardo’s studies of the physics of light. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Pistoia, the capital of the province, lies on North-West of Florence, in Tuscany, at the foot of Appennino Mountains, 65 metres above sea level. The surface of the municipal area is 236,77 kmq. The inhabitans are 88.448 </li></ul>
For centuries, Piazza del Duomo was the focus of civil and ecclesiastical power, with inside many buildings of merit such as: The Cathedral of San Zeno, headed to San Zeno bishop, who keeps inside the silver altar of San Jacopo. The bell tower, built on an ancient tower of Lombard origin, in Romanesque style, is divided into three orders of balconies Total reaches a height of 67 meters. The Palazzo del Comune, with a beautiful facade adorned with mullioned windows and triple. The Baptistery of San Giovanni in court the fourteenth century, Gothic style, with decorations in green and white marble.
Standing before the façade of the Ospedale del Ceppo the visitor will be enchanted by the beautiful, brightly coloured glazed terracotta frieze from the Robbia workshop, today one of the symbols of the city. In these beautiful panels expressive figures are vividly depicted. The seven works of mercy - Clothe the naked, Shelter the pilgrim, Aid the sick, Visit the imprisoned, Bury the dead, Feed the hungry and Give drink to the thirsty - are interspersed with symbolic figures of the cardinal and theological Virtues: Prudence, Faith, Charity, Hope and Justice.
<ul><li>Around Pistoia: the City Zoo </li></ul><ul><li>The gentle hills surrounding the city to the north, just two kilometres from the centre, are the unusual and surprising location of Pistoia’s Zoological Gardens, covering an area of 75,000 m² and immersed in the dense vegetation of oak, pine and tropical plants. This is one of Italy’s most famous and modern zoos, and the home of over 400 animals from all over the world. </li></ul>Since 2001 the Zoo has started renovation of many exhibits in order to assure animal welfare, to promote conservation education and to support conservation of threatened species. The Zoo has also cooperated with some Italian Universities to carry outresearch project about biology and ethology of the housed species in order to contribute to their preservation in the wild..
<ul><li>The town of Collodi, famous for giving its name as a pseudonym to Carlo Lorenzini, the author of “The adventures of Pinocchio”, is a picturesque village nestling in the hills above Pescia, 29 km from Pistoia. The Park of Pinocchio, a masterpiece of environmental art, where it is possible to retrace the story of the famous puppet through the works of famous 20th century artists such as Giovanni Michelucci. </li></ul><ul><li>The park tells Collodi's version of the Pinocchio story through sculpture, mosaics and puppet shows. Visitors to the park can follow Pinocchio's adventures by following a pathway through the Village of Pinocchio where they come across delightful stautes of characters from the story. Entertainment also includes puppet shows, mosaics of the story, children's rides, and a museum. </li></ul>