Rocca della Verruca

Rocca della Verruca, Calci: Hours, Address, Rocca della Verruca Reviews: 4.5/5

Rocca della Verruca
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Lookouts
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Brun066
Florence, Italy10,180 contributions
Our experience of the Rocca coming from the Buti side
May 2020
The "Rocca della Verruca" takes its name from the peak on which it rises, precisely the Verruca, in the Monti Pisani group; in turn this peak has been so named since the early Middle Ages because its shape resembles that of a skin wart ("verruca" in Italian).
In addition to its shape, the peak on which the Rocca stands is typical for the rock which forms it (and which played a role in shaping its particular shape). This is a conglomerate or "pudding" (ie gravel incorporated and cemented in a different rock), dating back to the upper Trias (ca 230-200 million years ago). The rock is called "verrucano" from the name of this peak in which it is located, and designates similar rocks, even if very far from Monte Pisano and from Tuscany, and even if of different geological eras. The "verrucano" was also used in the building the Rocca: the square blocks used for this purpose are easily recognizable.
As historians tell us, the dominant position of the Verruca peak was soon exploited to build fortifications: the first are attested in 780 AD. But the current fortress dates from the thirteenth century. It is currently abandoned and ruined, and not recently, but since the 16th century, when the annexation of Pisa to the Republic of Florence, then to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, rendered what had become a border fortress in an internal one to the new state, so useless. From this point of view, its decline can be assimilated to that of the even more famous Monteriggioni.
La Rocca is one of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities affecting the Pisan Mountains: in particular trekking and MTB.
The most common ways to reach the Rocca are the paths marked as "00" (from San Giovanni alla Vena) or "143" (from Calci, or, from the south side, Lugnano). Instead we wanted to experiment a less obvious way: we walked to it coming from the Buti side (east of the Massif: a map of all these paths is available on the web at the "mappadeimontipisani" page).
To undertake this itinerary, it is necessary to cross the whole town of Buti uphill and continue on the only existing road, the provincial # 56 one, climbing up almost to the ridge, to the crossing called "Passo Prato Ceragiola" (where there is inter alia a restaurant, even closed these days). Here you must leave your car and follow the marked path "00" towards south.
This path, which is also very popular with MTBs, is part of the one that crosses the entire Monti Pisani massif, from Ripafratta to San Giovanni alla Vena, and in the stretch we walked it winds for several Kms by slight slopes in the shady woods. We pass, one after the other, through the spots called "Passo Prato a Giovo" and "Prato all 'Acqua" until we reach the viewpoint called "Lombardona", recognizable by the sweeping views that almost suddenly you can enjoy from here
Here begins on the right a steep descent (which will be climbed, alas, on the way back), also called the "Lombardona"; but before walking on it, the view sweeps over the ihuge spur of Mount Verruca, which stands isolated, and right in front of you, with the fortress on top. This view, even on its own, well deserves the not short excursion that you are making (over 15 km between and back).
But of course at this viewpoint point you can see much more: the view sweeps towards the east on the Bientina marshes, on the Cerbaie low hills, and further afield the taller Montalbano ones, up to the ridge of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines in the background. Towards south, the gaze dominates the lower Arno Valley, beyond which the Pisan Hills rise (not to be confused with the Pisan Mountains where you are): it isn't difficult to see further away Volterra on its ridge. Towards west, as you proceed, Pisa is visible (the airport runways are also clearly recognizable), and beyond the city the coastal pine forest, then the sea.
At the end of the steep descent of the # 00 path, at the flat area called "Prato a Ceccottino", different paths branch out: the # 00 continues downhill to the San Giovanni alla Vena hamlet, but you don't have to follow it. You must instead focus - obviously - on the Rocca della Verruca, which you now contemplate closely and from below. To the right side of your path, at the bottom of the valley, you can now clearly see the Certosa di Calci. From here the Rocca can be reached after a steep but not long climb.
Of course, variations to the route are possible. Eg, if you have two cars, one can be parked in Calci or in San Giovanni alla Vena, so you don't have to go back uphill.
Overall, this path will give you a particular taste to your vision of the Rocca, and will fully fill your day.
Written May 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ola d
Koszalin, Poland25 contributions
Nice, amazing trip
Jun 2018 • Couples
Beautiful view, amazing place. It is possible to drive by car about 3 km up, rest (600 m) by foot. The efford is wortal of this place
Written June 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hydroboy
Leitrim31 contributions
Mountain top fort
Oct 2017 • Couples
Well worth the climb, this old fort on the top of the mountain has fantastic views over Calci and Pisa.
Written October 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Rocca della Verruca is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM