“The Agna stream is born on the southern side of the Apennine Mountains, where the comunity of Montale lies. […]. This stream is crossed by magnificent dams that even during the warm season contain a good amount of water, enough to keep 20 mills running”, said Emanuele Repetti in his classic Chorographic Dictionary of Tuscany in 1855. He framed Montales landscape between the countryside of Pistoia and Prato. Montale is different because, as it can be well seen in the nature of its inhabitants, it has managed to preserve itself over the years. This is all thanks to its industrious population, who managed to crystallize the deep sense of connection between farming and industrialization, keeping alive traditions, folklore and popular culture.
An attentive traveler, interested in discovering the heart of Montale and willing to be surprised by the unusual structure of its nooks and crannies, can feed his curiosity in this small town. Beauty can be found in the silence of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista, in the Abbey of San Salvatore in Agna or among the orchards and streams that flow through the sunny countryside. The architecture is impossible not to admire: the towers of the Villa Smilea and the bricks of the Bastogi tower are noteworthy. Nature reigns from the thick forests on the hills of Fognano and Tobbiana up to the ridges of the Apennines, in the shelter of the farmhouse of Spedaletto. The village still maintains small treasures such as the ancient sulfur fountain that along Via Risorgimento signals the presence of the spring called “delle Allegrezze” (“Spring of Joys”, due to fabled therapeutic properties of its water). Other attraction of undeniable beauty is the walk that leads from the city center up to the ancient nucleus of Montale Alto, on top of a hill which overlooks the entire valley. Traces of memory such as the war memorial located in the central Piazza Matteotti and the course of the Gothic Line remind residents and visitors how much history we can still meet in our daily lives.