The origins of Tobbiana, the higher of the surroundings of the town of Montale, can be retraced in the Lombard period, at the time of the reforms enacted by Emperor Otto III. Around the XII century it was a feudal domain of the Pistoia’s bishops, to whom the village was assigned to by order of Frederick Barbarossa. Tobbiana – not to be mistaken with the homonymous village in the province of Prato – is an ideal starting point for excursions and walks in the mountains. A visit to Tobbiana is also recommended because of its many interesting features, such as the church of San Michele Arcangelo, that offers a wonderful view from the height of its position. The one-nave structure goes way back to the eighteenth century, built on a Romanesque basis. Little has been preserved of the original interior elements, with the exception of the side altars (one dedicated to St. Louis and the other to the Madonna of the Rosary and decorated with a fresco of 1888) and the high altar that dates back to 1752. The extreme maintenance work undertaken in the 60s and 70s have had a profound effect on the atmosphere of the church. On its left there is the coeval Company of the Blessed Sacrament, it has been recently restored and now houses art exhibitions. Leaving the church square you can see the modern monument by Alfo Signorini that commemorates the charcoal burners and the birthouse of Atto Vannucci, marked by a plaque that was set here to celebrate the two hundred years since his birth. A clear and sunny day is ideal for a peaceful visit to Spedaletto, bordering the municipality of Cantagallo. Here, on the feast of St. Anne, July 26, residents of the four neighboring valleys (of the Bure, the Agna, the Bisenzio and the Limentra) used to meet to exchange news and to stay cool, while the storytellers entertained the audience with the verses in “Ottava Rima”. The vegetation of the striking Acquerino forest and the agritourist farm make it the perfect place to relax, or to spiritually follow the ancient paths of transhumance, which every year brought to the shepherds and their flocks up and down and back again, following the rhythms of nature and of the seasons.