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Camaiano Cultural Park

An idea as bright as the sun on the rolling hills of Tuscany


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Where is


Località Motorno, 31, 57016 Rosignano Marittimo LI, Italia (98m s.l.m.)


Camaiano Cultural Park is located in the northern part of the municipality of Rosignano Marittimo and includes the three hillside hamlets Gabbro, Castelnuovo della Misericordia, and Nibbiaia. A ridge of hillocks bounds the western side including Poggio Carcivisoli, Poggio Dorcino, Monte Carvoli, and Poggio Le Serre; descending to the east, the terrain flattens into gentle hills to the opposite limit marked by the Via Emilia.

The "heart" of the park consists of the valleys of the two main streams: the Botro Sanguigna and the Botro Riardo; it is from the hill in the middle of those streams that in late antiquity the Pieve of Camaiano dominated the territory bounded by the Chioma stream, the sea, the pagus-pieve of Rosignano, the Fine River and the Popogna stream. Of the Pieve, unfortunately, only a few traces remain on the ground, but its historical memory deeply marks this territory and takes us back to distant times, to Roman colonization, to the first century B.C., when lands were distributed to war veterans who had fought for Emperor Octavian Augustus; among them was also an officer named Camarius, presumably the assignee of those lands that today give name to our cultural park.

01-ruderiBucafonda Mill

Walking along ancient cobblestone paths, one breathes in the history that oozes from the sunburned fields and ruins, vestiges of a past that wants to resurface to tell the traveler of its glories. The terrain is typical of the Tuscan countryside: valleys dotted with vineyards, olive groves and vegetable gardens; wheat fields that move in the wind like golden seas; fallow fields where spring blooms inspired Macchaioli painters in search of the soul of this land; farmyards where peasant girls gathered wild herbs and where the Livorno hen grazed undisturbed; fields as far as the eye can see dotted with cornflowers and poppies, interrupted only by lonely stone bridges that leap over streams and canals.

And then the forest, a magical microcosm where by magic remnants of ancient mills come to life among the vegetation. It is the Mediterranean maquis with its scents of myrtle and helichrysum, wild orchids and colorful berries, and then woods of tall and shady holm oaks, strawberry trees dressed in green, white and then red in autumn, when their small fruits color the forest that becomes enchanted and smells of moss and mushrooms.

02-paesaggioAn enchanted landscape at the Camaiano Cultural Park

We now approach the sea, and see it silhouetted at the end of the valley, over there on the horizon. It brings us scents of saltiness and Libeccio winds that scatter the woods and our souls, and reminds us that it is not so far away, just enough to perfume our oil and wine, carry pollen and make our ideas fly high.

It is in this context that the Camaiano Cultural Park was born. "Basically it is an idea. You might say: just an idea! In this age of pragmatism an idea seems like very little indeed! [....] Seeing beyond the clods does not mean having sharp eyesight, it means seeing with the eyes of the soul, or to put it more appropriately to a cultural-historical reflection, with the eyes of complexity and love for one's territory and for those who inhabit or have inhabited it." (W. Giubbilini). But ideas, you know, take shape, and in the spirit of sharing, transmitting, enhancing and preserving, mills are cleaned up becoming the scene of walks, hidden paths are reopened for all those who are eager to explore them, ancient mines are illuminated once again by the dim light of lanterns, gabbrigiane return to tell their stories in the spotlight and before an enchanted audience, agrarian rituals such as the harvest festival come back to life.

An area is also made up of people, traditions, scents and flavors. Here, everyone will be refreshed with good wine and good food that tastes simple and genuine. Each dish is a marvel of Tuscan cuisine, the real thing, the cuisine of grandmothers and great-great-grandfathers, made from the heart to gladden the wayfarer. Even the Livorno-bred hen, which once roamed the farmyards, is back to pecking happily in the yards and gardens of those who wanted to adopt her and will show herself in all her pride to those who want to visit the "Pollai Diffusi" in the Camaiano Cultural Park.

03-campiGlimpses of the park

The project in concrete terms

The Camaiano Cultural Park project was born and took shape within the Committee to Safeguard and Develop Territory and Employment (CSSTO) Onlus, which was formed in 2013 with the aim of preserving the environmental, naturalistic and rural characteristics of the territory in the hillside hamlets of Castelnuovo della Misericordia, Gabbro and Nibbiaia in the Municipality of Rosignano Marittimo and at the same time promoting activities compatible with them. In practice, establishing the Camaiano Cultural Park translates into the articulated research of the morphological and naturalistic, landscape and environmental, agro-food, anthropic, historical-artistic, architectural, monumental, archaeological and literary characteristics of the territory of interest, as well as their networking through an organic cultural project. All this will also take place through the involvement of different subjects, public and private, and the enhancement of their documentary, creative and organizational capacity.

After the cognitive phase of taking a census and mapping the real and potential offer of its territory, the Cultural Park aims to link, connect and transform this offer into organizational and creative opportunities capable of combining the legacy of the past, the enhancement of memory, identity and material and intangible culture with contemporary creativity, innovation and the incubation of new prospects for cultural, economic and tourism development. It is an ambitious project that started in September 2015 and will evolve over time, with the aim of improving the usability of the area and its trails, restoring typical elements of the landscape and recovering ancient abandoned structures, spreading knowledge of the area and stimulating educated and responsible behavior.

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Parco Culturale di Camaiano

The idea of Camaiano Park stems from a deep need to make the land sacred again, so that it is easier for each of us to pay respect.