Capannori is nestled between the Apennine foothills of the Altopiano delle Pizzorne and Monte Pisano, on the plain of Lucca in Tuscany, Italy. In the beginning, the town was known as the Quarto della Rotta and its history is linked to the Republic of Lucca, when it was called by its current name in 1000. The name of this place possibly originates from the Late Latin word "capanna", which has the meaning of "little house". The old town is full of timeworn churches of Romanesque origin, and many villas still survive.
It is thought that the territory of Capannori was already occupied during the Longards' arrival to Italy. The records testify of the existence of the village in 745, when a monk went to Capannori and erected a chapel entitled to Saint Quirico. The local residents settled around the Saint Quirico Chapel. Since the beginning, the village of Capannori was under the governance of Lucca, under whose control it flourished. Between the 13th and 14th century, the city of Lucca built fortifications in order to protect itself. Capannori was one of the regions along with the city of Lucca to be occupied by the French and become part of the Tuscan Grand Dukedom, up until the Unity of Italy occurred on 1861 by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.
The local economy is mostly focused on the production of vegetables, vinyards, cereals and olive oil, along with textile and woodworking industries. Capannori is an attractive city. It is worth a visit to absorb the art, culture and traditions of this old Tuscan town, where you can admire the Bosco del Bottaccio della Visona and stroll through the Via Etrusca del ferro, which dates back to the 6th century BC.
Things to see and do
The village of Capannori is arranged around a main square. It is simply lovely for a stroll, and Art lovers will enjoy sightseeing the little settlements with their parish churches and medieval basilicas surrounded by their communities.
Among the most important monuments to see in Capannori include the Parrocchiale dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta (Saints Quirico and Giulitta Parish), the Villa Cenami Mansi (Cenami Mansi Villa), the Villa Reale di Marlia (Marlia's Royal Villa), the Villa Santini-Torrigiani (Santini-Torrigiani Villa), and the Agricultural Museum of the Plain of Lucca, locally known Museo Contadino della Piana di Lucca. Among the numerous celebrations organized in Capannori, once taking place in Capannori is a fair held yearly in September, where you can taste some good local foods.
If you love art history, you will want to visit the numerous historical villas and their beautiful gardens like the Cenami Mansi Villa, which dates back to the 17th century, and the Marlia's royal villa from the 16th century. Today some of these well-preserved buildings are available for weddings, meetings and cultural events.
Agricultural Museum of the Plain of Lucca
The Agricultural Museum of the Plain of Lucca is full of interesting exhibits that illustrate the local history of Capannori and the local craftsmanship. The museum is divided into several sections like the textile tradition, woodcraft and maize production, which display both daily domestic implements and agricultural tools dating back to the 14th century and onwards.
The Museum Athena consists of three sections, of which two are devoted to the history of the region and the farming communities that inhabited this land from prehistoric to the Middle Ages. One fascinating exhibit is dedicated to Carlo Piaggia, who was one the many European explorers of the nineteenth century to visit and document the African continent. Another is the so-called wooden building of Frizzone, nearly 2200 years old, which took nine years of meticulous work to be restored.
If you live in an urban area and love the night sky but cannot admire it due to light pollution in your hometown, Capannori has the answer! In the village of Vorno, there is an astronomical observatory where thanks to one of the biggest telescopes in Tuscany, you can admire the stars in their entire splendor. The observatory is a must-see stop if you are visiting Capannori, even if it is just for a night!
On the lists of the things you cannot miss in Capannori, you must stop by the Oasi del Bottaccio: a protected area covering over twenty hectares, where you can relive the Tuscany that once was. It is home to many of the flora and fauna that were common in the past. If you come at the right time, you can catch glimpses of the many migratory birds that come here every year, such as ducks, herons, cormorants, and many more. The reservation is under WWF protection, and is located where the ancient lake of Bientina lay before its gradual reclamation over the centuries. Wooden boardwalks, peaceful huts, resting areas and tourist information sections: the Oasi del Bottaccio offers the ideal opportunity to dive into the nature and the past.
The Lago della Gherardesca is a Special Protection Area only a few hundred meters away. Walking along the shore of this small lake, you can soak up the sights of this charming untouched place and attend especially the events usually organized by the local associations.
We cannot forget the fine Italian cuisine offered here! In Capannori you can taste the traditional recipes of Lucca, such as the bruschetta, which are complemented by the local olive oil of Lucca. One of the traditional offerings here is the ballocciori, a slightly salty chestnut-based dish flavored with bay leaves and fennel.
Vacation Rentals at Cappanori, Italy
Explore this classic Tuscan town and make your stay at Cappanori comfortable with CuddlyNest. We have a wide selection of vacation properties available and with the help of our powerful search filter, you can narrow them down to just the right one. There are even pet friendly options if you have a four-legged friend coming with you! So make yourself at home by booking your next vacation rental with CuddlyNest!