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The area of Santa Brigida is an ANPIL (protected natural area) that extends for about 800 hectares above the village of Santa Brigida, within the municipal territory of Pontassieve.

pontassieve le burraie

From the naturalistic point of view, the area is very interesting for the species of vegetation and trees and for the wildlife, though it is also rich with signs of the presence of man and, in particular, of “burraie”, ancient stone structures, near farm houses and natural springs, that were used for the production of butter.
Within the structures there were basins, inside of which containers of milk were placed: thanks to the low temperature the cream rose to the surface; if the “burraia” was large, all the phases of butter-making were done there.

Functioning up to the 1940's, it then fell into disuse.

The Municipality of Pontassieve first catalogued them, then cleared away the weeds and in some cases restored the flow of water to the basins. The successive phase was to include them in a particularly suggestive trekking route called, precisely, the Path of the Burraie.

Panels and explanatory notice boards were realized, special signs indicating directions were put up. Besides, an excursion guide map, in scale 1:10,000, was made.

Walking the route – 16 kilometres long - is within everyone's reach and is very enjoyable.

The guide map is available in two languages, Italian and English and can be obtained directly at the Town Hall or in the area's Information Centre, located near the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso.

This is another important artistic element present in the ANPIL, a place of pilgrimage since the late 1400's, when apparitions of the Madonna to shepherd boys took place.

The church, dating back to the 17th century, is also a stop in the Anello del Rinascimento trekking route.

The walk takes 5 ½ hours. It starts in the village of Santa Brigida, near the cemetery.

Info: Environment Bureau, Comune di Pontassieve, tel 055 8360279


Published: 24/1/2014

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