Location

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Perhaps not everyone knows that the Patron Saint of Santa Croce sull’Arno, the Blessed Christian, Oringa Menabuoi was born between 1237 and 1240 in a house in Via dei Menabuoi 36 in the municipality of Fucecchio. The building in question is the one that on the map is highlighted with the red circle. Note the dotted municipal border: the house is located in the territory of Fucecchio and also shows a painting on the house to commemorate the religious (imm.1).

At that time the town of Santa Croce was still at an embryonic level and more than a common one could speak of a union between 4 churches, San Vito, San Tommaso, Sant’Andrea and San Donato in Mugnana, none of which was authorized to baptize.

Oringa-Cristiana belonged to the church of San Vito. The church of San Vito was under the jurisdiction of the Parish Church of Cappiano, the master church with a baptismal font. In the years when Oringa was born, he also began to be baptized in minor churches. It is possible that the future Saint was baptized in the Church of San Vito, but always with holy water coming from the Parish of Cappiano.

The theme is smoky, the borders especially at the time were elusive, but today they are very clear in the map that I attach. The santacrocises are used to place the birthplace of S. Cristiana where her image is located, that is at the corner between Via dei Garibaldini and Via Del Bosco, but who has read his story will notice that via dei Menabuoi has many more historical evidence starting from the name of the road, from the close proximity that the Canale Usciana. Via Menabuoi, however, is located between two municipalities (Santa Croce sull’Arno and Fucecchio) as well as between two provinces (Pisa and Florence).

A fucecchiese, therefore, this medieval heroine, who however feels belonging to Santa Croce despite the memories of a childhood of pain, loneliness and misery. It is the path of the hero who never chooses the easiest path, but the right one. After suffering for her mother’s death and the insolence of her brothers who, out of misery, wanted her to marry a rich landowner, Oringa chooses to make a leap into the void and divine providence extends her hand. He manages to escape through the Usciana Canal to Lucca and after years of conscious exile returns to Santa Croce sull’Arno to found his Monastery, a place where women, with other visions, could have a life alternative that was not only to be a man’s slave, but to educate himself and live the life of the city in an active and concrete way, helping the hungry population, promoting peace on every occasion and trying to sensitize the rulers not to fight. Always choosing the path of diplomacy and example.

A life grown on the edge therefore, far from the inhabited centers, in a natural and timeless space, has allowed this noble creature to learn the highest mysteries of the Universe and then give us back a new world. From birth Oringa teaches us that the boundaries are there in the head and we must never lose hope because if we can go beyond what we know, with confidence, the stars are rooting for us.

In the end it does not matter where you were born dear great little woman, the important thing is that you are remembered and that you can be a source of inspiration for future generations who no longer have to define themselves as belonging to Fucecchio or Santa Croce, but who build together the Way to get out of our mental boundaries.

Sources:

Anonymous “Vita della Beata Cristiana” traduzione di Tommaso Cardini – Ed.TGA San Miniato

Giorgio Papàsogli “Uno core et anima in Dio” Ed. Ancora Milano

Alberto Malvolti “Santa Cristiana e il Castello di Santa Croce tra Medioevo e prima Età moderna” Pacini Editore SPA

 

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Tuscany has a long coast. Here as follows we give you some informations for the most famous locations.

Marina di Pisa the nearest beach (50 kms far – west direction) with good restaurants, but sea is not so good.

Viareggio (60 kms far – north/west direction) with good restaurants, pizzerias, bar, but sea is dirty, apart from Darsena Beaches  where there are wonderful beach resorts with large parking, beautiful swimming pool, restaurants, but it is very far from the center.

Marina di Massa (75 kms far – north/west direction) for us is the best: clean sea and many facilities, it is also good to catch the boat to Cinque Terre.

Pineta di Marina di Cecina (80 kms far – south/west direction) beach with woderful pine forest where to have a pic nic, restuarants are a bit far. Acqua Village an water park in Cecina very beautiful but expensive.

The White Beaches Rosignano (80 kms far – south/west direction) a particulare beach with white sand… someone say it is due to the pollution!! But it worth a visit.

Baratti Gulf (120 kms far – south/west direction) a wonderful place with beautiful beaches and an historical site to visit and near harbour to get to Elba Isle. A day cannot be enough to see all.

There are many other little pearls on the Mar Tirreno, follow the the street along the sea, enjoy the views and stop when you feel inspired!

 

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Have I ever talked about Siena? Maybe not, because here in Pisa that borders the Florentine we are a bit ‘envious of so much beauty. Already in the Renaissance period Florence was struggling to keep up with Siena.
So let’s do it!

Map

Based on my experience and my preferences, I have created a 5-hour ring, where we must pay maximum attention to speed, speed cameras and perhaps even animals crossing the road.
Never forget a bottle of water, some snacks and a hat (for sun and rain).
There are no highways, but only regional roads. Here the time has stopped at the last century, so even the wifi will suffer a bit in some places. Pure nature topped with dozens of churches and monuments, which despite the saints are still there while the bridges built 50 years ago collapse like ice that melts in the spring.
A long route, but with various stops that will make you admire the best places of true Tuscany.
After only one hour of travel, you will be in San Gimignano. There is not a CasaLina guest who has not visited it. A medieval fairy-tale country.
Short walk in the center, breakfast in one of the many bars, and again you leave for another destination.
In less than an hour, here is the imposing Siena. Here everything has been said and the opposite of everything, I will only tell you about the cafes of Piazza del Campo if you do not want to find yourself paying too much.

At lunchtime, better bet on a farmhouse outside the city, excellent food, excellent wines and reasonable bills, perhaps along the way to the Abbey of San Galgano, a mystical place for some with a church where the roof has collapsed and nearby building where a fascinating relic is kept, the one that is thought to have been the famous sword in the rock. Here we are right at the end of our journey, so you will not be surprised if around you you will see nothing but hills and natural landscapes, postcard views that you will have seen only in Tuscany advertisements. Here I am here. I think it was worth getting here to see what the real Tuscany is, a land that emerged after the last glaciation that in its low and rounded hills still reminds the waves of the sea.

Last obligatory stop Volterra. Impossible to skip it, it would be a sacrilege. Like San Gimignano, Volterra is also a jewel of architecture. I myself who live here and now I am used to my territory, I am still amazed and I feel a huge emotion in seeing so much beauty. Volterra is famous for its alabaster. Even if it will weigh a little in your suitcase, you will certainly not be able to resist taking it away for a while.
It was a tiring day and maybe I made you run a bit too much. In fact, one day is just a little to visit all these places, but it will be worth it.

While you calmly return home, I suggest you choose a restaurant for dinner. There is nothing better than a dinner in one of the many restaurants in San Miniato. Any one will be fine, they are all excellent. I recommend trying the truffle specialties in the area, a little pricey, but a taste is a must.

A really full day that will surely remain in your heart and you can say that you have known the real Tuscany.

18/Jan/2019
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Great news for this summer!

Our garden awaits you with swimming pool, gazebo, sunbeds, umbrellas, cottage, barbecue and lots of greenery to relax, have a swim and enjoy the enchantment of our beautiful Tuscany.

Starting from the first of June, weather permitting, the pool will be available to our guests.

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May in Tuscany is a month full of events. The big cities shine in the sun and the pleasant temperatures make your holiday even more unforgettable. The small villages are teeming with walks on nature trails and historical re-enactments, without forgetting the most interesting sporting events.

Between 12 and 19 May, at the Santa Croce Tennis Club, just a stone’s throw from CasaLina, the 40th INTERNATIONAL SANTA CROCE TOURNAMENT will take place (see details http://www.tcsantacroce.com/), a great sporting event that attracts young tennis players from all over the world, stars still budding, but destined for a great future. From our Tennis Club all the greatest tennis players in history have passed, practically an obligatory step in the career of a professional tennis player.

On 20 May the Palio delle Contrade will be held in Fucecchio (see details http://www.paliodifucecchio.it/). Just one kilometer from CasaLina, the trumpets and the drums re-echo, introducing skilled flag-wavers and bringing us back in time. The whole month will be dedicated to the various stages of the Palio up to the final evening where the horses of each district will compete on the sand track specially created for this event.

And for those looking for the peace of a place surrounded by nature, but still out of the ordinary, we can not forget the excursions in the small boat and the birdwatching of the Padule di Fucecchio, the pride of our area together with our woods of the rich Cerbaie of lush vegetation and unexpected paths (https://www.facebook.com/paduledifucecchio/).

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The year was 1928 and in Santa Croce sull’Arno the first Carnival masquerade was born. From that day many have passed under the bridges. There were several stops: the Second World War, the riots of the strikes … But the passion has never vanished and since the seventies the editions have followed each year regularly, becoming the longest continuous period.

Our Carnival resists thanks to the work of the four groups that compete for the most beautiful masquerade: Gli Spensierati, Il Nuovo Astro, La Nuova Luna and La Lupa. The carnevalai take months to prepare for the big event, inside their big rooms, where they prepare the car with characters in paper mache and unthinkable Carnival costumes worthy of an art gallery.

For this reason the Carnival in Santa Croce is called “Carnevale d’Autore”, to reward the originality, the art and the skilful craftsmanship of its citizens.

This year, to celebrate the ninety years of the event, the Committee presents a book that collects photos, memories, songs, history and anecdotes of the Canevale. An important document that celebrates the men and traditions of a community, which serves to stop the salient points of these almost one hundred years, which pays tribute to the characters of Santa Croce sull’Arno, the true masks that deserve to be remembered. Extravagant people who in some respects were already ahead of the time they lived.

But a book is not enough so the invitation is to participate in this year’s masked courses that have funny and pungent themes, just like their authors

In order of exit for the first day:

1 – La lupa con “90 La paura” (“90 The fear”)
2 – Il Nuovo Astro con “La notte piccola per noi”  (“The night is little for us”)
3 – La Nuova Luna con “Vada come vada stà a sentì che botta” (“Go as you go, listen what a bang”)
4  – Gli Spensierati con “Se un lo capite vi si fa un disegnino” (“If you can’t understand it, we will make a little drawing”)


The order will go to climb on the following Sundays.The program is as follows:MASKED COURSES

28 JANUARY 4 AND 11 FEBRUARY 2018

EVENTUAL RECOVERY 18 FEBRUARY

THE TRIO FIO COMPAGNIA PRESENTS THE FASHION SHOWS

ENTERTAINMENT BY DJ FRITZ OF LIMONAIA

GUEST OF HONOR THE FIRST SUNDAY DON BACKY

Sunday 28/01/2018

ribbon cutting 2018 year 90s carnival edition

carefree band

performance angels and demons parade of the 4 groups Sunday

04/02 street artists

parade 4 groups Sunday 11/02

buskers

masked parade of elementary school children

carducci copernico pastures of the school carnival project

extraction of the winning carnival lottery tickets

award ceremony of the carnival groups of the 90th edition

of the santacrocese carnival also on Sundays

markets

animation for children by CLOWN FAGIOLINO

workshop for children by ART IN WOOD OF YOUR INGEGNO

… and don’t forgrt to buy the new book with DVD included “90 Carnevale d’Autore”!

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The sea in winter seems a sad and nostalgic concept. Not in Viareggio when there is Carnival! The temperatures are still cold, but mitigated by the presence of the sea. The air you breathe is a natural aerosol. The party explodes all around. Lights and colors, art and imagination, satire and irony. You’re joking, but you think, you laugh, but you are moved. It is difficult to explain the emotions that inspire the parade of allegorical wagons. You are captured by that mixed feeling of amazement and euphoria, which makes you forget the winter and catapults you into the summer. CasaLina & CasAlfredo, as we know it, is in the center of Tuscany, so from here to reach Viareggio it’s really easy and fast. So much that there is a sort of twinning between the two locations. Also in Santa Croce sull’Arno the preparations for the Carnival are quivering, but we’ll talk about this next time.

Below the program of the event:

 

Carnival of Viareggio 2018

 

From 27 January to 17 February

Here is the calendar of the 2018 parade

Saturday January 27 – 1st Masked Parade, at 16:00

Sunday February 4 – 2nd Masked Parade, at 15:00

Sunday February 11 – 3rd Masked Parade, at 15:00

Tuesday, February 13 – 4th Masked Parade, at 17:00

Saturday February 17 – 5th Masked Parade, at 17:00

At the end proclamation of the winners and closing fireworks show

Sources : http://viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/

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On January 6, 2018 departing from Ponte a Cappiano at 16:00 the Cavalcade of the Three Kings will take place. Three people on horseback accompanied on feet by a multitude of children and adults with period clothes will first reach the Parish of St. Mary of the Vedute and then the Collegiate Church of Fucecchio to attend the Mass at 18:00, presided over by His Exc. Bishop Andrea Migliavacca.
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January 4th is an important day in Santa Croce sull’Arno. It is day day dedicated to their Patron Saint Santa Cristiana or Oringa Menabuoi.

Oringa … what a difficult name, on the other hand, was born between 1237 and 1240 in Santa Croce and in those years, especially in these areas, the Latin was merged with the Lombards. As the scholar Giovanni Lami explains to us, to whom we know themost of the news on the history of Santa Croce, it could be a contracted form of Auring, where “Aura” comes from Latin “Oro” and “ing” is the diminutive ending of name in Longobard or German (Inge is still a personal name). Let’s say that today it would be called Oretta, Aurea, Sublime, Eccelsa.

The people from Santa Croce sull’Arno are particularly linked to this figure perhaps because in itself embodies the typical characteristics of the local women: courageous, enterprising, but with a big heart.

It took courage in fact to rebel against the brothers, the only family members who had remained, who in 1258 wanted her soon married to one of their chosen good parties. For this reason Oringa escapes from Santa Croce, but must cross the river Usciana. Here the miracle happens, between Ponte a Cappiano and today’s Cerri village, thanks to the divine power the girl crosses the river unscathed and runs along the Via Francigena to reach Lucca. This story of water separation is not new …

It took courage to escape alone from his hometown and to remain alone in the domestic service of a certain Lord Cortevecchia Cavaliere Lucchese, noble of Porcari, with an exemplary life. These are times when the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines exterminate whole families and the echo of the violence to which their native lands are subjected arrives.

With his initiative, under the call of vocation and with the indulgence and indirect support of the lords of Cortevecchia, Oringa resumed his journey in search of his vision. In Assisi he receives an illumination: to found a Monastery in Santa Croce sull’Arno.

So in 1277 Oringa returns to his native village where, together with a group of women, he gives life to a  religious community. The beginnings were not easy: a collaboration was established with the civic authority and the bishop, with whom, however, the relations had alternate phases. On October 31, 1279, the city council granted a house in the San Nicola district. In December, the resolution and the finalization of the donation.

But Oringa is remembered above all for her big heart like. According to some anecdotes handed down, during a famine, Cristiana opens the monastery to allow the citizens to feed themselves with the fruits of the convent garden and one day emerged from the cloister and presented to the Council of the elders of the town avoiding the war with Fucecchio, but they listen to it and the consequences lead to a painful defeat.

Having reached the threshold of seventy years, after three years of infirmity, Blessed Cristiana is struck by a paralysis, afflicted by acute pains, but comforted by prayer. Mother Cristiana died on January 4, 1310, surrounded by her sisters.

A spiritual life, yes, but also adventurous and fair, as are the women of Santa Croce sull’Arno: direct and sincere, you can always count on them.

 

Sources:

http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/36230

Deliciae Eruditorum Seu Veterum Anekdotōn Opusculorum Collectanea  di Giovanni Lami

La miracolsa vita, et morte della gloriosa vergine santa Cristiana di Onorio Martini

Alberto Malvolti “Fucecchio e dintorni – Storie e microstorie tra Medioevo ed età moderna”