The stunning Tuscan town even Italians don’t know

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Each year, Italy’s state-owned television station, Rai, organizes a competition to find the “Village of Villages,” showcasing small and charming Italian towns that may not get much attention otherwise. This year, Peccioli, located near Pisa, won the title. With just 5,000 residents, Peccioli sits atop a hill in Tuscany, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.

Peccioli’s charm lies in its medieval roots, with narrow streets winding around old brick buildings and the towering San Verano belltower. But what sets Peccioli apart is its blend of history with contemporary art. The Palazzo Senza Tempo, or “Timeless Palace,” is a prime example. Dating back to the 14th century, it was renovated in 2019 to combine historical features with modern elements like skylights and panoramic terraces.

The village’s transformation began in the 1990s when it invested in advanced waste management systems. Income from waste management was reinvested into the community, funding modern art installations and sustainability initiatives. Today, Peccioli’s streets are adorned with striking art pieces, including enormous sculptures and contemporary art galleries.

Peccioli is also embracing technology for sustainability. The village offers free car-sharing services and employs robots for waste collection and shopping assistance, making it a hub of innovation in a picturesque medieval setting.

Despite its ancient roots, Peccioli is forward-thinking. The mayor aims to make the town carbon-neutral, and ongoing research explores innovative ways to reuse waste materials for construction. Thus, Peccioli remains a timeless village that honors its past while embracing the future.

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