to Florence. SIGNA. (¡'2. Route. 441
the Della Robbia. — The sacristy contains a Madonna enthroned, in the
atyle of Pesellino.
To the right, near the cathedral, is the Baptistery, with a Renais¬
sance font of 1447, and a Pietá in fresco, in the style of Masaccio.
A diligence plies twice daily from Empoli to (172hr.) Vinci, the birth¬
place of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), situated on the S.W. slope of the
Monte Albano chain (p. 450). A pleasant walk of about 472 hrs. may be
taken viá Torre Annunziata and the mountain-chain (views) to Carmignano,
with its ancient castle (Rocca), and thence down to (72 hr.) Poggio a
Caiano (p. 553).
Railway to Siena and Chiusi, towards the S., see Baedeker's Central Italy.
On the left, before reaching Montelupo, we perceive the Villa
Ambrogiana, erected by Ferdinand I. on the site of an ancient castle
of the Ardinghelli, and surmounted by towers and pinnacles. —
34 M. Montelupo (130 ft.) lies neaT íhe junction of the Pesa and
the Amo. The castle of this place was fortified by the Florentines
in 1203 in order to keep in check the hostile Capraia on the opposite
side. Henee the appellation Montelupo, mountain of the 'wolf,
which was desirous of devouring the 'goat' (capra).
The train now crosses the Arno, and slowly winds through the
denle of the Gonfolina, by which the Arno pierces the chain of the
Monte Albano. The heights are ciad with pines and cypresses;
farther down are quarries of pietra serena, a kind of sandstone.
The Ombrone, which falls into the Arno, is next crossed.
391/2 M. Signa, with its grey towers and pinnacles, founded in
1377 by the Florentines to command the road at this point. This
place, as well as the opposite village of Lastra, is noted for its straw-
plait. Steam-tramway to Florence (see p. 460). See Ouida's 'Signa'.
— The valley expands. — Near (42 M.) San Donnino is Brozzi,
with numerous villas which proclaim the proximity of the capital.
48 M. Florence, see p. 457.
63. From Pisa to Florence viá Lucca and Pistoia.
6272 M. Railwat in 23/4-4 hrs. (fares 11 fr. 75, 8 fr. 25, 5 fr. 30 c.;
express 12 fr. 80, 9 fr. 5. 5 ir. 90 c.). Beyond Lucca the best views are on
The line crosses the Arno, skirts the W. and N. sides of Pisa
(fine view of the cathedral), and intersects the fertile plain between
the Arno and Serchio. — 5^2 M. Bagni di San Giuliano (33 ft.),
at the base of the Monti Pisani, known to the ancients as Aquae
Calidae Pisanorum, are much frequented in summer. There are
several springs varying in temperature from 80° to 104° Fahr.
At (7!/2 M.) Rigoli the line approaches the Serchio, and beyond
(9y2 M.) Ripafratta (33 ft.). with its ruined castle, describes a
complete semicircle round the beautifully-formed Monte San Giu¬
liano or Monte Maggiore (1490 ft.), which, as Dante says (Inferno,
xxxiii. 30), prevenís the two towns of Pisa and Lucca from seeing
each other. — 15 M. Lucca (p. 442).