History and traditions

Hygrophilous woodland

The wide, expansive plains that open between the Pisan Hills and the Hills of Cerbaie, and which extend eastwards from Bientina towards Altopascio and westwards towards Lucca, are all that remain of Lake Bientina (or Lake Sesto (Sixth) as the people of Lucca called it, as it was about 6 kilometres from the city).

Reclamation of the lake, which began in 1853 but was never completed, and especially the arrival of an industrially biased agricultural system with mono-cultures of maize and the use of heavy machinery, have increasingly reduced the wealth of animal and plant species that once characterised the area of Bientina, as studies of the time confirm.

This sudden shift of human activities from fishing to farming almost destroyed a culture and economy which had developed round the lake.

Only a few people of Bientina still carry on the memory of old fishing methods and the craftsmanship linked to the marshland grasses.