The town of Lajatico surrounded by wonderful hills keeps important architectural complexes such as the Borgo Orciatico and the Stronghold of Pietra Cassa. It is in the province of Pisa at 205 m. a.s.l. and it has a population of about 1500 inhabitants.
The suffix “-atico” leads to suppose a Lombard origin of the village that was originally called also “Castrum Ajatici” or “Castrum Laiatici” which was set on one of the hills that separate the Val d’Edera from the Val di Sterza. The written historical references to the village date to the year 981.
Yet, the area is rich in archaeological finds. Some excavations were made in L’Aione where the skeleton of a mammoth, kept in the Museum of Geology and Palaeontology of the University of Pisa, was discovered. In the area of Rota, also numerous Etruscan earthen vases were also found.
In the XII century, Laiatico was a castle belonging to the counts Pannocchieschi who came from Elci even if the village was included between the properties of Ildebrando, bishop of Volterra. In effect, he benefited from the protection of the German emperor Henry IV, who, at that time, was the protagonist of a dispute with Pope Gregorio IV on who had the right to nominate bishops and cardinals. Nevertheless, the XIII century had not begun yet that Lajatico passed under the control of the Republic of Pisa.
In 1284, the Genoese defeated this sea-faring nation in the battle of the Melorie. Thus, Florence took advantage of its weakness to conquer some of Pisa’s territories such as Lajatico. When the peace of Fucecchio was signed in 1293, the town belonged to the Pisa again, but its destiny had already been settled. The Florentines occupied it again in 1406 and the town definitively entered the orbit of the Tuscan Grand Duchy. Thus, its walls and its castle, as well as those of the nearby Orciatico and Pietra Cassa, were pulled down.
Lajatico was transformed into a feud in 1644 and ceded to the marquis Bartolomeo Corsini from Florence and it had to wait for the Leopoldine reforms to be nominated an autonomous town.
After the Risorgimento campaigns, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy by a plebiscite in 1860. The territory of the chief town remained strictly linked to an economy based upon agriculture and farming. Among the main activities there are the cultivation of fruit trees, cereals, grapes and olives and the production of milk. After the Second World War, an industrial reality mostly devoted to food processing was born in the flat area.