From a morphological point of view, the territory of the county
of San Giuliano Terme, is decisively divided by mountains which
interest the Monti Pisani area, and partly by a plain that is
defined as the Pianura Centrale Pisana. This plain extends from
the borders between the river Arno and the river Serchio. From
a geological point of view it is obvious this plain is mostly
of a flood nature deriving from the deposits of the Serchio
River. Geologically speaking the plain of San Giuliano is a
very deep tectonic basin at the foot of which on the eastern
side is the most western face of the Monti Pisano, the Monti
d¹Oltre Serchio, and the Apuani Alps. As for the southern
front the plain is surrounded by the Livornese Hills and the
Pisa Hills; while the western front is formed by the Dorsale,
also called Meloria-Maestra, still submerged by the sea. The
name Monti Pisani is therefore an indicator of the small mountain
chain sitting on the northeast side of Pisa, between the Arno
valley and the Serchio valley. It was during the (Perno-Carboniferous)
era that this formation formed, first rising from the ground,
and then sinking again. This theory would explain the presence
of both the sharp rises and the deep precipes of the plain.
It is because of its peculiar formation, that the Monti Pisani
are thought to be one of the oldest mountain formation of the
Italian peninsula, in existence when most of the land now considered
Italian, was still under water.
The mountain range extends from north-west to south-east for
a length of 20 kilometers and a width of 10 kilometers creating
a suggestive fan-shaped from which emerges the Faeta Mountain
(830 mt.), the San Allago Point (spuntone) (870mt.), the Monte
Serra (917 mt.), the Monte Prune (876mt.) and the characteristic
Monte Verruca (537 mt.). Within the limestone surface of Monte
Pisano there are formerly active open mines, anciently used
as a prime resource for construction material. These caves are
now an integral part of both the beauty and the history of the
countryside. At the dawn of Christianity the Monti Pisani were
the epicenter of intense religious activity. Such territory
was an ideal place for prayer and retreat. To this, stand as
testimonies the numerous Churches, Oratories and Parishes found
in this area. To this day, it is possible to walk the old mule-tracks
and paths thanks to the area¹s still intact and typical
environment, and in doing so it is easy to find old villages
and fortresses. On the sea border between Livorno and Viareggio
we find the Natural Reserve of Migliarino, of San Rossore, Massaciuccoli,
that encompass the San Giuliano county, covering 23,000 hectares.
There are dunes, igrofile forests, marshy areas, all of which
offer refuge to a great number of animal species. There are
a rich ornithological variety. The bogs and the lake are hosts
to numerous species of local, brooding, (stanziali di passo,
nidificanti) birds such as the red heron and the (cinerino)
and the royal duck, the swamp hawk and the Italian knight (cavaliere).
Over 200 migratory species are found, whether brooding or migrant.
Animals such as deer, boars, fox, porcupine, dormice, badgers,
squirrels are inclusive of the wealth and variety of the animal
population of the park. The park¹s flower life encompasses
the (drosera) a small carnivorous plant, a swamp orchid, The
Pink hibiscus, the Floridian fern, and the Greek (periploca).
The Park¹s authorities encourage several activities, which
include trail excursions, horse riding, bicycling, and canoeing.
Furthermore, there are summer camps with continuing education
sections for teachers and nature
guides, and internships for nature and environmental studies.