Located in the southern part of the territory of Montaione near the border with the municipality of Volterra, Iano is reached by the road that from Montaione passes throught San Vivaldo and head towards Villamagna.
The hills around Iano date back to Pliocene (8 million years ago), while the hill between Iano and Palagio on whose peak rises the Sanctuary of the Pietrina is one of the three islands of Tuscany emerged in the Carboniferous period together with Monte Serra and Elba island.
This is the reason why many fossils and minerals can be found in the area.
The origins of Iano date back to the Etruscan period, as evidenced by a finding of a funeral stone depicting a warrior dating to the 5th century b.C.
Although there are no traces of Roman times, there were castles in Camporena and La Pietra, of which only some ruins remain today.
The Church of Sant’Andrea in Alliano, located in the center of the village, is documented for the first time in 1004, when Ildebrando Aldobrandeschi refused it to the bishop of Volterra.
The village of Iano was subjugated to San Miniato in 1321 and then – as many of the medieval centers of Tuscany – moved to Florence in 1370.
Iano is located near an important wooded area between the Valdelsa and Valdera, which in medieval times was more extensive than it is today, called Selva di Camporena.
The wood gathered in this woodland area was an important fuel reserve for the glassworks of Montaione and Gambassi – it was in fact the period in which the art of glass spread throughout Tuscany – and also the population, causing numerous disputes with neighboring communities that lasted until the sixteenth century.
Iano and Camporena join the municipality of Montaione definitively in 1833, following some territorial adjustments with the municipalities of Volterra and San Miniato.
Iano, which also includes the fractions of Torri, Forni, Casicello and Palagio, after an agricultural crisis became famous in WWII post-war with the extraction of hard stones and minerals such as “travertine”, “serpentine”, “onyx ” and “mercury “.
The mining activity had a strong development thanks also to the craftsmanship of the onyx and the hard and semi-precious stones until the 80s crisis caused by the high extraction costs.
At present in Montaione has remained a single craftsman who works hard stones by creating unique objects that are sold all over the world.
The small hamlet still preserves the old narrow road and the brick and travertine houses, the typical stone of the area.
Near Iano, it is worth a visit the Sanctuary of Pietrina from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view that ranges from Volterra to Pisa and from which, when the days are particularly clear, you can see the sea.
In the town there are some restaurants and a small grocery store.