The Val d’Orcia in the High Maremma, and its slopes of mineral rich hillsides rest harmoniously together with Monte Amiata.
Towards the mountain tops (with its 1,738 metres in height, making it the tallest of Southern Tuscany), you’ll find it about half way between Rome and Florence where the landscape transforms and the forest wraps its arms around the base.
The animal kingdom in this poat of Italy is filled with many interesting and ecceptional specimens. For example one may cross paths with a Lanner Falcon or a Short-toed Eagle or an Egyptian Vulture, or maybe even spot a Grey Wolf off in the distance.
A total of six national parks are spread out here and have been called the “Island of the Still Ground” where one can find fine art in both Siena and in the nature of the Maremma” by Eneresto Balducci, born in Santa Fiora.
The snow, often found even in the early springtime, allows for a variety of skiing activities and also gives a nordic feel to the environment, even with sea being so close.Thanks to its vulcanic origins, current activity and porous rock (trachyte), Monte Amiata is rich in natural spring water that supplies drinking water and elecrticity to the entire region.
Ideas for itineraries could be immersions and hikes in the forest, a stop in the local medieval village centers placed almost entirely on the legendary and historic Via Cassia/ Via Francigena highway, within the many mines that over the years have helped to develop the area. The Abbey San Salvatore, Pian Castagnaio with its well conserved fortress, Seggiano, Arcidosso and Castel del Piano. It’s possible plan a hike that follows each place one after another in a round using the so called ring of Amiata. Also, climbing the face of Amiata is recommended so as to see the breathtaking panorama from the peaks.
Other places to visit: The national parks, Monte Labbro, Pescinello, The Rocconi Forest, The chestnut trees of Castel del Piano, the sculpture park of Daniel Spoerri in Seggiano, Castell’Azzara and the Renaissance villa, La Sforezesca.