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Visita il Mugello, culla dei medici, a due passi da Firenze e le bellezze toscane
 

Visiting Tuscany

 

 
 

Monte Amiata

Monte Amiata is the highest mountain in Tuscany and a tour of the area makes a very interesting itinerary. This solitary mountain in the very heart of the region rises between the valleys of the Orcia, the Fiora, and the Paglia, and is the result of powerful volcanic eruptions that occurred between 180 and 290 million years ago. It is well known for its mercury sulphide (cinnabar) mines; some of the deposits were discovered by the Etruscans and until recently they formed a substantial component of the local economy. There was human settlement on the mountain in pre-historic times, as testified by the Pittura dell'Arciere on the top of the mountain at 1738m.
A trip along the various provincial roads of the Amiata makes for one of the most interests journeys in Tuscany. The ideal place to start is Abbadia San Salvatore, which is popular both in the summer and in the winter (for skiing).
Leaving Abbadia San Salvatore and driving south, you come to Piancastagnaio; it was originally the property of the abbey, but then it changed hands and came under the control of the Visconti, then the Aldobrandeschi family, and finally, in 1416, it was taken over by Siena. Entrance to the town is through a battlemented gateway; inside are the remains of a castle erected by the Aldobrandeschi.

The valley of the river Fiora rises gently amidst chestnut trees and provides a wonderful view of the Lago di Bolsena.
In the valley there are also lots of signs of prehistoric and Etruscan settlement. Santa Fiora is one of the most important resorts in the Amiata area and has a well-preserved historic centre which grew up around the Castello degli Aldobrandeschi, who made it the capital of their territories.
Arcidosso is an agricultural and resort town built in a semi-circle round the castle of the Aldobrandeschi family. Various cultural events are held in the castle that dominates the town.

Fotografia di Sandro Santioli

 
 
 
   
 
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