Mount Amiata

Mount Amiata is located in Southern Tuscany, one side in the province of Grosseto and another side in the province of Siena, in a territory that includes a high number of towns, such as Abbadia San Salvatore, Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Piancastagnaio, and Santa Fiora, 600-800 meters above sea level.

It is a volcano, now inactive, extremely rich in water: the springs of the rivers Fiora and Albegna are located here. From the top of Mount Amiata (1738 meters above sea level), the look gets lost in several directions: the Val d’Orcia, the Maremma, the valley of Lake Bolsena, and the Chianti. The Amiata area is rich in natural beauties and artistic finds. For centuries there have been alternations of different civilizations and dominions: the Etruscans, the Papacy and Carolingian Empire in the Middle Ages, the Republic of Siena, and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

The territory’s economy is based on chestnut and mushroom cultivation, wood production, and constantly growing tourism. Getting closer to Mount Amiata, the landscape becomes astonishing: huge beech, fir, and chestnut woods surround the mountains like a hug.

Monte Amiata sciFor trekking lovers and open-air walkers, the itineraries are fascinating. During the winter, when there is snow (a circumstance that is becoming rarer because of weather changes), it is possible to ski with more than 15 km of ski runs and 17 lifts.

The natural beauties of the mountain are especially seen at the “Fauna Park”, an area for observation, study, and research focusing on various species of animals. Fallow deer, deer, mouflons, roe deer, and chamois, as well as porcupines, foxes, badgers, weasels, stone martens, skunks, hares, squirrels, dormice, and wild boars can be seen while walking on the paths. The undisputed king of the area is the Appennine Wolf. Among the locations, Roccalbegna deserves a visit; its name comes from a cliff in the center of the town on which a fortress, the Cassero Senese, is located. Heading north, with a short walk you can get to the Pescinello Reserve, an area with high biodiversity for the simultaneous presence of woods, shrubs, calcareous cliffs, springs, and puddles. Some ancient, authentic woody monuments can be seen, as shown in the picture.

Santa Fiora is gorgeous: at the mouth of the Fiora River, the big fish-pond, the tank where fish are bred, made it possible for centuries to have correct food integration with the local products, such as chestnuts. Mount Labbro should also be visited; it is a place of worship in honor of David Lazzaretti, a Tuscan cart-driver who founded the Giurisdavidic religious movement.

Lazzaretti lived in Tuscany in the 19th century, especially in the area of Mount Amiata. For his visionary qualities and tragic end, he was called the Amiata’s Christ. His name is associated with the foundation of the Giurisdavidic Church, currently still involving the rural population in this area.