Excursions on the Mount Amiata for all ages
Artistic and naturalistic destinations to visit on and around the Mount Amiata
Southern Tuscany has a lone and impressive mountain: the Mount Amiata. It belongs to the Antiappennino Toscano mountain range and overlooks the enchanting lands at his feet, such as the Maremma and the Val d’Orcia. This suggerstive mountain of 1,738 m was once a volcano; its last eruption, which occurred 700,000 years ago, has left a legacy of rare rocks and pretty ponds. Nature still dominates this territory even today and mankind acknowledged its superiority by establishing a wildlife park and six nature reserves. The small villages scattered around the area offer visitors exciting excursions between art, nature, food and artisan tradition. The Mount Amiata is located about 80 km from Siena: it is reachable from the city by driving along the SS 2 Cassia towards Rome until the exit for Abbadia San Salvatore, then following the signs pointing to the Mount Amiata. The area well serviced by train and bus.
Things to see on the Monte Amiata and the surrounding territory
On the Mount Amiata, nature rules everything; so the first thing to see is definately the landscape. In a clear day, you can enjoy the widest view of the peninsula: the Gran Sasso d’Italia, the Monte Terminillo, the Monti Sibillini, the Appennines of Umbria, Marche, Romagna, Emilia and Liguria, the lake of Bolsena and lake Trasimeno, the Tuscan archipelago and Corsica, Viterbo, Grosseto, Siena, Arezzo and – at night – even the lights of Rome. Of course, even what Man has accomplished is impressive. For example Arcidosso, Montelaterone and Piancastagnaio hold precious medieval artefacts, while in Castell’Azzara stands the imposing Villa Sforzesca. Among the attractions of the area, it’s worth mentioning the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and the Abbey of San Salvatore, both founded by the Lombards and rebuilt in the Romanesque period.
Outdoor sport, excellent food and wine and artistic crafts
In winter, Mount Amiata is a popular destination for skiers of all levels: its ski area consists of 10 km of trails for downhill skiing, 12 km of trails for Nordic skiing and a snow park for snowboarders. Sometimes you can make the fascinating experience of skiing at night, or you can participate in one of the frequent daytime or nighttime snowshoeing sessions. Anyway, here outdoor sports are popular even in the summer; many are in fact the paths available for hiking, biking or even horseback trekking. For the less active visitors there is instead the Nature Train: a romantic steam train that takes its travelers to cultural and culinary events, passing through stunning landscapes and charming villages. The territory of the Mount Amiata has always been sought after by food and wine enthusiasts. The skilled hands of the local chefs, in fact, know how to work with the excellent local products: the precious oil of Seggiano, the DOP chestnuts, the DOC Montecucco and DOC Orcia wines and the mushrooms, which are about to acquire the IGP certification. The region will not disappoint even the art lovers. Walking through the narrow streets of its towns, in fact, you can find the workshops of skilled craftsmen who transmit the art from generation to generation: goldsmiths, potters, carpenters, blacksmiths and weavers.