Wild nature, ski and charming hamlets on Tuscany’s Mount Amiata

Did you know that you can ski in Tuscany? The south of the region (Maremma) features the beautiful Mount Amiata, which reaches 1738 metres a.s.l. and is the largest ex-volcano in the Amiata lava dome complex.

Here, during winter you can enjoy local ski resorts, while during the rest of the year you can explore and admire the breathtaking nature: the territory is covered by vineyards, olive groves and chestnut forests, producing quality products like Montecucco Wine, Olivastra Seggianese olive oil and IGP-protected chestnuts. The top 1000 meters of the mountain are covered by a dense and striking forest of beech trees.

The eco-system is protected by the Parco Faunistico del Monte Amiata, a nature reserve that hosts a variety of animal and plant species, as well as pristine mineral springs.

Castel del Piano, Maremma Tuscany

Amidst the natural beauty you can also find enchanting villages, among which is Castel del Piano, perched at 637 meters a.s.l. on one of Mt. Amiata’s lateral hilltops.

Local buildings and artistic heritage reflect the hamlet’s long and interesting history, which included domination by the Aldobradeschi Counts of Santa Fiora, by the Siena Republic and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The most representative building of its medieval historic center is the Clock Tower. Other attractions include the Nerucci Palace from the Renaissance and the Amiatino Theater in a complex from the 1800s.

The most important local event is the Palio di Castel del Piano, which takes place on the 8th of September in Piazza Garibaldi to celebrate the Madonna delle Grazie, and features both a parade in historical costumes and a horse race. The town also hosts a less traditional, more bizarre event: the Motoraduno delle Frittelle (usually March-April) reunites both motorcycle and… pancake lovers!!

Text and photo source: JustinToscana blog
Large photo above by Filippo Marroni on flickr

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