South East Tuscany
Mount Amiata and Val d'Orcia Trekking
Mount Amiata, located between Siena and Grosseto, is considered the Mountain of south Tuscany. Its height is due to its past of volcano, that was active till 200.000 years ago. Today mount Amiata, seen with all the surrounding territory, let us discover, through men's work, the advantages of a so "hot" past: mining extractions of mercury, smoke-holes and geothermal energy, hot springs and river springs.
But even let us run through history: the use of cinnabar for decorations of Etruscan necropolis, the close presence of Via Francigena and the instauration of church's power through the abbey of S. Salvatore, the upcoming of Feudalism and the importance of Aldobrandeschi's family during middle age.
Enriching all that, a fabulous nature: on the Mountain we find the beech woods, useful for carpentry's wood, lower we find the chestnut woods with the three unique varieties in Italy that are marked with IGP protection, on the Mount Labbro an exciting faunal park to discover the ungulates and the Apennine wolf.
Day 1: Piancastagnaio - Abbadia S. Salvatore
Meeting with the sharers at Piancastagnaio and visit of Aldobrandesca's Stronghold and of the village; trekking goes on to Abbadia S. Salvatore, packed lunch through the course and visit of the village and of the abbey. Transfer to the Hotel at Abbadia S. Salvatore, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2: Mount Labbro - Faunal Park - Merigar
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the Faunal Park, with trekking to the top of Mount Labbro, and visit of Dante Lazzaretti's Hermitage and of Giurisdavidic community. The course expects a sort of ring leading again to the entrance of the park. Lunch and visit of the Park, trekking to the Buddhist centre of Merigar and visit of Gompa. Back to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3: Amiata's top - Arcidosso
Breakfast, leaving the hotel and transfer to the top of Mount Amiata. Walk at the Croce and start trekking through the chestnut street. Packed Lunch through the course and arrival at Arcidosso, visit of the village and then back to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4: Madonna delle Querce - Vivo D'Orcia
Breakfast. Transfer to Madonna delle querce and begin of the excursion through a walk that goes through oak's woods and pastures where are raised cows of Chianina's race. We reach the little village of Vivo d'Orcia. Very close to the village we find in a fir-wood the Hermitage built by the Camaldolesi. The little Valley preceding the hermitage, very suggestive, extends through the little river ploughing "l'Abetina del Vivo", one of the three fir-woods of Amiata. The excursion goes on to the springs of Vivo, gushing out from Ermicciolo Locality, along the course we find many remains of old mills, paper mills, ironworks of the middle age. One of the most beautiful and evocative landscapes of the zone, rich of little waterfalls and caves in the middle of the woods. Transfer to Chianciano Terme and to the hotel. Free visit of the city. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5: Trekking to Pienza
The walk is on the hills surrounding Pienza. Long the path we pass cottages and streets with cypresses, and we can see the typical geological formations of gullies. Before Pienza's entrance we pass Corsignano's Pieve, a fantastic roman building where Enea Silvio Piccolomini was baptized Pope Pio II. From here we get in the city for the visit at the square and for the most important monuments built under commission of Pio II, after the study of Leon Battista Alberti about town planning, considered a genius of Renaissance. Arrival at Pienza for the visit of the "ideal city", masterpiece of Renaissance, that presents under our sight as Pope Pio II wanted in 1459. Back to the Hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6: San Quirico d'Orcia - Bagno Vignoni
Breakfast. transfer to San Quirico d'Orcia, visit to the typical village surrounded by the medieval walls, still intact. In the walls we find the Collegiata, gothic and roman churches, the Horti Leonini, typical garden of 16th century, and the Ospedale della Scala, that offered to wayfarers, running the Via Francigena, rest. By foot, long a panoramic path on all the Val d'Orcia, we reach Bagno Vignoni for a visit at the characteristical thermal station at the Parco dei Mulini, and at the old village of Vignoni. Back to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7: Montalcino - Sant'Antimo Abbey
Breakfast, transfer to Montalcino, gorgeous art city, dominating 3000 hectares of vineyards that given fame and richness to it. Trekking until the Abbazia of Sant'Antimo (814 A. D.); its forms remember the great roman French churches. Packed lunch and departure.