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The mountain

 

The ancient and long-since extinct volcano of Mount Amiata lies between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto and is Italy’s northernmost volcanic relief. Its cone-shaped profile, typical of all volcanoes, is the consequence of numerous eruptions which took place between about 280 and 180 million years ago. It is this past activity that formed the huge rocky masses of lava stone which make the landscape particularly beautiful.

Until quite recently, this area was very important for its mineral deposits, like cinnabar, from which mercury is extracted: essential sources for the local economy. Sources of spa water, like those of Bagni San Filippo and Bagno Vignoni, and the natural gases that are released in the Santa Fiora and Piancastagnaio areas, which are used as sources of energy, are another proof of the volcanic origin of this mountain.

Between the Maremma district and Terre di Siena, the now extinct volcano of Mount Amiata offers a beautiful landscape, rich in interesting examples of flora and fauna and a multitude of important historical references. Amiata is greatly appreciated by individual tourists, food enthusiasts and skiers, while, as a destination for day-trippers it continues to be something of a secret, which is undoubtedly worth discovering.

Trekking through age-old beech and chestnut woods, surrounded by nothing but nature, accompanied by the whisper of the springs, enjoying the refreshing coolness on stifling summer days or seeing the white shapes created by the first snowfall can be an unforgettable experience

 

 

 

The  main trail

 

RED TRAIL:

Difficulty: easy
Length: 4.3 km
Starting altitude: 830 metres above sea level
Maximum altitude: 985 metres above sea level
Duration: 50 minutes on foot 

 

 

The first trail, the Mine Trail, is characterised by the colour red and is the shortest (4.3 km).
It presents few difficulties, climbs to an altitude of 985 m and offers the chance to see the sites of the old mine, entering the mineral plant, coasting the peaceful and beautifully panoramic point of the lake, overlooking Abbadia S.S. and northern Lazio, where there are also angling facilities.
Next to the lake are the old chimney and powder store of the former mine, which the trail passes, continuing with a beautiful walk in the shade of chestnut trees and thick pinewoods, before coming back to Abbadia.

GPS: www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=qalcjpzacqvvolvd&referrer=trackList


The Trail fo Sant'Antony

 BROWN TRAIL:

Difficulty: medium
Length: 9.8 km
Starting altitude: 830 metres above sea level
Maximum altitude: 1068 metres above sea level
Duration: 2 hours on foot 



 

The second trail, the Trail of Saint Anthony, which is characterised by the colour brown, is 9.8 km long. It presents a few difficulties and reaches an altitude of 1068 m.

It winds among chestnut, larch, fir and pine trees and, in the initial stages, visits the locality of Castello della Pertica, which is actually a tall cliff, featuring remains dating back to the Iron Age.

It is still possible to see holes in the rock, which held the posts of ancient huts, or the carved profile of a deer.

The trail continues along the old dirt road which linked Abbadia S.S. to Piancastagnaio, which is then left behind as it reaches the old farms of S. Antonio and Cipriana: the first still has its old well, while the second has been recently renovated.

Both farms are situated at around 1000 m above sea level and were inhabited until the 1950s.
Their residents raised livestock and cultivated rye, the only crop suited to this altitude and the climate of Mount Amiata.

The trail then descends as far as Abbadia S.S., joining up towards the end with the other trails in the Polveriera area.

GPS: www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=pqxhwmrkqsegsqnj&referrer=trackList


The Cipriana Trail

 BLUE TRAIL: 

Difficulty: medium
Length: 12.5 km
Starting altitude: 830 metres above sea level
Maximum altitude: 1068 metres above sea level
Duration: 2 hours and 20 minutes on foot 



 

The third trail, the "Cipriana" Trail, characterised by the colour blue, is 12.5 km long and presents difficulties similar to the second trail. It reaches an altitude of 1068 m and winds between chestnut and pine woods. Travelling along the old road that links Abbadia S.S. and Piancastagnaio, as far as the Cerro del Tasca farm, it comes to the ruins of the Montarioso farm where, in a large clearing, one can enjoy a beautiful view of the mountain, before arriving in the locality of Cipriana, where the descent towards Abbadia S.S. begins, crossing the localities of Polveriera and Poggio dei Frati.

GPS: www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=cqthcplaundwkkal&referrer=trackList


The Capomacchia Trail

PURPLE TRAIL:

Difficulty: hard
Length: 22.5 km
Starting altitude: 830 metres above sea level
Maximum altitude: 1480 metres above sea level
Duration: 5 hours and 20 minutes on foot 



The fourth and difficult trail is called the "Capomacchia" Trail and is characterised by the colour purple. It is 22.5 km long and, in addition to chestnut, larch, fir and pine trees, it also enters well into the age-old beech wood, climbing to an altitude of 1530 m above sea level, just a few hundred metres from the top of the mountain.

It follows the initial part of the third trail, moving away from it with an imperious climb to reach the Capomacchia shelter and then join the "Rigale" road at the highest point of the trail. At this point we are at the eleventh kilometre and the descent towards Abbadia S.S. begins. This stretch of the trail has recently been repaired by the local Macchia Faggeta society: a very old society which takes care of the highest part of Siena’s mountain the origins of which date back to the Middle Ages. Here, through the vegetation that opens up for short stretches, it is possible to admire the view towards verdant Umbria. In this area we find particular rocks, such as the so-called "della culla" and "delle pocce dell'Angiolla", the name of which originates from its particular shape. According to legend, it is supposed to be lucky to touch the protuberances of this particular rock. The trail then proceeds to the locality of Catarcione, with its age-old chestnut trees and picnic area. Leaving the trail behind and following the surfaced road for a few hundred metres towards the peak, we come to the Archer’s Cave, so-named because of the presence of a prehistoric drawing which is still visible. Just above it is "Dante’s Stone", which is instantly recognisable as it reproduces the poet’s unmistakable profile.

Returning to the trail, we come to the "Acquapassante" area, with its sources of drinking water and characteristically "scented" sulphurous water. After a few kilometres we reach the pretty little church of the "Ermeta", named after a hermit who had chosen to seek shelter close by. This shelter, named "Sasso del romito", can still be admired near the path and it still retains its characteristic shape and the basin for collecting water, dug into the stone by the hermit.
Leaving the church behind, the trail returns to the town, passing the Green Lake, the Chimney and the Powder Store, joining the other trails.

GPS: www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=wranhrravzzsyvsn&referrer=trackList


“Macchia Faggeta”

Macchia Faggeta is a particular society whose activity consists in using the society-owned woods of the people of Abbadia San Salvatore, but also in carrying out activities to enhance the value of the social heritage in the interests of its members. It was conceived and then formed by public notarial deed in 1800. The purpose of the society is to transform individually owned parcels of land, to transform timber into rough and finished products, to run cable ways, ski lifts and other means of transport operated using cables and without tracks for public service, to run sports and other facilities and also to pursue those actions relating to the specified activities. This has led to the decision to set up the network of trails presented here. In the society’s office, in the IAT tourist office of Abbadia and in numerous other places, you can find a detailed map of the trails.

www.macchiafaggeta.com


 

 

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