Monte Amiata isn't actually a mountain at all. It's an ancient and now dormant volcano that has provided a home to Maremma's earliest civilisations since the Bronze and Iron Ages. Still, it's the tallest mountainous territory in the Tuscan Maremma at 1738 metres and is located between Siena and Grosseto. And while its rich mineral stores and fertile lands have been cultivated for centuries, its beauty has remained completely unmarred.
The affinity modern Maremmans have with Monte Amiata is endless. It represents, passionately and completely, the true environmental splendour of the territory as a whole. The base of its slopes are fields of green and wild flowers in the summertime and filled with russet and gold leaves in autumn. In the winter their tall firs are covered in a light dusting of snow, while in spring, the snow melts, the wild flowers return and the cycle starts all over again.
But the mountain territory gives so much more to the Maremmans than just a beautiful and infinitely tranquil backdrop. Its thick forests are perfect for walking and, during certain times of the year, perfect for hunting. Its slopes are transformed into a skier's dream during the winter, and its many protected reserves and nature parks preserve the beautiful flora and fauna that make this territory so unique.
Its entire landscape has also provided anyone who's willing to look with a bounty of chestnuts and porcini mushrooms, so delicious they've earned IGP status - a title reserved for only the best products grown in Italy.
And still the mountain continues to give through the towns that sit at its feet and the history and traditions it has nurtured. These towns aren't as old as the mountain, but each is more beautiful than the last, and each is simply brimming with churches, monuments, castles, grand palazzi and museums. Not to mention their own local recipes and delicious dishes.
Monte Amiata has, is and always will be the rugged heart of the Maremma. Home to the territory's most ancient roots and traditions, as well as its purest natural beauty.
Photos from left to right: Riandreu, Luca Argalia, Kravenor, Jacopo Reggiani and Roberto Ferrara via Flickr.
Sights and activities
There aren’t many towns around Monte Amiata, but they’re all renowned for their extreme natural beauty and historical legacy. The locals here are far more attached to their traditions than anywhere else in the Maremma, so if you want to truly experience the rich heritage of the region, this is the place to be.
Whether you’re looking to get in some skiing, snow boarding, Nordic skiing or hiking on your Tuscan holiday, you can’t go past Monte Amiata, where you can do all of these activities and more at a really affordable price.
It’s hard to imagine, but all of Monte Amiata’s incredible beauty is preserved in this nature park. It’s the epitome of the tireless work of those who live around the mountain and the perfect place to relax and take in your surroundings.