Monte Amiata’s peak

While Monte Amiata’s peak is extremely popular in winter with novice skiers, it’s beautiful any time as a lookout point with a weirdly alpine atmosphere. Monte Amiata is 1,738 metres tall and is the Maremma’s tallest mountain. At its peak is a monumental iron cross, 22 metres high, designed by craftsmen from Siena and carried up the mountain on the back of a mule at the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the Maremma’s most striking modern art pieces, a testament to the devotion of the locals. In June 2017, the cross was illuminated with 30,000 led lights, so it’s now visible from 70 kilometres away.

In winter, the cross and Monte Amiata’s peak are part of the ski resort, so be prepared to pay. You’re better off visiting on the off season when you can calmly walk up to the cross day or night for free or pay a small fee to ride the ski lift if it’s working. The walk is 15-20 minutes uphill and the slopes are riddled with rocks, so wear comfortable shoes. If you’re visiting at night, bring a torch because the entire thing is pitch black. There is a bar where you can relax/recoup at the base of the slope as well as a few hotels that are open part of the year.

The panorama from the peak embraces Bolsena and the Trasimeno Lake, some of the islands of the Tuscan archipelago, the Maremman valley, the Metallifere and Chianti hills, as well as Umbria, Sabina and, when the weather is good, Rome .