The town of Massa Marittima sits on a bed of travertine; during the Middle Ages, several tunnels were dug to replenish the water supply of the Fonti dell’Abbondanza, a large building with three pointed arches, built and decorated in 1265. Its beautiful frescoes were only recently rediscovered and restored. The most famous is Fecondità, painted on the first arch, which depicts a multi branch tree whose fruits are phalluses, symbolizing fertility and life.
In the past, these fountains played a strategic role for the city, especially in the event of a siege since they were the only fountains inside the city walls containing potable water. The underground tunnel opens in the wall of the second arch.
The underground passageway is 270 m long and 1.9 m high. Wells found inside the tunnel would collect the water filtered from the rock above. Stalactites of various shapes and dimensions are visible which decorate the floors and walls.
The tunnel may be visited by reservation only; it is open for free during special events. Hiking gear is advised; helmets and flashlights are provided. Visitors to the tunnel may also be interested in visiting the following sites of interest in the area:
Iron and Gravel Museum in Follonica (Grosseto)
Mining Park in Monterotondo Marittimo (Grosseto)
1h, 270 m.
How to get there
- from the north take autostrada A12 Genova-Livorno, exit at Rosignano; then take s.s. 1 Aurelia, exit at Follonica est; follow signs for Massa Marittima.
- from the south take autostrada Roma-Civitavecchia; the take s.s. 1 Aurelia in the direction of Grosseto, exit at Follonica est; follow signs for Massa Marittima.
Follonica train station, Pisa-Roma line
Rama, Fmf, Follonica-Massa Marittima line (departures every hour);
Siena-Massa Marittima (3-4 departures per day).
Servizio Musei Cooperativa Colline Metallifere (reservation, guided visits)
Tel. +39 0566 902289
Fax +39 0566 901808
Direzione Sistema museale di Massa Marittima
Tel. +39 0566 902078
Fax +39 0566 902052
Ufficio informazioni Massa Marittima
Tel. +39 0566 904756
Fax +39 0566 940095
Tel. +39 0564 462611
Fax +39 0564 454606