The iron route tells the story of the steel industry on the Pistoia mountains.
The area, rich in abundant waters and forests, has provided renewable energy over the centuries for the development of proto-industrial activities, such as iron processing, documented in the area since the early 1300s.
Thanks to Cosimo I de Medici, the Pisoia mountains became the first iron and steel center of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany from 1543.
In Maresca (Municipality of San Marcello Piteglio) you can visit the Ironworks, the oldest in Tuscany, active from the 14th century and remained in operation until the 1980s.
In Pontepetri (Municipality of San Marcello Piteglio) you can find the Iron Museum which preserves documents and tools, testimony to the intense steel making activity of the mountain, and the Garden of Renewable Energy, which houses two water wheels and a mallet, reproduced in life size and fully functional. As a demonstration, a modern turbine is activated, which produces hydroelectric energy and ignites a small light bulb.
The iron trail starts from the garden and there is a pleasant 800m long walk in the green along the course of the Maresca stream.