The Merse River flows through the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. It is the most important tributary of the Ombrone River which runs through the town of Pian di Rocca after travelling nearly 70 kilometers from its source in Poggio Croce di Prata, at an altitude of 848 meters.
Following the first part of the river, passing over the Montieri bridge, you will come to the Roste. These red mountains still have the remains of copperworks hidden in the vegetation and this makes for a unique landscape. Here, visitors can also still see the remains of buildings and canals that tell story of the mining industry that flourished here in the 1800s. Under the Roste, there are important tunnels used for working copper and other materials. The mining heritage of this area is also shown by the remains of old, stone melting pots that can found along the banks of the Merse.
Going up the Merse River you’ll find the Ferrugginosa fountain with its spring of red, mineral-rich water and sulfur water. In line with local traditions, citizens of Boccheggiano gather at the fountain on August 24 to celebrate the Feast of Saint Bartholomew and perform religious functions.
Nearby, don’t miss a quick trip to the Mulignoni Spring; now surrounded by forests, this ancient site was once well-known for its mills. These mills, fed by water from the waterfall, produced energy for the metal foundries. In the area, as well as artefacts from the 1700s, you can find the mouth of one of the mining tunnels and some of the mining caves.