In the land between Amiata, Val d'Orcia and the Maremma, the little town of Montenero rises on an imposing spur of rock, which was formed millions of years ago. Considering the mythology of the surrounding area, the landscapes that you can see from the village's historic centre need no introduction; they just need to be lived, in the first person.
Etruscan remains have been found in the outlying area, which confirm that the settlement's origins go all the way back to the Etruscan civilisation. But it was in the medieval period that Montenero grew in strategic significance, as is seen in its fortifications, built by the Aldobrandeschi and by the Abbey of San Salvatore in order to safeguard the valleys from enemy incursions. From a defensive breakwater, Montenero evolved into a battleground between the Republic of Siena and Florence's Medici rulers, later replaced by the Habsburg-Lorraine dukes.
The first thing that strikes visitors as they approach is the ring of olive groves and vineyards that encircle the town, climbing from ground level all the way up the hillsides. Wine and olive oil, indeed, are the crown jewels of this hamlet of Castel di Piano.
When we talk about olive oil in this area between Castel di Piano and Seggiano (where you can even visit an olive oil museum) we cannot forget to mention the Olivastra Seggianese DOP, a highly prized indigenous cultivar that only grows at the foot of Monte Amiata.
As for wine, the undisputed leader of those produced around Grosseto is Montecucco DOC, but the enogastronomic journey needn't stop there. We could talk about the Amiata chestnut IGP, Pecorino Toscano DOP, and even honey and saffron. Around here, there is no lack of olive presses, wineries, farms and agriturismi where you can take part in unforgettable tastings and relax in an enchanting part of the world.