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Pomarance

Boric acid soffioni, Etruscan antiquities and medieval towers

Ideas for a RV or caravan trip between Pomarance, Volterra and San Gimignano

PleinAir
by  PleinAir

Etruscan antiquities, traditional handicrafts, boric soffioni and spectacular medieval towers: here is a proposal for a RV trip that is best appreciated in mid-season.

Contents
  • 1.
    Pomarance
  • 2.
    Volterra
  • 3.
    San Gimignano

Pomarance

Pomarance countryside
Pomarance countryside - Credit: Draculina (Anne)

The pleasant village of Pomarance is located in the center of the "Devil's Valley", so named for the boric acid soffioni in the area. A scenery so evocative that Dante was inspired by some of the landscapes for his "Inferno". Strolling through the historic center one can admire the three gates, the Piazza di San Dalmazio, the Church of St. John the Baptist and several Renaissance palaces.

A convenient parking lot is located right in front of the entrance to the village (Viale della Costituzione - SR439)

In the hamlet of Larderello, where the geothermal plants are located, we recommend visiting the Geothermal Museum, which can take the curious on a fascinating multimedia journey through history and technology.

The area around Pomarance is covered by woods and forests and offers more than 200 kilometers of trails that can be traveled on foot, by bicycle and horseback.

Volterra

Volterra RV area
Volterra RV area - Credit: Plein Air Service s.r.l.

Although this village soars over the horizon with purest medieval forms, it reveals, however, in its atmospheres more than in its archaeological remains, that it is still tied to its grand Etruscan past, abruptly interrupted by the Roman invasion.

Veláthri, one of the main city-states of ancient Etruria, has become the beautiful village of Volterra, now known for centuries for its alabaster workmanship: known and employed six or seven centuries before the Christian era, Volterra alabaster made a comeback a couple of centuries ago, and its workmanship delights the tourists who flock to its workshops.

The town is gathered within the 13th-century walls, overlooked by the Medici Fortress, punctuated by soaring tower-houses, and dotted with Renaissance residences. Older, however, are the Priori Palace, the Praetorian Palace and the Porcellino Tower, which overlook the Piazza dei Priori, the historic and beating heart of Volterra, certainly one of the most beautiful squares in Italy.

The city's various museums, starting with the Etruscan, are worth visiting.

Outside the historic center, the splendid ruins of the Etruscan Acropolis and the Roman Theater are not to be missed.

An RV rest area can be found at the Docciola parking lot on Viale dei Filosofi.

Among the small villages located in the vicinity we point out Saline di Volterra and Montemiccioli.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano
San Gimignano - Credit: Toscana Promozione Turistica

The road to San Gimignano, the UNESCO heritage town since 1990, is framed by the vineyards where Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG is produced. 

Entering this quaint medieval town, still surrounded by its original walls, is like being catapulted into the past. A distinctive feature of San Gimignano are the towers that soar above the roofs of the houses and make it recognizable even from afar. It is no coincidence that it has been nicknamed the Manhattan of the Middle Ages. In the 14th century there were seventy-two, today there are 13 towers left. 

Walking along the ups and downs of the center, one arrives at Piazza della Cisterna, with its distinctive triangular shape, enclosed by buildings among which stands the Devil's Tower. In the adjacent Piazza del Duomo, you can admire the basilica of the collegiate church of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the Romanesque style on top of a flight of steps.

In the same square is the Podestà Palace, home of the Civic Museum. Above it rises the Rognosa Tower. In Piazza del Duomo we can also visit the Torre Grossa (the highest tower in the city), which provides a beautiful view of the Sienese landscape. Also worth visiting are the chapel of Santa Fina inside the cathedral (by Ghirlandaio) and the church of Sant'Agostino.

For the visit, one can stop at the rest area near the campsite Il Boschetto di Piemma, locality Santa Lucia.

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