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The other face of the Maremma

Itineraries for discovering this unique landscape

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The Maremma, east of Saturnia and the course of the Fiora River, changes its appearance. Around the houses of volcanic stone, the walls, the palaces and the churches of Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovvana, the landscape alternates between vineyards and olive groves and deep valleys carved into the landscape by the waters of the Lente and Fologna Riversand their tributaries. Towards the south the horizon is filled with the Selva del Lamone, a tangled forest of oaks which has for centuries marked the border between the lands of the Granduke of Tuscany and those of the Pope, and which today is where the provinces ofGrosseto and Viterbo meet.

This area is famous for the fortified villages of Pitigliano and Sorano,the romanesque churches and the Etruscan necropoli at Sovana. For hikers the fascination of this corner of the Maremma is in the variety of paths that can be found here, crossing the panoramic plateaus and entering the tuff canyons which have been used since the time of the Etruscans. To the north, at the feet of theAmiata, the landscape becomes more ordered. Travellers are surprised by the fortifications at Castell'Ottieriand the Etruscan and Medieval settlement at Monte Vitozzo, similar to Sassi di Matera. Near the course of the Fiora River is the necropolis of Poggio Buco, a settlement that was known to the Etruscans and Romans as Statonia.

From Sorano to San Quirico     
Trail on foot, horse or bike - 7km

This brief itinerary begins on an asphalted road and continues towards the Valley of the Lente River and the rocky settlement of Vitozza, then turns north towards the modern residential centre of San Quirico. It is possible to deviate from the itinerary towards the Selava del Lamone and Ischia di Castro in the province of Viterbo.

The ring of Sorano, Monteo Vitozzo, Castell'Ottieri and San Valentino
Trail on foot, horse or bike - 22km

This long itinerary can be subdivided in multiple excursions. It begins heading north, hugging an asphalt road and continuing in the Cerreta forest and arriving at Monte Vitozzo. Head east towards San Giovanni delle Contee (which can be reached with a 4km round-trip deviation), and then returns towards Castell'Ottieri, San Valentino and Sorano.

From Castell'Azzara to Montebuono and Sovana     
Trail on foot, horse or bike - 17 km
A long itinerary along a gravel road which leads to Monte Civitella, a south-eastern offshoot of the Amiata, to the valleys of Fologna and Fiora. After hugging the cliff of Monte Vitozzo, cross the Selvena-Sorano provincial road to arrive at Montebuono. At the end, before heading up to Sovana, head down to Fosso Picciolana and the tombs of Ildebranda and Pola.

From Pitigliano to Manciano
Trail on foot, horse or bike - 18 km
This long itinerary near the border with Lazio leaves from Pitigliano for the “quarry road” or Poggio Cani, following a “customs road” on the orographic left of the Lente, descending across the Fiora on the bridge of state road 74, arriving at the necropolis of Poggio Buco. The last stretch is a hilly walk through wood and grassy hills.

From Sovana to Pitigliano     
Trail on foot – 4.5 km

An easy, beautiful walk along an Etruscan and Medieval road which takes you from the centre of Sovana to Pitigliano, passing the Fosso del Puzzone, the Piano Conati and the “quarry roads” of the Annunziata a Poggio Cani.

From Sovana to Sorano     
Trail on foot, horse or bike - 13 km
This comfortable itinerary is the same as the previous itinerary up to Fosso del Puzzone (which is certainly worth checking out), then heads north-east across the Piano della Madonna and Fosso Calesina. The path ends at the hill and the archeological zone of San Rocco. To arrive at Sorano you must follow the asphalt road for another two kilometres.