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A challenging circuit to learn about the past of the Amiata people
by  Amiata

Castell'Azzara owes its name to a legend that has it "played" dice between the Pope and the Emperor. From here there is a breathtaking view of the Val di Paglia and Latium, and the tour of the mines also begins.

We start pedaling clockwise, along a small paved road that passes inside the Monte Penna Nature Reserve and offers beautiful panoramic views; a few kilometers and we arrive at the first mine, that of Cornacchino, which we will find after a short detour on our left. This is one of the oldest sites on the Amiata: we can imagine the Etruscans digging here, in the narrow tunnels that can be visited safely today but which in the 1800s also saw women and children at work.

With nature reigning supreme, we begin to descend toward the other mining village in the area, Selvena, and from here, with a detour of a couple of kilometers, we arrive at the Morone Mine. Here the industrial remains of the site are impressive and give a good idea of what must have been there when mining was still taking place on the Amiata. A bike ride inside the mine is recommended, albeit taking extreme care and respecting the trail signs.

Going uphill, we cross Selvena and, immediately on leaving the village, turn left following the sign for Poggio Montone. We follow this small asphalt road for 3.5 km, until we come out on SP4, which we take by turning right. After a few hundred meters we turn left in the direction of Piancastagnaio, onto SP66. After four kilometers we turn right onto a dirt road, following the signs for the "visitor center"; in fact, from here we plunge into the Pigelleto Nature Reserve. Many tree and animal species live here, but the forest also hides another historic mine, that of Siele, which we will reach by faithfully following the gpx track. Here was located a real mining village, with chapel, school, infirmary. Stopping here, closing your eyes and imagining what it must have been like at the beginning of the 20th century is a recommended experience.

From here, passing on the path immersed in the biotope, we climb back to the provincial road and finally return gently to Castell’Azzara.


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