The Montecucco wine and flavors of Mount Amiata trail was established with the goal of promoting tourism and trade in a zone rich in typical, traditional products. It includes the towns of Arcidosso, Castell’Azzara, Castel del Piano, Cinigiano, Civitella Paganico, Campagnatico, Roccalbegna, Santa Fiora, Seggano and Semproniano. The area is home to a wide variety of extraordinary landscapes and production zones, where the scenic views and artistic marvels of Amiata and the Maremma come together in a single land that offers ancient, unusual flavors, both strong and delicate.
Amiata and Montecucco together: a land that boasts an enviable tradition of quality in the food and farming sector. The Montecucco DOC wine is one of its main products, but the zone is renowned for other important products: the Montecucco wine and flavors of Amiata trail also features the wonderful extra virgin olive oil of Seggiano, that is now obtaining DOP certification. Another fundamental product of the local food tradition is the Chestnut of Monte Amiata PGI and among the certified products we also find Tuscan Pecorino PDO and Veal PGI, as well as honey, truffles, mushrooms, Maremma saffron, the salted biscuits of Roccalbegna, the boar sausage and salami: many food products that can give new impetus to the local economy.
Tourist itineraries. The Amiata wine and flavours trail offers many different itineraries: we suggest three of the most interesting ones.
In the midst of Nature
Starting from the peak, we descend the slops of the mountain towards Santa Fiora, an ancient little town at an altitude of about 600 meters. Along the way we encounter three nature parks, the Monte Labbro Reserve on the southwestern slope of Mount Amiata, where since 1989 there has been a Park of Monte Amiata Fauna. Structurally new for Italy, it is organized like the German Wilderness Parks. Pescinello Reserve is located in the upper valley of the Albegna, above the town of Roccalbegna, and is characterized by the intense presence of water: creeks, lakes, waterfalls, brooks; from Roccalbegna we continue to Semproniano (Rocchette di Fazio – Bosco dei Rocconi) and then to Castell’Azzara and the Sforza Mansion.
From the Mountain to the Vineyards of Montecucco
From the peak of Mount Amiata we descent toward Seggiano, entirely covered by the olive groves of the “Olivastra seggianese”, from which the highly prized extra virgin olive oil is made. The international artist Daniel Spoerri decided to build his Art Garden here, with installations and contemporary works of international fame. We then proceed to Castel del Piano and Arcidosso, the most important towns. From here we go to Montenero, surrounded by the vineyards of Montecucco DOC. Proceeding toward Cinigiano we suggest a visit to Castel Porrona, an impressive medieval village. At Cinigiano, in palazzo Bruchi, is the Information Centre for the Wine Tour of Montecucco and the Flavours of Amiata.
Among the vineyards, olive groves along the Ombrone river: ancient churches and castles
From Paganico, where the city gates and wall built during Siena’s rule are worth a visit, we go through the towns of Sasso d’Ombrone and Poggi del Sasso. This is one of the most interesting tourist zones in the Montecucco area, rich in monuments of historic interest such as the medieval castles of Vicarello and Collemassari. This latter castle, now being restructured, can be visited on request. In the town of Campagnatico, the 13th century church of San Giovanni Battista is an interesting historic and artistic site.
In addition to the Museum of Grapes and Wine on the characteristic central plaza of Montenero d’Orcia, in the town of Monticello Amiata there is a small but interesting Ethnographic Museum called the “Casa Museo”, that documents domestic and working life in the area toward the end of the 19th century. Among the vineyards of the hills of Poggi del Sasso and Montecucco, we find a small plot of land where a “Vineyard Museum” has been erected. At Santa Fiora there is a characteristic Museum of the Mercury Mines on Monte Amiata, at the ancient Sforza-Cesarini palace and in Castel del Piano it is possible to view an interesting collection of modern art at historic Palazzo Nerucci. The Ethnographic Museum of Santa Caterina in Roccalbegna and the David Lazzaretti Centro Studi in Arcidosso are also worth visiting.
Cover image credit: Photo Graphic Studio