Desire of autumn. Desire of woods and silence in a place where every town, tree or stream contains something that is not found elsewhere. We are in Alta Maremma, an unspoilt and green area that was the scene of the hard work of the miners. A land of striking contrasts between the Metalliferous Hills covered with woods and vineyards and small towns rich in history between Grosseto and Siena.
Maremma verde e selvaggia
And culture and history peek out on the plain between Gavorrano and Ribolla, the campaign that served as backdrop to the war between Castruccio Castracani, lord of Lucca, and sienese Guidoriccio from Fogliano, battle masterfully portrayed in the great fresco of the siege of Montemassi site in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena and attributed to Simone Martini. Meanwhile here it remained the view that, along the road that winds among cypress and olive trees and the Gulf of Follonica in the background, is the real show.
Few kilometers from the dense green of the woods and you arrive in Roccastrada which stands on a spur of rock that highlights its strategic location overlooking the valleys of fir and chestnut trees. Around the green of the nature reserve, a protected area for particularly interesting fauna and flora, from which emerge the walls and red roofs of countries including cork trees and heather lilac, heather blooming washing the streets. The landscape is thus found, ancient and perfect, to Massa Marittima in Monteregio area, red wine well accompanies meats and cheeses, fruit of well groomed vineyards in the hills that stretch to the horizon.
And if on the road you encountered a flock of black sheep, it is not because they have concentrated all here! This is the race massese, typical of Massa Carrara area with whose milk is obtained an excellent pecorino.
You will surprised by Massa Marittima. His heart is in the irregular square with severe stone buildings from the many coats of arms, such as the travertine two floors Palace of Podestà. The curiosity? Near the front door it is still preserved the iron bell that were tied people exposed to the derision. Inside it is housed the archaeological museum with prehistoric and Etruscan finds from the surrounding area. Another impressive character of the square is the Cathedral, a Romanesque jewel travertine of exquisite proportions and dedicated to San Cerbone.
Not far from the city, in the direction of Follonica, is Lake of Accesa.
Its origin is uncertain, but recent studies classify it as a “sinkhole”, a chasm created by the sinking of the ground for the presence of an underground spring. The sheet of water, by the particular shape of a horseshoe, is powered from a source that is located on the seabed.
Popular beliefs define it bottomless but, although silt and sediment have always made it difficult to measure the depth, more or less it is forty meters. On its banks is an Archaeological Park and surrounding area have been numerous finds of Etruscan times. Here stood a mining village who worked metals, mainly silver, lead and ferrous materials, mined in the nearby mines.
The place is ideal for a picnic under the quivering and fragrant eucalyptus leaves. We have done so: we stopped in Piazza Cavour in Massa Marittima from Antica Salumeria in San Michele to prepare for us sandwiches greedy to Massetana, stuffed with anchovy pesto and sandwiches with cheese and salami of the area as the gray pig finocchiona and wild boar ham. Then we went to the lake and after a short walk along its banks to limit water very transparent, we stopped at one of the large wooden tables available to hikers and we enjoyed our lunch.