The Upper Cecina Valley

The Upper Cecina Valley lies in the south of the Province of Pisa.
The unspoilt countryside and scenic landscape bewrays the presence of ancient settlements, castlesvillageschurches and farm houses crowned majestically by the historical city of Volterra. The ephemeral colours of this land of contrasts transform with the changing of the seasons. Gently rolling clay hills, avenues lined with cypress trees, olive groves and vines of true Tuscan flavour are abruptly defined by barren, deep clay walled chasms, gullies and ravines. Large areas of forest and woodland such as Berignone and Monterufoli, thriving with animal and plant life, cherish a dense network of enchanting foot paths. Then of course there is the anomalous landscape of the Geothermal area with its steaming jets and fumaroles. One of the most interesting regions of Tuscany its charm certainly lies in its natural beauty and variable features.


Along the winding road through green hilly pasture land nurtured by the Cecina River from Volterra to Massa Marittima lies the hilltop town of Pomarance. This is the Geothermic area, a blend of natural beauty, ancient monuments and a network of steam jets and fumaroles currently exploited for the production of electricity. This territory offers many enchanting routes to strategically positioned Medieval villages crowning the surrounding woodlands such as Micciano, Libbiano, Montegemoli, Serrazzano, Montecerboli, Lustignano and San Dalmazio. Well worth the effort is a visit to the ruins of the Romanesque Norman Church, the Rocca di Sillano and the Geothermic Museum in Larderello. The urban centre of Pomarance is well worth a visit, especially the Parish church which houses the paintings of Cristofano Roncalli and Nicolò Cercignani, La Piazza della Pretura and the splendid nineteenth century palaces in Via Roncalli including “Casa Bicocchi”. Not to be missed, on the second Sunday of September, is the Palio delle Contrade, a challenge of highly suggestive theatrical performances.

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