Agriturismo Santa Antonietta

Podere S.Ilda, 56045 Pomarance (Pi)

Tel./Fax +39 0588.62127

Mobile +39 340 8530158

E-mail: luciano.coppetta@tiscali.it

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One thousand chanches for an every time different holyday

Due to its geographical location, Pomarance is an ideal point of start to visit the whole Tuscany. Amongst main towns which can be easily reached in roughly one hour we must mention the splendid Siena, Lucca, Arezzo, Pisa, the superlative Firenze. Such well-known places need no presentation.

 

The leaning tower

Also, this area charmes its guests in many other ways, under the naturalistic, historic, artistic and cultural point of view. The main river Cecina valley, as well as the minor Trossa  and Pavone valleys are major goals of excursions and walks. There you can bathe in some little natural swimming pools along the rivers. For example, in a lovely place in upper Cecina valley named 'the young ladies rock' due to an ancient legend, or at the 'mirrors rock' or in the crystal water canyons of Pavone, between  San Dalmazio and Montecastelli, or in the Trossa. 

The Sillana fortress

Splashing around at the 'mirrors rock'

Vegetation is mainly componed of tipical mediterranean wood (the 'Macchia') plants, such as  holm-oak, oak, minor maple, fraxinus ornus, bailey, myrtle, rhamnus, heather etc. Somewhere you can find the rare wild holly, very common are mushrooms, cyclamens and violets. In the few humid sites along ditches, the primroses and the rare  pulmonaria. On may, in the meadows and along road borders, you can easily find wild orchids, like the 'tongued' Serapias with stretched labella or the Ophris whose flower imitates, for fecondation purposes, the abdomen of a female insect. They all are protected by law, since, though common here, they are very rare.  Woods covering these hills reach the Monterufoli and Berignone forests, that extend for hundreds of square kilometers. There you can find all tipical wild animals belonging to this habitat: boars, roes, histryx, foxes, prey birds, mouflons, which are not original of this places, but were imported for hunting purposes. In the farest and most remote places, it seems the wolf came back to live, as it used to do until 1950.

Hoopoe

Even simply being at the window of the agriturismo, you can watch and take pictures of buzzards, pheasans, whose crow you can easily hear, owls and sometimes, mainly in winter early mornings, roes. During spring and summer, it is not rare to see numerous groups of lovely coloured bee-eaters, or the nice, up-and-down flighting hoopoe.

 

Bee-eater

Boar

Roe-buck

During your excursions, however, do not miss to visit the many little country churches, the fortresses and of course, the villages, like Libbiano and Micciano, on the hill just in front of the agriturismo, Montegemoli, Montecatini, San Dalmazio with its romanic pieve and the Sillana fortress, Montecerboli, Castelnuovo with ancient center and the cool chestnut trees woods, which alone deserve a visit, Montecastelli and Serrazzano, Sasso Pisano with the interesting roman thermae, today of course not working, but where you can still take a bath in a simple pool of thermal water coming out from the ground. In all these places during summer you can find fairs and fests, that are a pleasant way to taste good traditional cooking at low prices.

    Castelnuovo Val di Cecina

The 'Evening Shadow'

Pomarance

Pomarance, not much more than 4000 inhabitants, is on the top of a hill, 365 meters on sea level. During etruscan age it was an important site on the way of iron, which from the Elba island mines and from Populonia, leaded to Volterra. Here the well-known little statue called 'the Evening Shadow' was found. Today you can see it in the Guarnacci museum in Volterra. Only a few tombs under the main church remain as etruscan rests. The ancient part of Pomarance is medioeval, with two rings of walls with circular bastions, sometimes included in other, more recent, buildings.

You should not miss a visit to the splendid S.Giovanni Battista main church, whith romanic XII century front, but XIX century interiors, that amongst others, has frescos by Ademollo, a splendid Annunciazione by Cristofano Roncalli and a beautiful altar pala representing the Madonna del Rosario by Niccolò Cercignani. In the baptistery, a remarkable painted clay presepe, almost in real size dimensions, attributed to Z.Zacchi. The presepe is in a niche in the wall that was frescoed  by Vincenzo Tamagni, who also is the author of the beautiful pala of S.Giovanni altar. 

The main church of S.Giovanni Battista

Another visit you should not miss is the Bicocchi House museum, an XIX century palace which was suddenly abandoned by its inhabitants during last war and remained as it was at that moment, with its halls full of original furnishing, the private little church, the study, the children's play room with their wood and cloth toys, the many bedrooms and, amongst them, the red room where the ghost of an unfortunate young man searching his beloved lady is told to appear, as expected in every  ancient palace. 

Pomarance

Palace of Pretura 

On the hill in front of Pomarance you find Volterra, rich of etruscan, roman and medioeval rests and dominated by the huge mass of the medicean fortress, the Maschio.  You should visit the baptistery and the cathedral, where you can appreciate amongst other masterpieces, a remarkable goldened wood ceiling 'a cassettoni',  a beautiful marble pulpit and a XII century painted wood Deposizione whose colors are perfecly intact, as seldomly happens. 

Volterra

Palace of Priori

Other major points in Volterra are the counciliar hall of the palace of Priors, the lovely square of Priors, the archeological park Enrico Fiumi, the civic picture gallery, where you can appreciate many well known splendid pictures and, amongst others, the XVI century deposizione by Rosso Fiorentino, the diocesan Holy Art museum, the Viti palace, where the maestro L.Visconti put the set of his movie 'Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa',  the roman theater, the very interesting Guarnacci museum, one of major sites for those who appreciate and study roman and above all etruscan art, the church of   San Lino, the balze (rock walls).  A special mention must be made for the many shops, laboratories and ateliers where alabaster, a semi-transparent stone, easy to be worked out, is exploited by local artists to create objects, statues and sculptures.

Volterra - il Maschio

Volterra 

Sal Gimignano is also charming. A sort of medioeval Manhattan, made famous both by its many towers that make its skyline quite peculiar, and the very good Vernaccia wine produced in this area. You should also visit Massa Marittima, with its mines, the romanic dome and the very singular fresco of the civic fountain, representing a pomegranate-tree whose branches are decorated by flowers, birds and... phalli, as a whish, common in other ages, but actually a bit embarassing today, of richness, abundance and prosperity.

San Gimignano

The tirrenic coast is also a major goal of excursion, for its long and beautiful beaches and the old and wide pine tree wood linking Cecina, Bibbona, Castagneto, Donoratico, San Vincenzo, or the cypresses celebrated by G.Carducci in the well-known verses "i cipressi che a Bolgheri, alti e schietti, van da San Guido in duplice filar...", just the same trees that saw Carducci's childhood, or eventually the naturalistic WWF reserve of Bolgheri, where you can watch local fauna and migrator birds. All these are welcoming places, to be visited for a seaside relax day, and more then this.

The cypress boulevard - Bolgheri

Another point of interest is the geotermic activity taking place in the well-known 'Devil's valley', between Pomarance and Larderello, where the volcanic micro-activity present in the whole area, whose sulphureous fumes were once regarded as Devil's manifestations,  is exploited in modern stations for electric energy pollutionless production. Most of central Italy receives energy produced here. The silver big tubes you can find near Larderello collect high temperature steam to the central stations, where it is involved in the process of making huge whirls to spin. The electric company's (Enel) visitors center has a small but interesting archeo-industrial museum (the endogenous resources exploitation started at the end of 1800) and, on request, guided visits.    

The Devil's valley


Agriturismo S.Antonietta agriturismo tre spighe-  Podere S.Ilda, 56045 Pomarance (Pi) Tel./Fax +39 0588.62127 Mobile +39 340 8530158

E-mail: luciano.coppetta@tiscali.it