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Wednesday 24 July 2024
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Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round

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A volcano that has been inactive for thousands of years, Monte Amiata is 1738 metres high and extends into the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, comprising the towns of Abbadia San Salvatore, Piancastagnaio, Castiglion d’Orcia and Radicofani.

A vast iron cross 22 metres tall, completed by a craftsman from Siena named Zalaffi in 1910, marks the peak of Monte Amiata, which commands spectacular views out to the Maremma, the Argentario peninsula, the Uccellina natural reserve and as far as the islands of Elba and Giglio.

Inland the panorama covers a varied countryside that runs from the green hills of the Chianti to the grey of the Crete Senesi.

First settled by the Etruscans and later by the Romans, the Monte Amiata is crossed by the Via Francigena and during the Middle Ages was an important crossroads between the Republic of Siena and the Papal States.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Tuscany, Monte Amiata boasts a broad variety of natural habitats, from forests of chestnut and beech to water springs and even mineral quarries.

The towns that surround the mountain have a great deal to offer in terms of sightseeing, with remarkable churches, castles and monasteries.

A number of nature reserves have been instituted on Monte Amiata, such as the Parco Faunistico dell’Amiata, which is within the Riserva Naturale del Monte Labbro – not far from Arcidosso – and contains abundant fauna ranging from deer to wolves and a unique breed of wild donkey known as Amiatina.

The well organised tourist reception structures of Monte Amiata make this a popular destination all year round and a perfect base from which to explore the marvels of Tuscany and nearby Umbria and Lazio. From a naturalistic point of view, this region offers ever changing scenery and colours, from snow in the winter to fresh temperatures in the summer.

In winter the peak of Monte Amiata functions as one of the best equipped ski resorts in Tuscany and the whole of central Italy. Prato delle Macinaie at 1385 above sea level, Prato della Contessa at 1410 above sea level, the Rifugio Cantore at 1428 above sea level and Pian della Marsiliana all extend up towards the highest point of the mountain. There are 15 resorts for a total of about 15 kilometres worth of skiing – with two funiculars and 10 ski-lifts – and different level tracks.

In spring and summer, between 1000 and 1300 metres above sea level, Monte Amiata is ideal for trekking and mountain biking and the tourist itineraries are provided with a number of picnic areas.

Among the most interesting excursions on the Monte Amiata are the Sentieri della Castagna – six itineraries for walkers and one for drivers. During the chestnut gathering season in autumn, from September 15th to November 15th, tourists are only allowed here accompanied by a guide. Some chestnut trees in this area are over 500 years old. Those who are fond of fine cooking will be able to enjoy the abundance of chestnuts in a variety of local dishes.

Those who are more interested in tougher excursions either on horseback, trekking or by mountain bike, should not miss the Anello della Montagna itinerary that runs for 28 kilometres around the circumference of the old volcano.



  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto