Routes by car – From Pisa to Massa Marittima, the freedom to drive between the hills

There is a desire to go out in these first days of freedom after the lockdown, at least where you can move around, or inside of the Regions. Here then is the first of a series of suggestions for trips out to do in the car, we are going to propose in the next few days. Why the return to normal also passes by a nice Sunday in the open air. Our routes, to make in a day, will also be an opportunity for you to discover hidden corners and little known of the area in which you live. Let’s start from Tuscany, starting from Pisa, with a warning, having regard to the period: always check before travelling to museums, churches, and places of interest suggested are open.

You exit from the centre of Pisa and the via Emilia, to go in the direction south; continue, then, on the long straights of the state road 206 to Collesalvetti located at the foot of the hills of livorno, face to face immediately after taking the s.p. 35.

Slow progress. The toboggan between Fauglia, Crespina and Lari is fun, but the road is narrow and often occupied by agricultural means. In Lari you visit the Castle of the Vicars, that you conquer after you have passed the 96 steps of the staircase that precedes it. Other curves up to Capannoli, where we take the most racy s.r. 439 (then 439 k), which leads to Volterra. Here the beauties not to be missed are numerous, starting from the Guarnacci Museum, with its fascinating etruscan archaeological finds. Another obligatory stop at the eco-museum of alabaster, set in a beautiful house-tower. And, yet, the Medici Fortress, the Roman Theatre, piazza dei Priori, the romanesque Cathedral with the adjacent baptistery. A comfortable and enjoyable descent brings you to Saline di Volterra, on the bottom of the Val di Cecina, then take the s.r. 439, which ascends the hills up to Pomarance. Not far from the centre, in the village of San Dalmazio, stands the Rocca Sillana. The name originates from the legend that it was Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who founded it in The first century.C., but in reality the building (open to the public) was built in medieval times and was enlarged in the ‘400.

Columns of steam. Village of Pomarance is Larderello, the world capital of geothermal energy, announced from far by the white columns of steam emitted by the geysers. The road continues with its trend troubled at the time of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, near which is the fortified village of Montecastelli with the beautiful romanesque church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo and an etruscan tomb (sixth century.C.).

Massa Marittima to discover. Still turns, still hills to climb. The s.r. 439 it remains true to itself, and in 25, fun, miles to Massa Marittima, a jewel of the Maremma grossetana. San Cerbone Cathedral, romanesque on the lower part and gothic in the upper one, it is only the diamond more shining. But cruising around a bit for the town, you can admire monuments such as the Torre del Candeliere (1228), the Source of Abundance (XIII century), decorated with a fresco, a symbol of fertility, the Palazzo Comunale, built by the union of two houses-towers, which houses the chapel of the Priors, frescoed in the XVI century. To visit at least three museums: the archaeological museum, the one dedicated to mining and is unique in Italy, the Museum of organs ” Santa Cecilia.

To see: the geysers of the Valley of the Devil. Dante was inspired to this corner of the Val di Cecina to write some verses of”Hell”. And not had to make a great effort of imagination, seen that the environment around Montecerboli, a small village near Pomarance, was completely devastated by the boric acid and the ammonia released from the subsoil and diffused into the air to temperatures capable of reaching 160 °C. is still called today the Valley of the Devil; however, starting from the beginning of the NINETEENTH century, these natural phenomena have begun to be studied and exploited economically, reducing more and more harmful emissions, up to clear them completely. In 1913 he entered the function it is here that the first central biotermica of the world, and today, in the Valley of the Devil, the energy generated from the natural heat of the Earth meets more than 25% of the electricity needs in Tuscany. In addition, almost all homes utilize the geothermal heat for heating. And the door to hell has become a virtuous model for the management of renewable energy sources. Of course, a large part of the geysers has been caged and the columns of smoke no longer characterize the landscape as it was before. An interesting journey in this world halfway between magic and technology has as its focus the Museum of geothermal Larderello. The historical and scientific part from afar, or from the thermal baths and etruscan and roman, who used the resources of this territory, and then proceed with the discovery in 1777 of the boric acid in the lagone Cerchiaio of Monterotondo Marittimo, the start of the chemical activity of the conte Francesco de Larderel, and the ignition of the first five light bulbs in 1904, thanks to the intuition of prince Ginori Conti. The spectacular journey to the center of the earth in a room in 3D that takes the visitor on a drop-down virtual in the belly of the planet, where the energy takes form and geothermal energy finds its source. Guided tours in the territory and in a geothermal power plant are provided, on booking, for groups only. For those who move with autonomy, the council is going to Sasso Pisano, where you can see the spectacle of the geysers without human intervention. In addition, a well-marked trail, between Sasso Pisano and Monterotondo Marittimo, you can visit the largest spa centre in etruscan and roman existing in the world, the wash-houses medieval fed with thermal waters and fumaroles almost constant.


Total distance: 138 km

Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes (stops not included)

Check out the other routes in the car

Source: Quattroruote.en – Edited by Anthon K.