Panoramica sulla Riserva di Berignone scendendo da Mazzolla
Le fumarole di Sasso Pisano, tipiche manifestazioni naturali geotermiche
Il borgo di Montecatini e sullo sfondo Volterra
I resti del ponte dell'ottocentesca ferrovia lignitifera sul torrente Ritasso
|Sei in: La Valdicecina
|Il Territorio dell'Alta Val di Cecina
|THE UPPER CECINA VALLEY
The Upper Cecina Valley is made up of the districts of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Pomarance and Volterra. The area is bordered to the west by the Cornia Val¬ley and the lower Cecina Valley, to the north by the Era Va lley, to the east by the Upper Elsa Valley and to the south by the Colline Metallifere.
The area is rich in history and boasts a unique artistic and archaeological heritage. Together with the landscape, this area of Tuscany has inspired many writers, poets and painters such as Rosa, Stendhal, Lawrence, Dennis, Corot, DAnnunzio and Cassola.
Volterra has most of the works of art from the Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance periods. The city is the cultural centre of the beautiful Upper Cecina Valley,dom1nating an area of varied landscapes. The forests of Berignone-Tatti and Monterufoli are some of the wooded areas which form the landscape, often character¬ised by Mediterranean shrub land, the dramatic landslides of the Balze and rolling hills.
Montecatini Val di Cecina is on the eastern slopes of Poggio La Croce. The ancient Monteleone is dominated by a tower at the foot of which a typical medieval town is situated. The main religious and political buildings can be identified in the Palazzo Pretorio with its elegant porch and in the 14th cen¬tury church of S. Biagio. Montegem¬oli is characterised by the emerging structure of the castle with its round tower and its renaissance forms. The fascinating Mining Museum, recently opened to the public.
Pomarance conserves important vestiges of its ancient past like the Porta Orciolina and the Porta di Ca¬sale of the14th century town walls, the church of S. Giovanni containing paintings by Roncalli, Cergignani and Ademollo and the palaces of Pucci, Bicocchi, Bardini, De Larderel and Pretorio.
Montecastelli is characterised by a massive Medieval tower with a square base and the Romanesque church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo (13th century). The church has three naves with many carved capitals with figura¬tive details. Near the cemetery is the Buca delle Fate, an Etruscan tomb from the 6th century B.C.
S. Dalmazio is interesting far the remains of the Medieval walls which with two gateways define the circular form of the village. The Romanesque church houses a terracotta taber¬nacle by the workshop of Luca della Robbia.
Nearby are the dramatic ruins of the castle of Rocca Sillana.
Montecerboli also has the circular form of an ancient castle with a Medieval village. Castelnuovo Val di Cecina is surrounded by extensive woodlands. The town preserves its original medieval urban form built around a rocky outcrop.
Sasso Pisano is built around its an¬cient centre dominated by the castle on the highest level of the village.
Serrazzano is interesting far its urban centre with its Medieval walls and two gateways. Noteworthy are the Gothic vaults inside the church of S. Donato and the pretty Romanesque church of S. Antonio.
Sassa is characterised by a tower and the church. of S. Martino. The village offers magnificent views inland to¬wards Volterra and Querceto.
The village of Querceto is built around a residential castle, situated on a rocky outcrop. Inside the village the beautiful chapel of S. Giovanni is worth a visit. The village is set amongst beautiful woodlands of pine and oak. The art of working alabaster forms one of the principal economic activities of the Cecina Valley.
Salt is also extracted at Saline di Volterra. The heat from natural hot water springs is used to produce elec¬trical energy in the power plants of Larderello, a typical industrial village with a church designed by Michelucci and the interesting museum of the geothermic industry.
Ponteginori, built in 1919 by the So¬cietą Solvay, is a unique example in the Cecina Valley of a model Northern European style mining village.
Libbiano, Micciano, Lustignano and La Leccia are built at the top of hills suggesting their ancient defensive origins.
Amidst the dense woodland territory of Monteverdi Marittimo, close to the Tyrrhenian coast, lies the natural reserve of Caselli, the charming, well-preserved Medieval village of Canneto land the ruins of the Abbey of San Pi¬etro in Palazzuolo, once the monastery founded in 754 by Walfredo.
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