The hypogeum is an underground construction of historical and anthropological interest, built by man or from natural cavities. In Terricciola there are more than fifty, a sort of archaeological complex, which wind their way under the town centre.

Terricciola stands on a tufa hill, at the base of which are underground areas (hypogea) excavated in Etruscan times and that preserve important remains of tombs, such as the Belvedere Hypogeum (4th century BC) with the Cippo dei Poggiarelli.

It has a small access chamber with a barrel vault, made of bricks and stones. The complex is based on a symmetrical layout structured on a central corridor with a marked difference in height over which six distinct small cells open, three on each side. The entrance is on the terrace of the village, with a splendid view over the Valdera until Volterra.

Another soon-to-be-opened hypogeum is that of Cassero, under the Church of San Donato Vescovo e Martire. Built around 1370 to defend against military attacks, the hypogeum was also used over time as a wine store or as a shelter against bombing during the Second World War. At the beginning of the 18th century, the site was enriched with an underground “arm” that still allows a connection with Via Roma, the main street of the village.

Both are only open to visits on special occasions. There are plans to restore them to museum status with opening hours and guided tours.

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