The Alta Val di Cecina includes Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Pomarance, Monteverdi Marittimo and Volterra. A land of hills, woods and waterways, the Alta Val di Cecina presents the signs of the millennial presence of man, diffused in an extraordinary naturalistic context. Going through the valley gives one surprise after another: from the city of Volterra, the undisputed center of the numerous testimonies of the Etruscan, Roman and medieval civilizations, to the numerous villages, fortresses, castles, medieval churches, to the frequent remains of mining activities, which today are aimed essentially at the extraction of salt and the peculiar exploitation of Geothermal energy, each location offers unique view opportunities in Tuscany. This cultural heritage is an integral part of a complex landscape mosaic, which offers the typical features of the Tuscan countryside, along with clay hills, extensive rocky outcrops, rugged hills and deeply incised valleys, vast forests and highly natural waterways.
Valdicecina Outdoor and the links highlighted in the itineraries below give access to more information on the routes.
Great hiking ring in the Gola del Rio
DIFFICULTY: E (hiking) LENGTH: 11.54 km DIFFERENCE: 657 m
The route allows you to discover the wildest area of the Berignone Forest. It starts from the rest area of the Shed, with the path immersed in the holm oak where it is possible to admire jumps, waterfalls and small potholes of the giants. You go through centuries-old woods to reach suggestive panoramic points towards the Metalliferous Hills. Once you have reached the source of Venella and a spruce fir fir tree, you descend into the spectacular valley of Botro al Rio, a deep gorge carved by water. Finally, go up the ridge, the excursion leads to the important ruins of the Castello dei Vescovi, located on a rocky spur.
Cross of the boulder and Poggio alla Marruca
DIFFICULTY: T (tourist) LENGTH: 0.91 km DIFFERENCE: 50 m
Short but suggestive ring that connects the equipped rest area in the “Croce del Masso” locality with the top of the “Poggio della Marruca“. You always walk on the green rocks, the ophiolites: the path crosses short stretches of pine forest which, rising, leave space for the Mediterranean scrub. The relief is characterized by the presence of a peculiar flora, adapted to the difficult conditions of survival of soils poor in nutrients. If you want to climb to the hilltop (489 m), you can admire the famous “Valle del Diavolo“, theater of suggestions thanks to the hydrothermal phenomena of the boraciferous lagoons.
The northern slopes of Monte Soldano
DIFFICULTY: T (tourist) LENGTH: 4.85 km DIFFERENCE: 153 m
The nature trail develops inside the Berignone Forest Nature Reserve, on the north-western slopes of Mount Soldano. It is an easy route that leads the visitor to discover the numerous testimonies of agricultural and forestry activities. The visit of the farms, rich in history and charm, of small agricultural areas immersed in the woods, the possibility of walking along the ancient mule tracks, surrounded by pines and cypresses, and the observation of the monumental olive trees of the Caprareccia farm, are experiences that bring us closer the visitor to the understanding of a forest landscape “built” by the centuries-old presence of man.
The ring of the Montenero Nature Reserve
DIFFICULTY: E (hiking) LENGTH: 7.54 km DIFFERENCE: 559 m
The nature trail is dedicated to the discovery of the rugged prominence of the Montenero Reserve and the small and narrow valley of the Strolla stream, whose geological nature, dominated by the outcrop of the dark basalt rocks, has influenced the relief forms and the overall ecology of the ‘area. It is possible to cross fresh broad-leaved woods, shady holm oaks, dense and intricate spots, garrigues and dry meadows. After passing through the fresh woods of the Montenero, some panoramic points allow observation of the entire valley and, with a little luck, the flight of some birds of prey. Midway through the crossing of the Strolla stream is a particularly beautiful spot, with a waterfall of over 30 meters. Further upstream, numerous “Cascatelle” and vast puddles of water alternate in a narrow gorge carved by the stream. The second half of the route allows you to retrace some ancient paths and discover important historical evidences such as the legendary Fontedel Latte, the remains of the medieval Castello della Nera, but above all the characteristic Pieve della Nera, built around the year one thousand.
Open Golazze and the Rivivo Valley
DIFFICULTY: E (hiking) LENGTH: 11.12 km DIFFERENCE: 717 m
The route winds from the small lake of Caselli, a vital wetland for wildlife, reaching in the central part some of the wildest places of the Berignone Reserve, with more evocative panoramic views of the inner territory and towards the coast.
Ring of Corno al Bufalo
DIFFICULTY: E (hiking) LENGTH: 7.13 km DIFFERENCE: 631 m
The nature trail allows you to explore one of the most remote areas of the Nature Reserve with a path that develops around the characteristic Corno al Bufalo relief, coming to touch the upper reaches of the Trossa stream. The area has a high naturalistic interest, linked above all to the particular geomorphological landscape and to the peculiar vegetational and floristic emergencies of the ophiolitic rocks. Walking along the nature trail allows you to discover very different types of vegetation: from the parched garges of the south-western side of the Corno al Bufalo to the shady oak forests and the cool deciduous oak forests of its north-eastern slope, in an absolutely wild context despite the past presence of man.
For more information contact the Tourist Consortium of Volterra at 0588 86099, or via email: email@example.com
Volterra Tourist Consortium
Valdicecina Outdoor give access to more information about the routes and download the gps maps to travel them in total safety.