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Description

The gateway to the vastest geothermal area of continental Europe, still known today as Valle del Diavolo (the valley of the devil), the town of Pomarance is the ideal location to plan a visit to the Geothermal Museum of Larderello and to admire the natural geothermal phenomena of the area, a unique itinerary that from the Etruscan civilization and the Middle Ages, takes us all the way to the contemporary challenge of alternative energy.
The earliest record of Pomarance dates to 1128. The town was originally one of the most important castles of the territory, as testified by the remains of the old city walls and gates. The area of Pomarance is home to several notable medieval towns, parish churches, castles and remains of old thermal baths and mines.
The hilltop towns Libbiano, Micciano, Montegemoli, Montecerboli, Serrazzano, Lustignano, San Dalmazio, and the ruins of the Norman-Romanesque parish church of Sillano overlook sweeping landscapes of unique beauty. Most exceptional is the grand Rocca Sillana fortress (eleventh – sixteenth century), one of the best examples of military architecture of the area: recently restored it is now open to the public.
The town of Pomarance itself offers interesting sites, such as the twelfth century parish church, Piazza della Pretura and the notable nineteenth-century palazzi of Via Roncalli, such as the Palazzo Bicocchi Historic House Museum (a nineteenth century upper-middle class home), Palazzo Ricci with its permanent Warriors and Craftsmen exhibition, and the two elegant De Larderel and Dei Coraggiosi theatres.
Extensive woods, watercourses, and remains of mining infrastructures are the key features of the Regional Nature Reserves. At Masso delle Fanciulle, a uniquely beautiful stretch of the river Cecina is the perfect location for a swim.

Information
Consorzio turistico Volterra Valdicecina Valdera
Viale della Costituzione
56045 Pomarance
t. + 39 0588 62089
www.volterratur.it

Geographical area
Val di Cecina

Population
over 7.000

Distance from Pisa
82 km

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Culture

Palazzo Bicocchi Historic House Museum
Property of the Municipality of Pomarance since 1980, this house lets visitors into a nineteenth century upper-middle class household. The Bicocchi family held prominent roles in the town administration, were landowners, and were also involved in the early industrial productions. The house’s grand sophisticated furnishings and the room disposition allow a historical and social study of an upper-middle class family living in a rural community.

Warriors and Craftsmen Permanent Exhibition
Six rooms in Palazzo Ricci display the permanent exhibition dedicated to Warriors and Craftsmen, with ancient and Renaissance artifacts: Among the oldest items are the Palaeolithic Ciottolo di Lustignano with the incision of a bison and the sixth century BCE Etruscan stele of Pomarance

ENEL Geothermal Museum, Larderello
Located on the ground floor of Palazzo De Larderel, the Geothermal Museum of Larderello was established in the late 1950s. The museum display describes the history and the techniques used to obtain geothermic power from the soffioni boraciferi fumaroles, and to what extent the underground resources of the area have influenced and favoured the industrial development of these lands.

Palazzo Pretorio
Opposite Palazzo Vicariale, in the same piazza, is Palazzo Pretorio with its three frescoes by Vincenzo Tamagni. Under its loggia is a 1525 sandstone portal.

Palazzo Vicariale
This austere building with sandstone and majolica emblems on the façade was the residence of the Podestà until the thirteenth century.

Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Sillano (San Dalmazio)
One of the oldest parish churches of the dioceses of Volterra, already mentioned in documents dating to 945 CE. Although only the façade and a section of the right hand part remain, this church is a very rare example of Norman-Romanesque style and originally featured three naves.

Rocca Sillana
Because of its massive structure and of its strategically elevated position (530 m) the twelfth-century Rocca Sillana fortress can be seen from a distance. Legend has it that the name of this castle derives from Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the Roman general who besieged Volterra in 80 BCE. However, it is far more likely that the word sillana is simply a transformation of the Latin word silvanus meaning “woody”. It is a fact that in the Middle Ages this area was covered in thick woods. In spring and summer, Rocca Sillana welcomes guided tours and a medieval festival in late July.

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Food and wine

Pomarancina Lamb (Pomarancina Lamb Consortium)
Pomarancina sheep is a breed that well adapts to the harsh hills of the area. Although it is mainly known for its meat, it also produces excellent milk and Merino wool.

Guardian Farmers of Tuscany’s Renewable Energy Food Community
Many producers and farmers of the area have joined this first international food community based on green and renewable energy focusing on sustainable production and agricultural produce.

Ricciarello of Pomarance
This classic almond paste sweet of Pomarance, the oval sweet and soft ricciarello, is a must at every celebration.

Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a longstanding tradition of this area that over the last decades has been re-interpreted by modern olive mills. Every farm has its olive grove, many of which are organically cultivated.

Podere Santa Bianca Essential Oils
Fragrant food essential oils are produced in this old mid-nineteenth century farmhouse that fifteen years ago underwent a complete restoration that brought it back to life. All-organic cultivations and slow processing carried out with passion and experience allow the extraction of mixtures made up of hundreds of different molecules, from plants such as balm mint, jasmine and rose. The “yield” depends on the season, the flowering, and the lunar calendar and it is therefore essential to have an excellent knowhow and carefully choose the best moment for extraction, as do Claudio and Benedetta, owners of the farm.

Bread of Montegemoli
Montegemoli, a small medieval town of Val di Cecina has been baking top quality homemade bread since 1986. The flour comes from the Antico Molino Artigianale Messerini, an old mill established in 1890 in Fabbrica di Peccioli

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Activities for visitors

Small Towns and Fumaroles
Quiet roads, medieval atmospheres and geothermal phenomena are the cornerstones of this itinerary starting from Monterotondo Marittimo.

Small Towns and Woods
Explore the green lungs of the Monterufoli-Caselli Natural Reserve with stops in Libbiano and Micciano on your way there.

Geothermic Gran Tour
A 140 km tour across the entire geothermic area, discovering a less known part of Tuscany: vast spaces, medieval towns, natural reserves, fumaroles, geysers, thermal springs and panoramic hilltop views.

Rocca Sillana and Valle del Pavone (Peacock Valley)
An itinerary bringing together the area’s important naturalistic and historical features, exploring a landscape proof of the past and present interaction between man and nature.

Montegemoli and Val di Cecina
A 21 km itinerary starting from Pomarance to the town of Montegemoli famous for its local bread.

Berignone Natural Reserve
A natural reserve crossed by many pathways mostly exploring green areas rich in flora and fauna.

San Michele alle Formiche
This itinerary starts in Montecerboli, from the Croce al Masso, a cross connected to the ancient legend of the “Fire Chariot”, continues along the Strada dei Gabbri road, and then reaches the old San Michele route and the gallery of an old copper mine.

Towards Torraccia or Castello dei Vescovi
A walking itinerary inside the Berignone Natural Reserve.

Towards San Dalmazio
Discover the Pavone and Possera Valleys and the Larderello area.

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Camper area