The Val Fucinaia furnaces and the San Silvestro Archaeological-Mineral Park (a splendid open-air museum) tell the fascinating story of how metal was worked from Etruscan times on.
The Caldana Hot Springs at Venturina, already known in Etruscan and Roman times, are today a well equipped spa facility for mental and physical well being - The Costa degli Etruschi Wine Route – home of the prestigious Val di Cornia DOC wines - winds through olive groves, vineyards and Mediterranean scrub, where farms and producers of the excellent local extra-virgin olive oil and other delicious specialities can be found.
History and folklore come alive during the fests and events held every year to celebrate feast days and the changing seasons.
This hill town, formerly a medieval castle, is full of history and tradition. The streets, the paved alleys and the buildings are harmoniously arranged in concentric semi-circles, and city walls enclose the old town.
The area is rich in metals which have been worked since ancient times - the furnaces discovered in the Val Fucinaia go back to the 7th or 8th century B.C. Artisans workshops, museums and eating places face onto the squares.
Palazzo Pretorio, the ancient seat of political and military power, houses a historical archive and a museum of interesting archaeological finds. The Palazzo also makes an evocative setting for the public Wine Centre – a shop window for the exceptional wines of the Costa degli Etruschi and a centre for the promotion of the Val di Cornia’s wine growing and producing industry.
The churches are of particular interest, among them the Church of San Giovanni – a splendid example of Tuscan-Romanesque style – and the Church of San Lorenzo, built inside the city walls and dating back to the 12th century. Theatrical productions are held in the elegant 19th century Teatro dei Concordi.
San Silvestro Archaelogical Park
The San Silvestro Archaeological-Mineral Park is a fascinating open-air museum covering over 45 sq.km. in the Campiglia Marittima hills.
Various guided trails lead to important archaeological sites and interesting monuments and tell the story of how metals have been worked and minerals and marble extracted in this area since as long ago as the 7th century B.C.
Etruscan remains, mines, wells, galleries, quarries and villas can all be visited on this fascinating journey through time. Situated within the park is the splendid Rocca di San Silvestro, a fortified village founded in the 10th century, which provides an enchanting glimpse of medieval life.
The Park’s Mineral Museum, Archaeological Museum and Mining Museum, a welcoming service centre and a little train running directly from the Park entrance to the Rocca help make visits even more interesting and enjoyable.
TEXTS AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF "COSTA DEGLI ETRUSCHI" TOURIST AGENCY