Maremma

All beaches around Punta Ala and not only, wonderful parks, historical villages and local parties and events, tips to visit and live the Maremma.

Biancane – Geological Natural Park

Tuscany apart from being rich in beaches and hills also hides a huge quantity of active geological features where the volcanic activity of the distant past is still visible with…

Tuscany apart from being rich in beaches and hills also hides a huge quantity of active geological features where the volcanic activity of the distant past is still visible with traces on the surface, none more clearer than in Monterotondo Marittimo.

The view from Montetondo back to Punta Ala.

The view from Montetondo back to Punta Ala.

Where It is

About one hour from Punta Ala the hills of Monterotondo are visible to the whole area, characterised in the middle of the wilderness by some cooling towers, where 20 percent of the Energy used in Tuscany is generated.

Map

The Area

Monterotondo is built on the rocky hills referred to as the “Colline Metallifere,” this is a reference to the high quality of minerals that are contained within the rocks and that have been mined for thousands of years.

The Biancane is an interesting formation as on the surface it is possible to see water and steam bubbling to the surface the and the resultant formations that form in those conditions.

Water bubbles from the ground with the steam.

Water bubbles from the ground with the steam.

Steam pipes take the water to the power plant.

Steam pipes take the water to the power plant.

The natural Laguna, with tsteam rising from it.

The natural Laguna, with tsteam rising from it.

Steam rises from teh rocks and sulphur is deposited on the surface.

Steam rises from teh rocks and sulphur is deposited on the surface.

Steam vents are found across the area.

Steam vents are found across the area.

The path and steam vents are clearly visible with the cooling tower in the back ground.

The path and steam vents are clearly visible with the cooling tower in the back ground.

Steam rises from the ground with Monterotondo very close, the locals live with the natural resorces.

Steam rises from the ground with Monterotondo very close, the locals live with the natural resorces.

A  Geological Walk

The main part of “Le Biancane,” involves walking around the features ont eh side of the hill. With 2 hours at a very easy going pace it is possible to explore the well sign posted routes and take in the really quite special location.

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The area includes springs of hot water, boil mud pits and steam rising from the rock formations.

The road up to the Biancane.

The road up to the Biancane.

Hot water is channeled down the hill.

Hot water is channeled down the hill.

The path up the hill takes people through the field of volcanic features.

The path up the hill takes people through the field of volcanic features.

The minerals are clearly visible on the surface of the rocks.

The minerals are clearly visible on the surface of the rocks.

The path takes tourists around the hill to better viewing areas.

The path takes tourists around the hill to better viewing areas.

A view next to the surgente.

A view next to the surgente.

The Biancane area with the hills in the back gorund across to Montioni.

The Biancane area with the hills in the back gorund across to Montioni.

The visible mineral deposits and view across to the bay of Follonica with the power station also visible.

The visible mineral deposits and view across to the bay of Follonica with the power station also visible.

Looking down across the Biancane with multiple steam vents rising.

Looking down across the Biancane with multiple steam vents rising.

The Town

“Le Biancane,” is located on the out skirts of the town of Monterotondo. There are many industrial style buildings around that all are dedicated to the natural features where hot water and steam mix.

The parking and associated power station building.

The parking and associated power station building.

The power station is close to the town.

The power station is close to the town, its hard to not know here where energy comes from and the importance in the life cycle of the town.

Conclusion

Fundamentally Tuscany is not just beach and sea it is also rock and mountains, which contain by that of their volcanic creation a significant amount of other features that when explored are a great part of any time in the Maremma.

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Horse ride to the beach

Take a ride to the beach, but take man’s oldest form of personal transport. The Maremma has a long history with the horse, used for hundreds of years by “butteri”…

Take a ride to the beach, but take man’s oldest form of personal transport. The Maremma has a long history with the horse, used for hundreds of years by “butteri” to herd livestock through the swamps and fields and woods. We took a ride with Cavallo Avventura to discover the beaches and woods around Punta Ala by a horse.

Video – Ride Experience

Photo Story

The sunrise tour in the morning.

The sunrise tour in the morning.

The beach is our destination, quiet in spring time.

The beach is our destination, quiet in spring time.

A quick dip with the horses.

A quick dip with the horses.

Davide is a professional rider that makes

Davide is a professional rider that makes

The horses are docile and easy going.

The horses are docile and easy going.

The dream of riding on the beach.

The dream of riding on the beach.

Which ever way you think the sea a horse a beach, a magic morning light.

Whichever way you think the sea a horse a beach, a magic morning light.

It's not a circus.

It’s not a circus.

The view from about the trails back to Punta Ala.

The view from about the trails back to Punta Ala.

Location

Operating all year, contact them for more information.

 

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Mines Of Gavorrano

The Maremma although now a beautiful location for nature and beaches, was once a very important area for mineral extraction and related activities. Going back to pre-Roman times, minerals have been…

The Maremma although now a beautiful location for nature and beaches, was once a very important area for mineral extraction and related activities. Going back to pre-Roman times, minerals have been a fundamental part of the area. The current mine shafts are not all accessible but extend up to 300 meters beneath the surface, an impressive feat of engineering that we explored for the afternoon. To try and understand how important it we visited the Museum of mining in Gavorrano which is an ideal family activity to do in the area. The visitor center contained lots of things interesting for all age groups.

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Inside the Visitor Center

Inside the visitor center the guides will take you on a brief tour of what can be seen in the area before entering the museum complex.

Fabrizio - head of the geological tourism elements of the park explains the various interconnections and history of mineral extraction in the area.

Fabrizio – head of the geological tourism elements of the park explains the various interconnections and history of mineral extraction in the area.

The visitors centre contains a range of displays that show some key elements of the mining activities that took place in Gavorano.

The visitors center contains a range of displays that show some key elements of the mining activities that took place in Gavorrano.

Museum

Outside the museum and mine entrance Visitors will find a range of things on display that were actually used when the mine was active.

In modern times compressed air driven machinary was used in the mineral extraction process.

In modern times compressed air driven machinery was used in the mineral extraction process.

The entrance to the mine is within the museum and lies under the cone display area.

The entrance to the mine is within the museum and lies under the cone display area.

A plaque commemerating miners who lost their lives around the time of the Nazi occupation of Italy.

A plaque commemorating miners who lost their lives around the time of the Nazi occupation of Italy.

Outside the museum there are a selection of machines used in the mining process. This machine was for creating stabilising cement.

Outside the museum there is a selection of machines used in the mining process. This machine was for creating stabilising cement.

Inside The Museum

Inside the
museum, the curators have gathered together a range of minerals and other objects that help explain the significance of the mining activities and why Gavorrano was so important. This includes displays of minerals and materials which people can get a hands-on with and learn about the rocks of the Maremma.

The museum contains a mineral collection that is on display and are examples of the minerals found undergraound in the area.

The museum contains a mineral collection that is on display and are examples of the minerals found underground in the area.

A large piece of Pyryte is on display.

A large piece of Pyryte is on display.

Pyryte has a gold lustre to it, and was used significantly for sulphuric acid production before oil superseeded it. Notice the cyrstalisation on the mineral.

Pyrite has a gold luster to it, and was used significantly for sulphuric acid production before oil superseded it. Notice the crystallization on the mineral.

The entrance to the mine contains plans showing the layout of the mine complex.

The entrance to the mine contains plans showing the layout of the mine complex

The overhead view of the mine complex shows how long the tunnels are and how they connect between the villages.

The overhead view of the mine complex shows how long the tunnels are and how they connect the villages

The display area before entering a mine.

The display area before entering a mine.

 

Entering The Mine

Following the instructions of the staff, we entered the mine which has been prepared to give visitors an immersive experience about what they might find underground in a real working mine.

The mine entrance.

The mine entrance.

Inside the mine visitors will find examples of how the miners worked.

Inside the mine visitors will find examples of how the miners worked.

Mineral masses can be seen in the mine within the wall areas.

Mineral masses can be seen in the mine within the wall areas.

Mine rail tracks and a spilt in the tunnels.

Mine rail tracks and a spilt in the tunnels.

This part of the mine has examples of the different methods used for proping up the walls of the mine.

This part of the mine has examples of the different methods used for propping up the walls of the mine.

A sign of the air drills that were used to dig the rock away.

A sign of the air drills that were used to dig the rock away.

A mock up of how dynamite was used to blast rock.

A mock-up of how dynamite was used to blast rock

Mine props made of wood.

Mine props made of wood.

The mines had to be ventelated. Here is a vent shaft.

The mines had to be ventilated. Here is a vent shaft.

A working air compressor drill is set up that is switched on for visitors to understand how it worked.

A working air compressor drill is set up that is switched on for visitors to understand how it worked.

Outside

Once the tour inside the mine is complete visitors are able to visit the amphitheater and also the village is close which gives an important context to the area.

The exit to the mine.

The exit to the mine.

The mine is located very close to the village and was the reason the village existed.

The mine is located very close to the village and was the reason the village existed.

Mining tools outside the mine.

Mining tools outside the mine.

The Pit Head Of Ravi  Marchi 

A few km down the road in the village of Ravi are the remains and pit-head towers with lift gear, which are also open to visitors on specific tours.  We looked around the workings and got a look close up at how the above-ground part of a mine functions.

Map

 

Ravi contains pit head gear and was the entrance to another part of the mine complex.

Ravi contains pithead gear and was the entrance to another part of the mine complex.

Ravi Marchi Mine pit head.

Ravi Marchi Mine pit head.

Further information 

Prices and opening times vary through the year, check for the latest
information.

Visit – Only Guided Tours.

Museum and tunnels Plus Ravi Marchi

Adults € 8,00

Reduced € 4,00 (famiglie e gruppi – under 12 – over 65 – scuole)

If you want to know more and find out in more
detail about the group visits that are possible and other information, then visit the website from the visitor center.

http://www.parcominerario.it/

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Punta Ala Glamping

When thinking about camping, if you are not a seasoned camper the word, “glamping” might be a bit alien to you. Punta Ala and its club camping is beyond the…

When thinking about camping, if you are not a seasoned camper the word, “glamping” might be a bit alien to you. Punta Ala and its club camping is beyond the normal idea of camping, we took a look around Camping Punta Ala Camp and resort to understand the term, “Glamping…”

Accommodation

The basis of Glamping at Punta Ala Camp and Resort is accommodation that puts you in touch with nature, wooden Chalet style accommodation units, interspersed in the trees next to luxury cool caravans called, “Silver Field”. Close to the beach and close to the best services that the resort has to offer.

The club accommodation is wooden, blends into the trees and is fully climate controlled. Nature is taking care of the climate outside.

The club accommodation is wooden, blends into the trees and is fully climate controlled. Nature is taking care of the climate outside.

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The silver field caravans are located nearby, based on the Airstream Icon from the USA, it’s something on another level compared to what one might expect.

Take a peek inside Silver Field and the finish is about cool style.

Take a peek inside Silver Field and the finish is about cool style.

Caravans now include the possibility of sleeping, four people.

Caravans now include the possibility of sleeping, four people.

The ambiance is fundamental, where nature starts and the accommodation begins is a blurry line.

The ambiance is fundamental, where nature starts and the accommodation begins is a blurry line.

Location

You are on the beach, that’s it, nothing more to say…

This is the view as you walk to the nearest beach entry point…

This is the view as you walk to the nearest beach entry point…

The beach…

The beach…

…is endless and idyllic.

…is endless and idyllic.

Something for everyone, sports feature highly on what you can do there.

Something for everyone, sports feature highly on what you can do there.

Services

Glamping in Punta Ala means you are close to the best services, bars, restaurants and daily food delivery services including fresh bread every morning as part of the accommodation package.

Chiosco Spiaggia is on the beach, looking out to sea, it’s the closest bar to the beach for hundreds of kilometers…

Chiosco Spiaggia is on the beach, looking out to sea, it’s the closest bar to the beach for hundreds of kilometers…

The Seafood based beach restaurant is a few meters close by, if you want, sit and enjoy the best service in the area with quality food.

The Seafood based beach restaurant is a few meters close by, if you want, sit and enjoy the best service in the area with quality food.

Its well designed gives you a feeling of elegance but freedom at the same time.

Its well designed gives you a feeling of elegance but freedom at the same time.

The standard late evening view as the sun sets from the bar.

The standard late evening view as the sun sets from the bar.

The Views

The last but not least definition of Glamping in Punta Ala is the location and what you can see with very little effort.

It’s Tuscany, so this is the standard scene if you venture in any direction off-site.

It’s Tuscany, so this is the standard scene if you venture in any direction off-site.

The coastline is full of indescribably beautiful bays backed by maritime pine woods.

The coastline is full of indescribably beautiful bays backed by maritime pine woods.

Some can be reached with a little bit of adventure, you will be one of the few there.

Some can be reached with a little bit of adventure, you will be one of the few there.

Yes, it is that close to the sea, you will hear the movements of the water if you listen.

Yes, it is that close to the sea, you will hear the movements of the water if you listen.

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Discover – I Canaloni Del Torrente Farma

In the middle of the woods above Roccastrada where the Farma river flows is a waterfall feature and natural pools that in the right season are accessible and its possible…

In the middle of the woods above Roccastrada where the Farma river flows is a waterfall feature and natural pools that in the right season are accessible and its possible to swim in.  The Farma river flows through a naturalgorge and has carved through a section of harder rock some incredible waterfalls with plunge pools. We took a walk along the river near Torniella to discover them.

These water falls have created very deep plunge pools

These water falls have created very deep plunge pools

The water is deep and it is possible to swim in the rock pools.

The water is deep and it is possible to swim in the rock pools.

With numerous places to bath, just find a spot and enjoy the total peace and isolation.

With numerous places to bath, just find a spot and enjoy the total peace and isolation.

The Spot

It is not that easy to access these natural features as they are distant from the road and you need to walk about an hour to get there. The path follows the river from a bridge on the local main road. Park there and follow the path along the river.

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The river is low enough in summer to be a good place to access if there is a rainstorm though we recommend waiting until it has passed as the levels of the river can change quickly.

People sunbath on the rocks surrounding the water.

People sunbath on the rocks surrounding the water.

Between each step in the falls are these pock pools with absolutely clear water.

Between each step in the falls are these pock pools with absolutely clear water.

Looking down the river gorge, you might find other determined people.

Looking down the river gorge, you might find other determined people.

How to get there…

Access is limited, it will take a while to walk and you need to be relatively fit. Fits you need to find a spot to park. The local road from Torniella the SP157, gives access to the woods. Pick a spot to park near the bridge just outside Torniella, then walk. White roads disappear into the woods which give the option to get there… it is an adventure.

The roads into the woods could take you there, use our Google map below to work out the best way in.

The roads into the woods could take you there, use our Google map below to work out the best way in.

Walking through the woods there is a network of paths that follow the course of the river.

Walking through the woods there is a network of paths that follow the course of the river.

They are quite defined and it would be hard to get lost.

They are quite defined and it would be hard to get lost.

Here the woods stay close to the river and are close to the waterfalls.

Here the woods stay close to the river and are close to the waterfalls.

Map

There are two main ways, along the river from the bridge over the SP157 or through the woods. Both routes take about an hour at a slow
pace. These are natural features and have no facilities, so please make sure that anything you take with you into the woods you take back home as well.

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