Mount Amiata, which was once an active volcano, sits at 1738 meters high overlooking the Val d’Orcia and the Maremma. It is covered with rich and lush vegetation up to its summit. It offers many suggestive views and landscapes to tourists, visitors, and its inhabitants. In winter, Amiata is perfect to ski, as you can find a ski resort with twelve slopes and eight ski lifts. During the summer many tourists- especially nature lovers and people looking to escape the humid towns- gather on the mountain’s slopes to go trekking, hiking, and do other open-air activities.
The summit can be easily reached by car, by motorbike, and by bus from almost all the towns around Amiata. In the large car park, 500 meters from the top, you can leave your vehicle and reach the summit on foot or by chairlift. On the summit stands a 22-meter-high metal cross, commissioned by Pope Leo XIII- a historical and Christian symbol for the people of Amiata. Built in the early 1900s, destroyed in the Second World War, and then rebuilt in '46, the cross’ architecture and its imposing character attract hundreds of tourists every year. The cross is not the only attraction on the summit. Immediately at its foot, you will find one of the most visited observation points on Mount Amiata. From there, the view of the Tuscan land might easily leave you speechless. There, the eye can clearly see the Bolsena lake and the whole Val di Paglia. The Val’Orcia is instead visible from the top of the mountain and from the beginning of the ski slope. We can find an observation point along the road that leads from La Contessa to Vetta meadow. It is referred to as "the observation point of the Inferno Valley," and when the days are clear, you can distinctly see the Tirrenian sea, Mount Argentario, and the islands of Giglio and Elba.
At a distance of about 200 meters and at the same altitude, there is the "Madonna degli Scout," a marble statue erected over the lava rocks, which are still very visible today. Of course, the summit does not lack excellent restaurants and hotels ready to provide you with the typical dishes of the area- "The Rifugio" is a great example and thus must-visit.
Along the road that goes from Castel del Piano towards the summit, you come across two of the most well-known meadows on the mountain. You can also get there from Arcidosso, Piancastagnaio, and Abbadia San Salvatore. The first meadow you meet is the Prato delle Macinaie located in the municipality of Castel del Piano, about 1500 meters above sea level. At the edge of the lawn, you will find the Indiana Adventure Park of Amiata, a series of paths suspended between the trees, where both adults and children can spend a day challenging themselves to even more exciting activities. The meadow is suitable in summer for a picnic day while in winter it is the departure station for the ski lifts. Proceeding towards the summit, you’ll meet the Prato della Contessa, which is slightly smaller in size, but at a slightly higher altitude. This has a grassy surface on which you can rest under the shade of centuries-old beech trees.
Every year thousands of people come to the woods of Amiata to enjoy a beautiful barbecue. There are many areas equipped to make fires with wooden tables and benches to sit on. Avoid lighting up a fire while in the woods. Many roads go from the villages down to the top. From Abbadia San Salvatore, from Piancastagnaio, from Santa Fiora, from Arcidosso, from Castel del Piano and from Seggiano you will find directions to reach the top of the mountain. Enjoy!
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