The hot springs which inspired Dante's Inferno
A beautiful hamlet overlooking a 'hellish' valley with outdoor itineraries for the whole family amidst vapours, geothermal pools and thermal waters in an unusual Tuscany.
Castelnuovo Val di Cecina
The village of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, with its silent medieval aspect, perches on the hillock on which it stands and observes the surrounding landscape: It is from here that visitors can admire the mountainous reliefs of the Colline Metallifere ("Metalliferous Hills"), coloured in a thousand shades of green, yellow and orange, and it is always from here that the rugged and mysterious valley from which sulphurous vapours rise can be dominated.
The hamlet invites visitors, both young and adults, to wander through the alleys and 'get lost' in the characteristic corners, in search of all the glimpses that open up unexpected and breath-taking views, improvising a family competition to find the most beautiful spot.
However, the real adventure begins in the hamlet of Sasso Pisano, which opens the door to the exploration of unique and fascinating places! The rocky medieval walls, with the castle standing right in front of you, are the starting point for exploring the surroundings, beginning with the ancient wash house with its hot water supply.
The entire area is characterised by intense geothermal activity, and numerous 'pools' and springs of sulphurous water are hidden in the landscape. A visit to the Biolago near Sasso Pisano is not to be missed on the itinerary! It is a small lake fed by the thermal springs in the surrounding area, as well as by the waters of some cold springs: this coexistence of water has created a bathing area naturally divided into a caldarium and a tepidarium, the perfect place to stop for a few hours of relaxation and wellness for the whole family, perhaps around lunchtime.
The value of thermal waters is also testified by the Terme del Bagnone, a unique ancient thermal complex dating back to Etruscan times, a perfect destination for a (metaphorical) dive into the past.
Less than a kilometre from Sasso Pisano and the Biolago, with a nearby parking area, there is the area of fumarole, putizze (sulphuric gases) and lagoni (geothermic water heating system). Castelnuovo Val di Cecina and its hamlets, in fact, fall within the suggestively named Valle del Diavolo (Devil's Valley), an area whose geothermal activity provided the basis for industrial development in the renewable energy sector, mainly in Pomarance and Larderello, where the Larderello Geothermal Museum is also located. The intense thermal activity of the subsoil forms a unique landscape, apparently harsh and hard, made up of rock and earth, where geysers and boraciferous geysers are the main features.
The entire Devil's Valley area is so evocative that it probably inspired Dante Alighieri in the description of his Inferno!
A hiking itinerary to discover this area is an unusual and exciting outdoor activity, thrilling even for children: so, let's discover fumaroles and sulphuric gases! While the former are jets of steam rising from the dry ground (i.e. the better-known geysers or fumarole), the latter are steam outflows characterised by the strong smell of sulphur; finally, the lagoni are natural depressions in which hot water collects.
As in any adventure, be careful: the temperature of the water and steam can be very high.
Discover Val di Cecina also includes its flavours, such as the typical wine of Castelnuovo, the Montecastelli IGT, or festivals that enliven the villages, such as the Festa dell'Olio 'Sasserino' and Castagnalandia, the chestnut festival that offers tastings, typical dishes and shows for children.
Finally, how about also visiting the Val d'Elsa? The mediaeval Monteriggioni and San Gimignano, as well as Colle Val d'Elsa and Poggibonsi with its modern and contemporary art, will satisfy the tastes of the whole family!
Thermal Bath in Bagnone
Ogni esperienza è unica e speciale! Progetta le tue giornate ideali e pianifica le attività che preferisci. Scegli la Valdelsa Valdicecina, come ti piace!