Towers, mines and tunnels under the sky of Val di Cecina

In Montecatini Val di Cecina, it takes little time to pass through different eras: from medieval villages to 19th-century mines, this corner of Tuscany offers activities for the whole family!

Montecatini Val di Cecina

Montecatini VC - Panorama 2-1920x959

In the Tuscan countryside there are small sites that, far from the most visited sites, preserve their original atmosphere, promising to entertain and enthral the whole family. Among these, Montecatini Val di Cecina is the right destination to experience the heart of the Middle Ages and the bowels of the earth with the children.

The mediaeval village is developed on a hill and dominated by the massive defensive fortification that is Torre dei Belforti. An ancient sighting structure, the tower immediately catches the eye: it is the ideal point of reference for moving quietly around the narrow streets and hidden corners, exploring every corner of the centre with the certainty that Torre dei Belforti will not let you get lost.

Today, this defensive bastion is a private accommodation facility. For those who want to experience at least one night as princes and queens, the tower offers a stunning view of the surrounding area, where the gaze can sweep as far as the town of Volterra or, on the opposite side, towards the fascinating Rocca Sillana.

One of the most incredible activities to do with your family is visiting the copper mine. At Camporciano, just two kilometres from the village of Montecatini Val di Cecina, are the mineral deposits that contributed to the prosperity of the area: they were already known and exploited by the Etruscans to forge tools or jewellery and ornamental objects, but it was with industrial development that the copper deposits revealed their full potential. In the 19th century this mining complex was the largest in Europe!


Thanks to the Mining Museum, it is possible to learn not only about the stages and techniques of copper processing, but also about what the miners’ lives, the daily sensation of descending below the surface of the Earth. The most exciting part of the visit is, in fact, the descent into the original galleries! Equipped with a helmet and in single file, you 'descend' into the darkness of the mine, on foot, and feel a little small thinking that there are 35 km of tunnels down there! The visit, of course, does not go through them all, but it is nevertheless a unique and unforgettable experience. The tower of Pozzo Alfredo, with its original hoist, brings the imagination back to the surface and into the sunlight, letting the life of the miners remain a memory, but a little closer.

The underground surprises are not over: the Val di Cecina is a particular area of Tuscany, characterised by intense industrial activity linked to the world of minerals and renewable energy. In Volterra, and in particular in the hamlet called Saline di Volterra, it is possible to visit the plant where the purest salt in Italy is produced, while between Pomarance and Castelnuovo Val di Cecina lies the Valle del Diavolo (Devil's Valley), a suggestive area where geothermal activity has created a mysterious 'infernal' landscape (it seems that this place inspired none other than Dante Alighieri in imagining the moors and circles of Hell in the Divine Comedy).

For those who instead, after the mine, seek contact with a luxuriant nature and other little gems to explore, the destination not to be missed is the village of Querceto: the ancient ivy-covered castle is a fairy-tale and colourful setting, ideal for a selfie with the whole family!


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Mining Museum

Cosa fare

Ogni esperienza è unica e speciale! Progetta le tue giornate ideali e pianifica le attività che preferisci. Scegli la Valdelsa Valdicecina, come ti piace!

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