Nature reserves, ancient towns and wilderness full of surprises
Woodlands rich with Mediterranean vegetation and unspoilt nature characterise the landscape which can be admired from the main town of Monteverdi Marittimo and the town of Canneto.
The peace and tranquillity of this area was likely to have been one of the reasons why, back in the Longobard period, it was chosen as a site for the Benedictine monastery - San Pietro in Palazzolo - probably built by the founder of the noble family Della Gherardesca.
Within the historic centre of Monteverdi Marittimo there are two churches: the Chiesa di Sant’Andrea (patron saint of the town) built in the 14th century, with its charateristic unplastered stone facade and the Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento (Chapel of the Holy Sacrament) built in 1751 which features an altar dedicated to Saint Wilfred.
The altar is where the Cristo Nero (Black Christ) is kept, a wooden crucifix dating back to the 14th-15th century. It was donated to the Confraternita del Santissimo Crocifisso of Monteverdi by the Paoletti family from Volterra.
This crucifix was displayed and carried during religious processions only every three years, in the first half of September, during the so-called Feste Triennali.
“A happy combination of natural, historical and cultural resources of this territory.”
The territory of Monteverdi Marittimo is crossed by waters and dotted by waterfalls belonging to the Monterufoli-Caselli Nature Reserve: thick forests and evergreen patches, from where rocks emerge, are the main element of the hilly landscape inhabited by animals typically found in Mediterranean forests.
Very much loved by Tuscans and a real mascot of the territory is the “Cavallino di Monterufoli”: the bay horse - a reddish-brown or brown body coloured horse, small but strong - which still lives in this area in a wild state all year round.
The complex geological history has also provided this area with a vast mining and mineralogical wealth including the hot water springs, mentioned above as well as overground and underground mining landscapes, connected to the use of copper, chalcedony, magnesite and lignite.
Villa di Monterufoli, situated in the middle of the Reserve and future environmental education centre of historical and artistic importance, is the epitome of the union between the natural and historical resources of this territory.
Historical dwellings, charming country houses, refined relais or ancient castles, all immersed in the countryside, to share the experience of what it was like to live in another time. Find your favourite accommodation and enjoy each awakening in the beauty of Valdelsa Valdicecina.