Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo




Archipelago Toscano




Badia di Coltibuono

Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa


Bolsena Lake


Brunello di Montalcino




Castel del Piano



Castellina in Chianti


Castelnuovo Bererdenga

Castiglioncello Bandini

Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione d'Orcia

Castiglion Fiorentino



Chinaciano Terme




Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio

Colle Val d'Elsa


Crete Senesi

Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba



Gaiole in Chianti



Greve in Chianti


Lago Trasimeno

La Foce



Massa Marittima

Montagnola Senese


Monte Amiata

Monte Argentario





Monte Oliveto Maggiore








Parco Naturale della Maremma







Radda in Chianti



San Bruzio

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Galgano

San Gimignano

San Giovanni d'Asso

San Quirico d'Orcia


Santa Fiora














Tavernelle Val di Pesa

Torrita di Siena




Val d'Elsa

Val di Merse

Val d'Orcia

Valle d'Ombrone




Walking in Tuscany

album Surroundings


Roccastrada is one of the widest Italian communes (28.000 hectares). Situated on the ridge of an intensively cultivated plateau, Roccastrada maintains the aspect of a medieval town, distinguished by the beautiful 13 Church of Saint Nicola in the old part of the town. The Town Hall, the Municipal Library and the Theatre of the Concordi are located in the 19 C new part of the town.
Roccastrada, chief village of the district, was built around the 10th century, its main church, Chiesa di San Niccolò, was established around 1283. It keeps two frescos dating back to the sixteenth century: one representing the Annunciation, the other a Madonna with Child.


Montemassi is a medieval village, dominated by an imposing fortification, Montemassi Castle. The castle of Montemasi is, without any doubt, the most famous monument in the territory of Roccastrada, for its importance of historical document (it was represented on the famous fresco situated in the public palace of Siena attributed to Simone Martini) and for the high example of Gothic style architecture that it represents. The castle was repeatedly besieged during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and finally conquered in 1328 by the Sienese Republic.
This conquest is celebrated in a very famous and discussed fresco attributed to Simone Martini, in which we can see Guidoriccio da Fogliano, a mercenary soldier, hired by Siena that proudly enters a defeated Montemassi on the back of his horse. We can admire this fresco at the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, inside the "Mappamondo Hall".
The historical center of Montemassi is very picturesque and still maintains today the aspect of a compact medieval hamlet at pine-cone form, there are no more traces of the city walls, at exception of a gate, that once were connected with the castle.

Roccatederighi is one of the most interesting and well preserved medieval village of this area, it is mimetically built on huge trachyte rock spurs called "i massi" overlooking the Maremma. We can still notice the remains of its "Cassero"(1) near the Tower Clock, and parts of the ancient walls. At the very top of the village there is a church, Chiesa di San Martino Vescovo, built around the tenth century. Both the village of Sassofortino, where we can notice several doorways carved in the local stone, and Roccateterighi are situated at the foot of Sassoforte, a 787 metres high mount where the remains of a mighty fortress lie: il Castello di Sassoforte.

Ribolla has been an important mining centre: lignite was excavated until 1954, when an enormous explosion stopped the coal extraction. The today’s village structure is developed on the basis of the existing mining village.







I Canaloni


Sticciano [2]


Sticciano stands on a small hill at the centre of the area of Monte Leoni. It is a natural terrace on the plain with extraordinary views. It is like being on a balcony which overlooks the Maremma, the sea and the islands of Giglio, Elba and Corsica. It can be reached only through a road, which is like a route of slow discovery, of increasing wonder. The old town is a meaningful scarcely inhabited medieval town. The very centre of the village is only accessible on foot, with acute corners and narrow passageways. The romanesque church, Chiesa della Santissima Concezione, also known as the church of Santa Musticola, is worth a visit. The church of Santa Musticola is made up of a single nave ending in a semicircular apse, with an elevated presbytery and a rectangular bell tower on the right, inside the church, and two interesting portals: the main one with an architrave decorated by two romanic crosses and the lateral one with a decoration made up of mouldings on the jambs and palm trees with crossed leaves on the frame of the double archivolt.
From Sticciano it is possible to walk up as far as Monte Leoni (616 meters of altitude), even though the path is no marked. On the top of Monte Leoni, some kilometres far from the village, there is a circular stone hedge indicated as the remains of the walls belonging to a fortification, with features similar to the castle of Moscona."

Torniella and Piloni are small villages surrounded by chestnut wood trees, they both introduce the visitor the river Farma Valley, a protected area of incredible beauty and peculiarities. On the road to Monticiano, one can reach Torniella. The castle of the Ardengheschi, the vassals of the Aldobrandeschi, forms the stronghold of the town.
One of many sign-posted walking paths around Torniella arrives at the waterfalls on the Farma stream known as i Canaloni. After an extended walk you find a little waterfall with rocks and natural pool.

The Benedictine monastery of San Salvatore di Giugnano, dedicated to San Salvatore, which include only the remains of the crypt and the Cistercian building, is situated at Le Casecce.
The surroundings of Giugnano have been populated since the prehistoric time; the place is remembered in documents of 9th century and before the year 1076 it became the seat of a monastery. Of the abbey today are visible a big gothic building and a Romanesque crypt covered by cross vault sustained by four columns with figured capitals. The floridity of the religious centre has been linked also to the control that the monastery had on the water and mining resources, abundantly present in the valley (in particular the medieval mines of silver copper of Poggio Mozzeto). Already in 13th century, perhaps for the impulse given by the Cistercians of St Galgano, the monastery was surrounded by numerous manufactories which, making use of the waters of the torrent Bai, were used as mills and ironworks.

Arte in Toscana | La Cripta di Giugnano


La Cripta di Giugnano
Roccastrada borders Campagnatico, Chiusdino, Civitella Paganico, Gavorrano, Grosseto, Massa Marittima, Monticiano en Montieri.
The frazioni Sticciano, Ribolla, Montemassi, Roccatederighi, Sassofortino, Torniella and Piloni are part of Roccastrada.

Enlarge map
Roccastrada history  

The territory belongs to the area of influence of Roselle since the Etruscan Age and it has remained so in Roman Age and during the Early Middle Ages, always keeping an important agricultural and pastoral vocation.

The territorial unity of the southern Tuscia, kept also by the Lombard, was compromised by the endowment that Charlemagne in the year 787 made in favour of the Pope of the lands of the Bishopric Roselle. Roccastrada begun since that time a meeting point between the territories of the Empire and those under the control of Rome, to the advantage of the Aldobrandeschi Family, who enfeoffed and reunited by means of a slow battlements process the entire Maremma.

In such a way the Aldobrandeschi succeeded in maintaining till 13th century their possessions, consisting in small, fortified towns, among which the castles of Sassoforte, Montemassi, Roccatederighi are certainly the most characteristic, with their fascinating aspect of inexpugnable strongholds… a world expressing the immobility of an area for a long time feudal, outside the economic development that the centre of Tuscany was living.

Siena, between 13th century and the half of 14th century, conquered all the castles of the area, destroying their fortifications because of safety reasons and increasing the marginality of Maremma, which had as well to undergo the effects of famines and pestilences culminating with the Black Death in 1348.

The submission to Florence of a depopulated and abandoned territory is as a consequence the effect of an economic supremacy leading to the political subjection in the first half of 16th century.

The Medicean domination did not substantially improve the situation and only the Lorena, starting from 18th century, thanks to the resumption of the mining activities, the land reclamations and the administrative and institutional reformations, succeeded to remove the main obstacles to the demographical and economic recovery, for centuries stagnating.

Montemassi history

Montemassi Castle

Montemassi castle is without doubt the most important monument of the municipality of Roccastrada if not of the entire Maremma, due to its importance as a historical document (it is depicted in the famous fresco Guidoriccio da Fogliano at the siege of Montemassi in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena attributed to Simone Martini) and as a high example of Gothic architecture.
Montemassi, together with its famous castle, belonged to the territories acquired by the Aldobrandeschi since 1076. Its importance increased during the 13th century thanks to the control of the Way of the Salt (Via del sale) which from the feud could be easily controlled.
It underwent in 1260 a first destruction as a consequence of the conquest by the Ghibellines from Siena, enemy of the Guelfs Aldobrandeschi. The latter, once again victorious, assigned the stronghold in 1274 to Ildebrandino di Sovana. After becoming a possession of the Aldobrandeschi, as a consequence of complex wedding occurrences, the castle underwent in 1328 a new siege by Siena, with the conquest of the town and the castle by Guidoriccio da Fogliano. Siena decided a radical land reorganization by individuating and delimitating a certain number of farms within the castrensian district, which had to be assigned to the families of the farmers, so that Montemassi was going to be a strong point for the government of Siena in Maremma. Surrendered as a Signoria to the Salimbeni, the castle returned once again a possession of Siena in 1375, which, little time later, pulled down the stronghold. In 1632, under the rule of Lorraine, Montemassi was granted as a feud by Ferdinando II di Toscana to Giovanni Cristofani Malaspina di Mulazzo, as it happened for Roccatederighi. In 1770 the Malaspina gave up Montemassi to the Marchese Domenico Camnbiaso from Genova.

Mining history

The mining history of Montemassi is strictly linked to what will only successively be called Ribolla's Mine. Around the year 1835, in fact, the first researches and excavations in the area of Montemassi, near the torrent Raspollino, begun. The society of Montemassi and Ribolla-Follonica in fact was born between 1839 and 1940 but till 1890 the mine kept a salutary and very modest kind of production (about 5000 tons per year), because of the persistence of the malaria (people could work only 200 days per year, as in the rest of the valleys of Maremma) and the high costs for the transportation of the material.

Even when, during the 19th century, the village of Ribolla was born, the relationship between the lignite mine and Montemassi remained indivisible till the closure of the mine.

[1] Foto di Rein Ergo © Traveling in Tuscany
[2] Photo by LigaDue, licenced under Creative Commons Attribuzione 3.0 Unported

Le Colline Metallifere  | Galleria immagini

Le Colline Metallifere


Vista da la Rocca di Campiglia Marittima a le Colline Metallifere   RoccatederighiPanorama2   RoccastradaPanorama1

Vista da la Rocca di Campiglia Marittima a le Colline Metallifere


  Roccatederighi   Panorama Roccastrada

Colline Metallifere Ponte Pia.JPG


Colline Metallifere Kupfer.JPG

Landschaft am Fluss Rosia mit der Brücke Ponte della Pia  

Le Roste



Le Roste, Montieri


MontieriMiniereMerse   Sassofortino Panorama   MontieriMiniereLeRoste

The Merse River near Le Roste, part of the ancient minings in Montieri


  Sassofortino panorama   Le Roste (particolare)

Hidden secrets in Tuscany | Holiday house Podere Santa Pia




Rocca di Tentennano

Rocca di Tentennano

Castello Colle Massari,
view from Podere Santa Pia
Castel Porrona, a charming medieval village dating back to the 11th century, between Cinigiano and Castiglioncello Bandini and Podere Santa Pia

Podere Santa Pia is located 3 km from Castigliocello Bandini, 15 km from Abazziia San 't Antimo and Montalcino, and 1 hour away from the seaside and close to art cities like Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano and San Quirico d'Orcia.

Massa Marittima and the Metalliferous Hills

Itineraries. Hiking trails in the Val di Merse

1. Sentiero Iesa-Tocchi

2. Sentiero Iesa-Terme di Petriolo

3. Sentiero della Gola del Merse

4. Sentiero di San Galgano

5. Sentiero della Pietra

6. Sentiero Scalvaia-Valle del Farma

7. Sentiero Monticiano-Camerata


Trekking in and around Roccastrada (eng)

Sticciano - Roccastrada | 19 km, 5 hours

Roccastrada - Castello del Belagaio | 13,5 km, 4,5 hours

Castello del Belagaio - Torniella | 13 km, 4 hours

Torniella - Sassoforte - Roccatederighi | 20 km, 5 hours

Piloni - Sassoforte - Sassofortino - Roccatederighi | 16 km, 6 hours

Sassofortino - Montemassi | 13 km, 4,5 hours

Roccatederighi - Montemassi | 7 km, 2,5 hours


Biking near Roccastrada and Fattoria di Monte Lattaia | Journey into the Middle Ages (GR3) - 106.3 km

StICCIAno SCAlo - RoCCAStRADA - SASSoFoRtIno - RoCCAteDeRIGhI - GABellIno - MontIeRI - PIAn DeI MuCInI - PRAtA - tAttI - RIBollA - PIAn Del BIChI StICCIAno SCalo

Cycling tours in Tuscany Maremma | Balcone sulla Maremma

Roccastrada - Sassofortino - Roccatederig hi - Tatti - Ribolla - Pian del Bichi - Roccastr


Monte Cucco wine region
Belagaio Castle
San Qurico d'Orcia

Maps and descriptions available in Podere Santa Pia

Kompass map 653 Pienza - Montalcino - Monte Amiata (1:50.000)
Touring Club Italiano (map 8 Toskana, 1:200.000)


Walking in Tuscany | San Quirico d'Orcia, Bagni Vignoni, Castiglione d'Orcia, Rocca d'Orcia, Montalcino, La Foce
Trekking in Tuscany | Rocca d'Orcia


The Maremma is a large area in southern Tuscany. It is a perfect microcosm that stretches between the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto. In the Divine Commedy, Dante Alighieri identified its borders from "Cecina to Corneto" (Tarquinia in Lazio). Maremma is unique because of the variety of its territory: blue sea, long beaches, black rock, hills covered with woods, marshes and flat lands, green hills and natural thermal baths.