Holiday ideas

Visiting Pomarance and its outlying areas: what to see and do

A virtual tour of Pomarance, a small town in the province of Pisa, which overlooks a vast valley with the Cecina River.

  • Intro
  • What to see
  • What to do
  • Geothermie
  • Relax
  • What to eat
  • Events
  • Sleeping at Pomarance
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Pomarance is located in Tuscany, between Volterra and Massa Marittima, in a land amidst lush hills, the sea, and the Cecina River.

The land boasts lush nature and important historical elements, and travellers who plan on visiting this area can admire fascinating hamlets like Micciano, Libbiano, Montegemoli, Montecerboli, Serrazzano, Lustignano, San Dalmazio. In short: Pomarance and its outlying areas must be explored!

Let’s see together how to plan a trip to this area: what to visit, eat, where to sleep, and excursions.

Pomarance and all its hamlets to explore in the Val di Cecina

To visit Pomarance the best way possible, we suggest to start at Porta alla Pieve. Here you’ll find the hamlet’s oldest section, with the Church of Saint John the Baptist. Heading along Via Mascagni you’ll reach Piazza Cavour, the heart of the medieval quarter.

Visit the church on the main square, which still has precious paintings by Cristofano Roncalli and Nicolò Cercignani. Head for Piazza della pretura and the elegant buildings overlooking Via Roncalli. Among these home, the one that stands out is Casa Bicocchi, a typical middle-class residence from the 19th century, a home-museum that offers an interesting glimpse of one of the town’s most affluent families at the time.

After visiting Casa Bicocchi head down Via Roncalli and enter Palazzo Ricci. Here you’ll find the permanent display of Soldiers and Artisans: 6 rooms with an itinerary that illustrates the area’s past from the Paleolithic to the Renaissance.
As you leave you can admire the façade of Palazzo de Larderel, in its neoclassical style.

Don’t forget to stop by the Rocca Sillana, a fortress that overlooks the entire surrounding area, the Valle del Pavone. It dates to the 12th century and is located in San Dalmazio, Lanciaia: to reach it, leave your car in the parking lot and take the trail.
Legend has it that the fortress’s name derives from the Roman general Lucio Cornelio Silla. From its terrace you may admire the forest of Monterufoli, known since ancient times for its quarries of copper, lignite, chalcedony and magnesite.

Borghi della Val di Cecina

Only 16 km from Pomarance you’ll find another hamlet to visit that’s really characteristic: Libbano, a town on a hill. Libbano is a small town and is what’s left of a settlement outside a medieval castle. Only few ruins remain of the castle and fortress in the top part of the hamlet. If you reach them you can enjoy a magnificent view.

9 km from Libbano is Micciano, another small town, dominated by the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel. The town, during the Middle Ages, had a castle of moderate importance.

 

Pomarance e dintorni

The town of Montegemoli is important, though it’s very small and surrounded by magnificent nature. Don’t miss the Church of San Bartolomeo, dating to the XIII century, which recently salvaged its original form and holds an interesting panel by the painter Francesco Neri da Volterra.

Val di Cecina

But the towns of the Val di Cecina to see do not end here. We must also mention Montecatini Val di Cecina, a typical medieval hamlet, famous for its history and mines.
At Montecatini Val di Cecina you’ll find the Museo delle Miniere. You should know that mining for copper in this area was practiced as early as the Etruscan times, but it was only in the 1800s that it reached its greatest expansion; in fact, this small town held the biggest copper mine in all of Europe. Today, you can explore the entire mining area, enter the galleries, and climb up the tower of Pozzo Alfredo!

Montecerboli is a town with an intact historical center. Don’t miss the castle and Church of San Cerbone, dating to the 1400s, which is found at the center of the round fortress
Instead, Serazzano is interesting from an urban point of view: the town has two gates from the Middle Ages and some traces of the wall foundations. But there’s also the Church of San Donato, with its gothic vaults.

8 km from Pomarance there’s San Dalmazio: take a stroll along its typical roads, the historical center and visit the fortress (which you can reach on a forest trail).

Montecatini Val di Cecina

42 km from Pomarance you’ll find Castellina Marittima and its Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro. In this museum you can learn the history of alabaster quarrying.
Take a 20 minute ride to Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, a hamlet on a hill in the shape of a pine cone, and in 30 minutes you’ll reach the famous Volterra, a gem of Etruscan, Rome, Medieval, and Renaissance art.

At Volterra you can visit the Museo Guarnacci, one of the main Etruscan museums in the world. Inside, you’ll find famous statues and urns.
Don’t miss the Museo Civico and the Pinacoteca where you can admire lots of works by local artists. At the top of the town there are ruins of the main Etruscan temples of Volterra. Don’t forget to stop by the Roman theatre, one of the best preserved in the world. 

Pictures by goodmorningworld.de

Excursions from Pomarance

Upon leaving the center of Pomarance you can organize excursions in the surrounding countryside.

Passeggiate nella natura in Val di Cecina

Upon leaving the center of Pomarance you can organize excursions in the surrounding countryside.

The first heads to the Cecina River. If you leave Pomarance and continue a few kilometers, on foot or by bike, you’ll directly reach the river, as you enjoy a unique landscape up to the Cecina valley, with Volterra and Montecatini Val di Cecina.

Another itinerary by bike can lead you from Pomarance to Montegemoli. Here, too, you’ll enjoy wonderful landscapes: after only 3 km you’ll reach Micciano and Libbiano. If you look far enough, you can see all the way to Volterra.

Finally, we suggest a longer excursion (circa 54 km) to be taken in two days, for Cecina. If you prefer driving, the road is great.
On this itinerary you can visit Libbiano and the Riserva Naturale di Monterufoli-Caselli and Micciano. But there’s more: heading for "the itinerary of hamlets and castles" you can reach Lustignano and Serrazzano.

The Natural Reserves of the Val di Cecina

The Val di Cecina boasts two natural reserves that are very important: the Riserva Naturale della Foresta of Monterufoli-Caselli and the Riserva Naturale della Foresta of Berignone.

The Riserva Naturale della Foresta of Monterufoli-Caselli is located at the center of hills and extends on circa 4,828 hectares across Pomarance, Monteverdi Marittimo and Montecatini Val di Cecina. This is the largest natural reserve in Tuscany and it would be a shame not to visit it if you’re at Pomarance. The landscape is dominated by Mediterranean forests and brush. You can take one of the many trails and admire the forests of holm oaks and the scents of the Mediterranean. Don’t miss the Villa di Monterufoli, historical and artistic buildings located at the center of the Reserve, a privileged place to visit the protected area and take interesting walks.

The Riserva Naturale della Foresta of Berignone extends from Pomarance and Volterra and includes the area marked off by the rivers Cecina, Sellate, and Fosci. Crossing this land means plunging into a vast landscape made of forests and brush. In the past, the forests of Berignone witnessed intense human presence tied above all to farming. Today, there is the Bishops’ castle of Berignone, one of the most important settlements in the area of Volterra.

Other interesting activities: bicycling and canyoning

If you are a sports lover, don’t miss a trip on your bike, alone or with a guide. Lots of vineyards, cypresses and olive groves, in unspoiled nature that’s unique! Besides, guided tours include bike rentals, an expert guide, and map.

At the tourist office of Pomarance you can rent bikes and e-bikes and schedule a guided tour with the entire family.

Attività

Are you a little reckless? Then try canyoning, heading down the rapids. Wear sneakers, a helmet, and water gear. You can try this activity along the stream Radicagnoli, near the ancient Terme di San Michele, or along the Cecina River until Masso degli Specchi.
If you want to go farther, head to Lunigiana and Garfagnana which are only a few hours from Pomarance!

If you want more: horse trekking, activities for kids with ponies and carriages. Did you know that from Pomarance you can ride donkeys?

Larderello and the Museo della Geotermia

Do you know what geothermic energy is? Geothermic energy is a clean and renewable form of energy.
Among the towns of Pomarance, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina and Monterotondo Marittimo you’ll find the largest geothermal area in all of Europe. This area is called the Valley of the Devil, for its cooling towers.

Valle del Diavolo - Toscana

If you want to learn more, we suggest visiting the Museo della Geotermia in Larderello, where you can learn about the history of this science from the Etruscans to today. A truly emotional experience!

The Larderello village dates to the first-half of the 1800s and thanks to Francesco Giovanni de Larderel it became one of Italy’s first industrial villages in harmony with the surrounding land.

The museum is located in the Palazzo De Larderel and was opened in 1956. In order to get an idea of the power of geothermal energy, we suggest you visit the well, over 700 meters deep (10 tons per hour and a temperature of 180°): the fluid, composed of water vapor and incondensable gas, explodes towards the sky and displays the strength of the earth.

 

Geotermia a Pomarance e dintorni

This entire area was once scattered with impressive natural phenomena like fumaroles and geysers. Today, these manifestations have grown fewer or have almost disappeared but they still can be seen between Sasso Pisano and Monterotondo. In this itinerary, we find limestone and jasper which allow the liquid to reach the surface: this creates natural endogenic manifestations. This infernal landscape is quite famous!

Another interesting destination is the Terme di Bagnone at Sasso Pisano. This spa is found along the ancient road from Volterra to Populonia: it's a sacred spa since Etruscan times (III century).

Spas in Val di Cecina: the Terme di Casciana

Strolling in nature and admiring monuments and museums is great, but it’s also wonderful and important – especially on vacation! – to relax. Did you know that in Val di Cecina there are (also) spas?

Terme di Casciana in Val di Cecina

If you want to visit Pomarance in a very special way, head for the Terme di Casciana, which from Pomarance are only 44 km away. To get here take the highway for Casciana Terme or the train and get off at Pontedera – Casciana Terme.

The spas at Casciana date to the Middle Ages. Matilde of Canossa in 1100 chose this site. The waters of Casciana Terme are rich in minerals and are particularly suited to people with vein issues or for physical therapy (motor/respiratory).

The spa is open all year round and offers mud baths, whirlpool, breathing retraining sessions. At the spa there are also massages for face and body! The spa at Casciana also offers two pools with flowing water: the first is outdoor and is 500 square meters, while the second is indoor and intended above all for physical therapy.

What to eat at Pomarance and in the Val di Cecina

Let’s talk about our favorite thing: food and wine! What are traditional products you have to try while visiting Pomarance and the Val di Cecina?

The offer here ranges from the sea to the farm. In fact, this land is quite varied and rich in traditions. The most typical food can be found in agriturismo or small restaurants.

Among the things to taste, we suggest the bread from Montegemoli, roast lamb from Pomarance (slow food certified), sheep milk cheese, extra virgin olive oil and craft beer.

Don’t miss the zuppa alla volterrana, a special soup made with beans, onions, cabbage, tomatoes and seasonal veggies; the pappardelle with hare or boar sauce, roast boar; grilled meats, sausage and beans, panzanella.

Cosa mangiare a Pomarance

If you love cheese try the fresh/aged sheep milk cheese and the ricotta.

To end on a high note, there are so many desserts to choose from: Etruscan panforte, cantuccini and the ossi di morto cookies.
Etruscan panforte is the symbol of local food, and boasts a long history, which dates to the Middle Ages. The presence of spices and expensive ingredients lead us to believe this dessert was once intended for the well to do.

Cantuccini are Tuscany’s most famous cookies; they are made with almonds and are perfect with vin santo. Finally, the ossi dei morto are cookies made with hazelnuts and lemon rind.
Don’t forget to try the ricciarelli of Pomarance, soft sweets made with almond paste, shaped in an oval with powdered sugar on top!

If you love good wine don’t forget to visit Pomarance: this land is full of winegrowers, since Etruscan times. Try some Chianti, from Montescudaio and Terratico di Bibbona.

Pomarance events not to miss

What can you do at Pomarance? Well, if you’re here in July, August and September, you can take part in one of these three events: the Palio Storico, Pomarance in piazza and the night visit to the Rocca Sillana.

Let’s start with the Palio storico of Pomarance held every year, since 1960, in September. The Palio in Pomarance isn’t the classic palio we are used to: there are no horses or donkeys. Instead, it’s a theatre contest.

 

Un post condiviso da Alessandro (@rouge73) in data: Set 26, 2016 at 2:17 PDT

During the event, the four districts of Pomarance (Marzocco, Centro, Gelso and Paese Novo) compete with original theatrical pieces.
The show begins the first Sunday of the month in Piazza S. Anna. First, there’s the official investiture of the district captains.
The next Sunday, there’s an actual palio: in the afternoon the districts reach the square and start a parade along the city streets followed by the contest. The show is unique because the town becomes an outdoor stage!
After dinner the winning district is announced but partying continues until late at night.

Pomarance in piazza is an event held every Wednesday in July and August. The party was born to spread knowledge of craftwork and street art among the locals and tourists, in a lively, fun context.  Don’t forget it, especially if you’re coming with the family! Thanks to this event you can savor local products, explore great craftwork, listen to music, and take part in travelling concerts.

 

#tuscany #pomarance #roccasillana #night #tour #latergram #nofilter

Un post condiviso da Alice (@alice.mento.a) in data: Ago 21, 2016 at 1:54 PDT

Sleeping at Pomarance

Now that you’re sure your next trip will be to Pomarance it’s time to find your perfect accommodation!

Choose from among our agriturismi or one of our vacation homes. We have something for everyone (couples, groups, families). Try and see!

Agriturismi a Pomarance

Case vacanza a Pomarance

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