VAL D'ORCIA – ALTA MAREMMA .. the land, its people, their history, culture, wine, and food
e x p e r i e n c e t i m e
Tuniatus was a deity to this area in Ancient Roman times.
Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano, Val d’Orcia, the Crete Senesi, Chiusi, Grosseto and the Maremma, Scansano, Cinigiano, Pitigliano, Saturnia, Sorano, Sovana, .. all these small towns and places, some of them world-famous, line up around the prominent, cone-shaped Mount Amiata standing right at the centre of Southern Tuscany.
Infact, not far from the Mediterranean coast, this silent volcano quickly rises up to 1738 meters (5702 ft). Its slopes are rich in minerals and water, and they extend into woodlands, pastures and farmland, where chestnuts, cereals, fruit and vegetables, olives and grapevines are grown.
Mount Amiata originates one of the finest agricultures worldwide, yet surprisingly it remains unknown even to many Italians, .. if not for its recent mining history and a few of its numerous hot springs.
Once, from around 900 BCE, Mount Amiata stood at the heart of the early Etruscan settlements. It was then venerated as the seat of Tinia, the highest figure in Etruscan mythology, an equivalent to the Roman Jupiter and Greek Zeus.
Later, it was considered the domain of Vertumno, a minor Roman god of seasons, change and plant growth, a sort of Bacchus of its own kind, also called .. Tuniatus !
So much for the name of this website.
I’m based in the small town of Seggiano at about 450m (1500 ft) on the north-western slope of the old mountain and some 15 km drive from the peak.
Seggiano is renowned for its singular extravergine olive oil made from the local cultivar “Olivastra Seggianese” and it certainly is an interesting little outpost in the upper Maremma towards Siena, tucked away right next to Montalcino.