Underground Tuscany

Friday, August 31, 2012


Image from www.parks.it
One of the most fascinating aspects of visiting any region is discovering its natural beauties and hidden historic landmarks. In this regard, Italy offers archaeology and geology enthusiasts plenty of reasons to leave their Tuscany villas and head out to discover the region’s many underground landmarks.

From pre-historic caves – the equivalent of Tuscany villas for primitive people - to below-ground tunnels, aqueducts and labyrinths, the Northern Italian region presents countless motives of interest for those wanting to take a geological or archaeological tour.

Some of the highlights justifying a venture outside their Tuscany villas for those interested in the underground include the Antro del Corchia – 60 kilometres’ worth of tunnels rising and dipping over 1200 metres; the Grotta del Vento and the Grotta Giusti (the latter a natural sauna); the labyrinth of Porsenna, with historic and mythological connotations; the Bottini, a still-functioning underground aqueduct taking water to wells all over Siena; and the several mining museums scattered throughout the region.

Fans of ancient history will also not want to miss the Etruscan necropolises between Sovana and Populonia, of which the most notable is perhaps the ‘Cittá del Tuffo’ park – miles and miles of ancient Etruscan tombs, linked to an equally as interesting rock settlement as well as to a Museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, at Fortezza degli Orsini in Sorano. All in all, a fixture which is well worth the trip and the modest combined-ticket price of seven euros, for all those seeking for a more cultural, interesting holiday alternative to Tuscany villas, wine routes and eco-turism.

Underground caves, labyrinths and necropolises are just one more facet to add to the increasing list of reasons justifying a visit to Tuscany!

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