EXPERIENCING THE REGION
"Il Roccone" is located in the "Podere St. Francis", which was built in 1859 and completely restored in 2010, using only natural materials and respecting the traditions of the local buildings.
The property covers an area of over one hundred acres. Stay at “Il Roccone" Walden is a true immersion in pure and incontaminate nature.
Here you do not hear other noises or sounds that those of wildlife.
NATURAL RESERVE OF PIGELLETO
The Pigelleto Nature Reserve is divided between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. It lies in the borough of Piancastagnaio, on the southern side of Mount Amiata. Founded by the Tuscan Region in 1996, the area of the reserve was one of the main mercury mining sites of Mounta Amiata and two disused mines can still be found within the reserve. The area is dominated by Poggio Pampagliano (969 m.) that together with Poggio La Roccaccia and Poggio Roccone, just slightly lower in altitude, form a curved ridge towards the north-east, that forms the watershed between the basin of the river Paglia and that of the river Fiora.
The reserve protects a mixed wooded area, rich in plant species, among which the presence of silver firs as a spontaneous species is especially relevant.
The charming village of Piancastagnaio in Siena province is the location of the famous chestnut festival that is celebrated here in late October every year! It is the oldest and most important festival in the Monte Amiata area and has been held in this lively little village since 1967!
Held in the main square of Piazza Belvedere, the chestnut festival originated because of the importance surrounding this staple food in the area. High up in the mountains, the ground was fertile but the climate was too cold for some vegetables and grains to successfully grow.
Chestnut trees were perfectly suited to higher altitudes and so became a great source of sustenance to the mountain people. The chestnuts were harvested peeled and often eaten raw or roasted in a pan over the fire. It was also ground into fine flour and made into delicious chestnut bread called ‘Castagnaccio’.
Inside the village’s solid medieval walls which were called Rocca Aldobrandesca, this bustling festival offers visitors all kinds of delicious chestnut themed dishes and products to try! Taste typical chestnut street food like Castagnaccio smothered with sweet homemade butter and Marrone chestnut jam, or other delicacies like ‘Brodolose’,’ Monne’, ‘Crostate’ and ‘Suggioli’.
Montalcino, City of the Brunello. To the south of Siena is a classic fairytale hilltop town, set within a full circle of fortified walls and watched over by a mighty castle of medieval perfection. Montalcino, west of Pienza, is a beautiful village immersed in the breathtaking Val d'Orcia Natural Park, renowned all over the world for the production of its precious Brunello red wine.
The town has scarcely changed in appearance since the 16th century. Once you get up to the town, a magnificent spectacle unfolds for your eyes: rolling sunny hills dotted with yellow and red flowers, ancient oak trees, picturesque olive groves, scenic country roads winding through perfect vineyards and isolated cypress trees atop hills.
Montalcino is not just wine, it is also very rich in artistic treasures. The historical center is dominated by the mighty and imposing Rocca or fortress built in 1361 to mark the passage of Montalcino under the domination of Siena. The views from its ramparts are spectacular, stretching towards Monte Amiata, across the Crete to Siena, and across all of the Valdorcia and the hills of Maremma
Santa Fiora, a medieval town situated at the foot of Monte Amiata, is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural environments in Italy.
The county of Santa Fiora was a small historical state of southern Tuscany. Together with the county of Sovana, it was one of the two subdivisions into which the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, then lords of much of southern Tuscany, were split in 1274.
Santa Fiora recently received the orange flag by the Touring Club, that rewards sustainable tourism and environmental protection.
Founded in 1958, Frantoio Franci is set in Montenero d’Orcia, a small hilltop town on the slopes of the Amiata Mountains, overlooking the splendid valley of the River Orcia. In that year the brothers Franco and Fernando Franci purchased the famous Villa Magra olive grove proceeding to transform the old barn into an oil-mill.
The year 1995 marks a turning-point in the history of the family firm; it sees the beginning of the precious collaboration between Fernando, with his lifetime of experience, and his son Giorgio, who was to bring a new lease of energy and his modern business skills. Their main priority was to establish a place for their oil on the international market.
We will have the unique experience to learn how to produce the local pecorino cheese in the traditional way and by using 100% vegetal rennet! Thanks to the collaboration with our neighbor “Caseificio Muceti” of Castell’azzara every participant will produce his fresh “pecorino” and taste it during the cooking classes!
The milk we will use is produced directly from the local sheep that graze in natural pastures rich in grass and spontaneous flowers that give the characteristic smell and taste to local milk used to prepare the well-known Pecorino Toscano!
VILLA I CIPRESSI
Villa i Cipressi is situated just outside Montalcino, on the hillside towards San Angelo in Colle. It is a small family owned and family driven farm. The family started out as beekeepers approximately 30 years ago, basing their future on different types of honey. During the 1990’s Sangiovese vines and olive trees were added to the farm trying to meet the requests of clients and for the passion of working the lands. The honey production has since grown larger and the Ciacci Family has experimented with different products either based on honey or with honey added to traditional products, making them successes: liqueurs, bonbons, cookies, ghiottenerie (toasted nuts in acacia honey), breadspreads and jams.
Today the farm and winery produces approximately 100 different products including the many varieties of honey, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Grappa di Brunello, Olive oil, pasta-sauces and wine-jellies. The farm is driven with great passion and respect trying to obtain the best quality of each product and therefore some products exist only in a small quantity.