Central Italy and Rome, Handbook for Travellers

By Karl Baedeker | Go to book overview

terracotta altar-pieces from the studio of the Robbia's, one representing St. Francis with SS. Clara and Louis, another the Last Judgment ( 1501). In the church is an Annunciation by Benvenuto di Giovanni ( 1466). — Farther on are the Villa Inghirami and an Etruscan Tomb, in which the burial-urns are still in situ (key at the Palazzo Inghirami; the gardener supplies a light,½ fr.).

A pleasant excursion may be made to the copper-mines (miniere di rame) of Caporciano, to the W. of Montecatini di Val di Cecina, about 10 M. to the W. of Volterra (diligence in 2 hrs., fare 1½ fr.; returning in 1½ hr., 1 fr.; one-horse carr. 6, two-horse 10 fr.). The carriage-road leads across the hill of La Bacchettona to Montecatini (Alb. Pace), on the summit of the Selagite, a mountain of volcanic origin. The square tower of the old castle commands an extensive prospect. The mines have been worked since the 15th cent., and the operations were successful till within recent years. The present proprietor is Count Buturlin. The mineral is found in pockets or clusters, between serpentine, known here as gabbro verde, and ragged masses of gabbro rosso, or red trachyte. A number of peaks, such as Monte dell' Abete, Poggio Croce, and Monte Massi, which were upheaved during the tertiary period through the surrounding sandstone and limestone, consist of gabbro rosso. The view from Monte Massi (2030 ft.) or from Poggio Croce (1942 ft.;½ hr. from Montecatini) extends from the heights near Massa and Carrara towards the N. to Monte Amiata on the S., and embraces the sea with the islands of Elba, Capraia, and Corsica.

From Volterra to Colle di Val d'Elsa, 15½ M. diligence once daily in 3½ hrs. (fare 3 fr.; one-horse carr. 8, two-horse 14 fr.). The highroad (see Pl. F, 4) leads through an undulating district. To the left is seen San Gimignano (p. 18), to which a road (fine views) diverges after 7½ M. (reaching it after 11 M. more). About 8½ M. from Volterra we see the ruined tower of Montemiccioli above us on the right. About 1½ M. farther on a preferable route for pedestrians to San Gimignano diverges to the left and runs viâ Ranza and San Donato. To the right lies Pomarance (p. 11). Colle di Val d'Elsa, see p. 17.


3. Elba and the Tuscan Islands.

A visit to Elba is strongly recommended to the lover of nature. From Piombino (p. 3; fee for embarking or disembarking 50 c.) steamers of the Navigazione Generale Italiana ply twice daily to Portoferraio in Elba in 1½ hr. On Sun. morning, on the return-voyage, they call at Rio Marina and Porto Longone. Return-ticket, valid for three months, from Piombino to Portoferraio 5 fr. 20 or 3 fr., 50 c. — From Leghorn (fee for embarking or disembarking½-1½ fr.) a steamer of the same company starts on Tues. morning; it touches at Gorgona, Capraia, and Marciana, reaches Portoferraio (16 fr. 5 or 10 fr. 70 c.; the steamer lies to at the mole), and goes on next morning to Piombino (see above), Rio Marino, Porto Longone, and Marina di Campo in Elba, Pianosa, Talamone, and Porto Santo Stefano (p. 5) on the coast of Tuscany. On Thurs. night it goes on to Civitavecchia (p. 9). On the return to Leghorn it leaves Civitavecchia at noon on Thurs., Porto Santo Stefano on Frid. night, and Portoferraio on Sat. morning. Another steamer, starting on Frid. morning, follows the same route to Pianosa and lies to for the night in Porto Longone; it returns from Pianosa on Sat., from Portoferraio on Mon. morning.

About 3½ M. to the W. of Leghorn rises the cliff of Meloria, off which the Pisans were so signally defeated in a naval battle by the Genoese in 1284 that they never regained their former supre

-14-

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