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The Masso delle Fanciulle

Its legend and how to reach it

Tuscany is known for being a magical place, full of architectural wonders and delicious things to eat. Known far and wide, however, it still has places to discover and love.

Near Volterra, more precisely between Saline di Volterra and Pomarance, there is a beautiful nature reserve, the Forest of Berignone, which contains a wild and idyllic landscape.

Here the River Cecina offers a sort of natural pool with many small waterfalls about two meters high; a true paradise with numerous beaches and the pond nestled between the two stone faraglioni: this is the Masso delle Fanciulle, we had already briefly talked about it also called "the sea of the poor".


The popular legend


The name Masso delle Fanciulle derives from an ancient legend: some girls, trying to escape the excessive and unsolicited attention of a local lord, came here and thought they could save themselves by diving into the water. Unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending: in fact, the young girls drowned.

A less grim version of the story tells that it is simply the place where younger girls bathed secretly, looking for refreshment in the warmer months, without fearing prying eyes.


Crystal clear water and Mediterranean vegetation


The Masso delle Fanciulle is therefore part of a natural area that for centuries has been a popular destination, first by the neighboring inhabitants and then by tourists: it is an enchanted and picturesque place that boasts a beautiful landscape.

Over the years it has become increasingly renowned then among students on a school trip and among people looking for direct contact with nature (in the surroundings it is difficult for mobile phones to take a line). Studied and observed by the researchers, the Berignone Forest also includes a rocky canyon covered with dense Mediterranean vegetation.

If you want to be even more immersed in nature and you are already a skilled walker, we advise you to continue the journey, going up the river (swimming better, also because the walk at some point stops and you can go on only by swimming) you arrive at the Boulder of Mirrors: when the sun shines on the water the latter is reflected on the rocks and almost transforms them into mirrors.


So, in order not to go only to the beach this summer we advise you to go to this place which, however, like others in Tuscany, is threatened by the expansion of geothermal power plants on an industrial scale: for this reason several committees have been formed, such as the Committee defenders of Tuscany established in 2012, which fights against the unlimited development of geothermal energy.

The Masso delle Fanciulle is also part of the places of the FAI heart where it can be voted and made to rise in the rankings: it really deserves not to be lost, this little corner of paradise.


Image sources: camminatori anonimi, i rintronauti