The beauties of winter
We’ve reached mid-winter and nothing makes it more magical than snow and the mountains. So today we want to tell you about our beloved Monte Amiata, the Mountain that has for millennia blessed us with valleys, forests, and all the hills around it, including the Val d’Orcia. Originally a volcano, Amiata burnt out two hundred thousand years ago, scientists say, allowing plants and animals to find homes at its feet. Man has lived in this area since prehistoric days, apparently, as we can see from graffiti in the many caves here. Volcanic soils make the area extremely fertile, and moreover, where there were once craters, now there are lakes, rivers and streams. And it’s thanks to our dear Monte Amiata that the surroundings are so rich in water and hot springs, like those at Bagno Vignoni, for example, rich in therapeutic properties and minerals.
Monte Amiata, all of 1,378 metres high, just a few minutes from San Quirico d’Orcia, dominates the Sienese valley and, for the visitor who gets to the top, blesses them with magnificent views. Separated from the other Appennine peaks, you can see half of Italy from its summit. On the clearest days you can see as far as Corsica, the Gran Sasso mountain in Abruzzo, Liguria and even as far as Rome; a remarkable sight, you won’t believe it until you actually see it for yourself.
Although wonderful in every season, for daytrips, walks, sightseeing, and horseriding, the winter offers one extra special fun activity: skiing!
Monte Amiata has a ski centre, which opened right back in November this season because of the early snow, with its slopes for all abilities, making it particularly suitable for families and for beginners.
The ski station, located in the largest beech woods in Europe, has been in operation for the past 60 years. It offers visitors a good ten kilometres of alpine skiing pistes with excellent ski lifts and a further 10.5 km of cross-country pistes. The ski schools also have lots of activities laid on for children and beginners. For more expert skiers there are competitions and for those looking for an adrenalin rush there ‘s a dedicated snow park for snowboarding and ski acrobatics.
Snow has never been such fun!
Mountain hikes can be organised on request that take you up to the mountain refuges, where you can get a good look at the local landscape, the trees and animals, and really feel the heartbeat of the mountain.
If you’re winter holiday lovers, the Val d’Orcia has everything you’re looking for, with the white snow on Monte Amiata, so fascinating and beautiful, and also great food, a warm welcome, lovely people and plenty of fun for grown-ups and kids alike.
As well as car rental the Capitano Hotel Collection has mountain bikes and e-bikes for hire. This is a winter holiday where you learn a new sport, get to Monte Amiata under your own steam, or simply get the chance to stop off along the way to admire the scenery. For total relaxation after a day of strenuous activity, we recommend a session in our “La Grotta di Venere – Venus’ Grotto” wellness centre or a visit to our “Salone dello Zodiaco by Yon-Ka” Beauty Salon.
Happy winter, everyone!