Stories of mines, princesses and Napoleonic buildings
The best itinerary to discover the history and nature of the Montioni Park, in Val di Cornia, is the Poggio Saracino trail.
The trail traces the co-existence of man and nature in history, starting from the town of Montioni Nuovo, the heart of the Park, which the Princes of Piombino, Felice and Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, had built. The Napoleonic period buildings, the quarries, and the entrance to the underground tunnels, the furnaces for baking or coating alum and the material transport system are all still clearly visible.
Continuing along the route, across a dense scrubland of evergreens in which the reddish trunks of the bare cork trees can be seen here and there, you reach the vantage point of Casa Saracino, before descending again, to close the loop.
The entrance to the ancient alum quarries is highly evocative.