If you love walking in nature, if you love walking for many kilometers, if you love to spend a day in the woods, the ring of Mount Amiata is the trekking route for you.
Indicated on the CAI map with the number 601, the ring, as the word itself says, runs all around Mount Amiata and has a length of about 29 km, with a positive difference in height of about 1350 meters. You can start from at least 4 places, which are the places where the paths of the ring cross the asphalted roads where you can leave your car.
The simplest thing is to leave from Abbadia San Salvatore, in the green lake area, where you will also find a large parking area for your cars.
The Monte Amiata ring does not cross countries or places where you can refresh yourself, buy food or drinks, therefore you must leave with a sufficient supply of water and food for a walk that goes from 6 to 8 hours, depending on your level of training and the duration of the breaks you will take. The amount of water needed depends a lot on the season, in summer 4 liters per person are recommended. Technical, comfortable shoes and poles.
On shorter days, autumn or winter, we recommend starting early in the morning, to avoid being in the dark at the end of the route.
In the intermediate seasons, spring or autumn, it is advisable to have an extra garment in your backpack, because you go from 900 meters above sea level to 1350 and the temperature can drop. A rain K-Way is always recommended.
Leave from Abbadia San Salvatore
Before writing this article, we of the staff walked it, starting right from Abbadia, a green lake area located just above the old mercury mine.
Take the dirt road that runs alongside the old mine fireplace for just over 3km and then turn right following the signs for 601. From there you go up for about 3km until you reach the junction leading to the Capomacchia refuge. For the refuge, turn right, to continue the ring, continue straight. We are approximately at km 5 of the route. At km 6.2 we cross for the first time an asphalted road that leads to the summit of Mount Amiata, we will cross it going down a few tens of meters and then take the ring path again on the right. From there begins a fairly difficult descent due to the rough path.
After 1 km we find ourselves at the “Fonte delle Monache” a place with tables where you can take a little break. We cross the asphalted road again and continue until we cross, at about km 8, a dirt road that we will travel for about 4 km and which leads us straight to the “Golden Cat” a hotel, now closed.
We have thus arrived at km 11, more than a third of the way.
From there begins a not very difficult but demanding climb, which takes us just below the Macinaie meadow. We are at an altitude of 1300 meters and we walk along path 601, until we reach the “Madonna del Camicione“. Also in this point we find an area equipped for a rest and a snack.
Continue for another 5 km, entirely inside the woods to reach Capovetra, another point where we can leave the car, if we want to use it as a starting point. And here too we have an area equipped for a break.
We have thus reached km 19 of our route, another 10 to finish the ring.
As we travel the last km that will take us to Bosco Impero, someone may begin to feel some pain in the legs or soles of the feet. It is normal for those who do not have a good workout, but the views we cross and the beauty of the changing forest, from beech trees, to pines, to chestnut trees, will make us feel less tired. Arrived at Bosco Impero, we cross the road again that from Abbadia San Salvatore leads to the Amiata peak, with destination Catarcione.
This is a difficult stretch, a path with many stones which, if covered by leaves in autumn, can become a bit treacherous. It is not long and in less than two km we are in Catarcione, with its centuries-old chestnut trees.
We have almost reached our destination, we skirt the road and a slight climb, accompanied by a steep descent, will take us just below the church of the Ermeta. It is not on our path, it is only 100 meters away, it is worth a little visit and a nap.
From the entrance to the Ermeta road you go down to the green lake and the tour is completed, tired but very satisfied.