7. The villages of Montecastelli Pisano and La Leccia
The village of Montecastelli, in a panoramic position overlooking the surrounding countryside, is extremely well preserved and pleasant.
The urban structure in concentric circles around the top of the hill, the narrow streets, the narrow alleys, the covered porticoes and the stone houses still faithfully reflect the medieval appearance of the village.
The Romanesque parish church, dedicated to Saints Philip and James, and the imposing Pannocchieschi tower, which dominates the village, are particularly noteworthy. Near Montecastelli, a few metres from the provincial road, is the Etruscan tomb of the "Buca delle Fate", dating back to the 8th century BC.
The village of La Leccia is a small medieval hamlet in the Val di Cornia, on the road that links Sasso Pisano to Larderello, on the edge of the ancient cork and holm oak woods from which it takes its name.
La Leccia stands on the site of a medieval castle, first mentioned in 1028, of which only a few walls and buildings remain.
From the road that links Sasso and Leccia, it is possible to reach the excavations of the ancient Baths of Bagnone: a vast Etruscan-Roman thermal complex that was active from the 3rd century B.C. until the late imperial period, testifying to the exploitation of local geothermal resources since ancient times.
8. Rocca Sillana
Among the many monuments and settlements that occupy the hills of the Cecina Valley, the Rocca Sillana, in the municipality of Pomarance, is one of the most important and was one of the largest settlements in the area, opened to the public a few years ago.
The Rocca stands isolated on an impenetrable hill, but it is a place rich in history, densely populated in the Middle Ages and controlling a vast territory. According to tradition, the name of the castle comes from the Roman general Silla, who besieged Volterra in 80 BC. In reality, the name Rocca Sillana has more recent origins, as it was known until the middle of the 18th century as the castle or fortress of Sillano, a term first mentioned in a document dating back to 945.