A trail through chestnut groves, valleys and mills:
The valleys in the north of Volterra

Volterra-S.Girolamo-S.Finocchi-Prato d’Era - Mulini -Poggio alla Fame-Marmini (Etruscan tombs)
-Valle-Docciarello -Fonte della Frana - the Etruscan walls at S.Chiara- Borgo S.Stefano

Timed needed: half a day

This is a charming trail through the lush hills and valleys of Volterra.
The trail begins at Borgo S. Lazzero; the road parellel to the hospital complex leads to the 15th century church and convent of S. Girolomo which houses two splendid terracotta reliefs by Giovanni della Robbia. Proceed down the road, past the buildings which once belonged to the a phychiatric hospital, past the Villa with landscaped gardens which once belonged to the Inghirami family; proceeding through farmland and chestnut groves, past the old cemetery of S. Finocchi(on the right) the country lane ends on the north eastern slope offering a magnificent view from the highest point of the Era valley.
Continue past the Volpaie farmhouse where the road abruptly turns left into a rough path.Turn right at the next farm house, proceed for about one hundred metres until you come to the area known as “Pian dei Noci”. Follow the path down the valley ,along the Era River which leads to Prato d’Era where there is a bar and restaurant. Turning left at the votive shrine, a path leads to a narrow valley lined with sandy ravines.The small stream that winds through the valley was
used in antiquity to serve the water mills which you can admire as you walk up . At the fourth mill now abandoned, turn back and follow the small steep path on the right which opens out onto the Medieval road where mules once transported the salt to Florence.
Turn left, proceed up an ancient pathway, past the water font to Poggio alla Fama and the
Marmini, where you can visit the Etruscan tombs. Cross the main road and take the country lane through chestnut groves down to the Valley (Valle). Turn right at the villa , past the old mill
( Molino del Comune ) and proceed up the path through vineyards and orchards until you come to the top. Leave the path and take a steep narrow pathway to the Docciarello farmhouse and proceed along the winding road to Masso di Mandringa and the ridge of the Balze overlooking and dominating the surrounding landscape.
Walking towards Borgo San Giusto take the first steep turning on the right, proceed down the country lane, turn left past La Fonte della Frana and take a steep winding path to the Etruscan wall
( the wall of S.Chiara-Berniona) and to the Font of S.Stefano and into the centre of Volterra.

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