The town is in the area of the "Colline Metallifere" (metal-bearing hills). Surrounded by the typical
Mediterranean wood, which stretches towards the sea, rich in flora and fauna and gigantic chestnut trees, it is a lovely destination for hikers, hunters, Italian and foreign tourists who love the fresh air and the beauty of nature. There are also springs of water naturally flowing at 43° and rich in bicarbonate and calcium, which was used, until a few years ago, for thermal treatments at the "Terme di Bagnolo". Monterotondo is also famous for the hot lakes "Lagoni" and borax geysers: the first were exploited for the production of boric acid and the latter are used today for Geothermal energy production. These spontaneous emissions from subsoil are the most important in Europe and offer visitors a striking and unusual spectacle.
In Monterotondo Marittimo you can still see many traces of the medieval past and the remains of Rocca degli Alberti, dominating the town. The two main axes of the town come together to a square with a 19th century porch on two sides in Neo-Renaissance style, on another side there is the Town Hall with its clock tower, from a seventeenth-century style project.
What to visit:
ROCCA DEGLI ALBERTI: The Castle was built by the Alberti Family in the thirteenth century. In 1262 it became a property of Massa, that in 1336 was given to Siena as a result of a war. It was later ceded to the people of Monterotondo. In October 1554 the castle was destroyed, following a battle won by the Medicis, allied with the Spanish and the Austrian. The remains of the fortress have been recently restored.
THE CHURCH: The parish Church of 1600 is dedicated to St. Lorenzo and is home to a painting from the school of Duccio di Boninsegna on a canva of the fourteenth century depicting a Madonna with Child.
SHRINE OF MADONNA DEL FRASSINE: The shrine is considered among the most important Sanctuaries of the area of Maremma and reached its highest reputation among the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The place name is related to Fraxinus excelsior, the tree venerated by the ancient Nordic nations and superstitiously burned in the countryside of the Maremma, in order to chase away evil spirits.
IL GEOPARCO DELLE BIANCANE
The hiking trail of "Biancane" runs through the natural geothermal manifestations and the area, where boric acid was extracted from the sulphurous waters, now part of the UNESCO Geoparks.
Arriving at Monterotondo M.mo from any direction you must take as reference the refrigerant tower of ENEL electric plant that stands on the hill, west of the country. On the right side of the road, in the containment wall can already be seen some smoking holes where steam escapes. A hundred meters further you'll find the "Lagone Cerchiaio", starting point of the trail, and you can admire near you the old washing sites, very characteristic for the octagonal bricks from the kiln of Vecchienne.
Nearly in front of the old power stations there are the districts for the distribution of heating in the area. The route continues uphill, on a wall on the right of the road, and you can admire various crystallization of calcareous, sulfur and iron material, which give a striking color effect.
From the square you can easyly access through some stairs to a terrace where the water of the source of "Chiorba", with a temperature around 40 degrees, from a recess of the hill. The route continues on the left of the square, with an overpass that crosses a pipe of endogenous steam, and just past the tubing you can assist to a show of small boiling lakes and fumaroles that seem to the visitor something surreal; continuing the track bordered by chestnut poles you arrive to a terrace where, just below you, a "Lagone" of great dimension erupts, which has naturally developed a crater covered with gray, volcanic-like soil.
This site also contains a very particular ecosystem for the typical colonization of plant species: the acidity of the soil and the presence of a natural heating of the area creates an environment with a specific microclimate, congenial to the plant of the cork oak.
Questo sito racchiude anche un ecosistema molto particolare per la colonizzazione da parte di specie vegetali: l’acidita’ del terreno e la presenza di un riscaldamento naturale dell’area realizza un ambiente dal microclima specifico, congeniale alla pianta della sughera.
SANTUARIO DELLA MADONNA DEL FRASSINE
It is considered one of the most important shrines in the area of Maremma and reached its greatest fame in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its name is related to Fraxinus Excelsior, the tree venerated by the ancient Nordic peoples and superstitiously burned in the countryside of Maremma, in order to chase away evil spirits. The Shrine, in a Latin Cross plant, has three altars: the greatest one, with two statues, was the work of Domenico Notari Lugano, in 1700. The altar on the right, dedicated to the Assumption, was built in 1596; the other one, on the left, dedicated to S. Silvestro, was built in 1696. From the main altar you get into a room where the wooden statue of the "Virgin and Child" is kept in the background of an extremely ornated wall, probably belonging to the school of Pisa of the 14th Century.