“The land without the sweetness of the trees”. And in fact this is exactly what is fascinating about this vast area in the south-east of the province of Siena – its lunar aspect coming from the clay, of a blue-grey colour, on which any kind of vegetation endeavours to flourish. But it is also an area full of history, art and natural beauties, crossed by the via Lauretana, running along the edges in the midst of vast landscapes and wheat-cultivated hills.
The land is made up of clay, mixed with rock salt and chalk, called “mattaione”, coming from the sediments of the sea which covered the area over 2 million years ago.
The barren and sweetly rolling hills are dotted by isolated farmhouses on the tops surrounded by oak and cypress trees while the vales, thanks to the “fontoni” which keep rainwater, are covered in woodland.
The “calanchi, le biancane e le balze” (commonly called “mammelloni” – huge breasts ) are the typical land formations which can be seen mainly in an area called “Deserto di Accona” (Accona Desert). The area includes Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme, San Giovanni d’Asso and Trequanda and each one has its own various attractions even in the small hamlets and smaller settlements.