The Monte Amiata Wildlife Park
Monte Amiata is an ancient extinct volcanic that rises in the Tuscan Antiappennino, in Maremma, between the Val di Chiana and the Val d’Orcia.
The mountain rises in southern Tuscany, at 1738 meters and has a series of peaks placed in continuity with each other, Poggio Trauzzolo, Monte Labro, Monte Calvo, Monte Aquilaia, Monte Buceto and Monte Civitella on the Grosseto side of the mountain, Poggio Roccone, Poggio Le Perazzette and Poggio Zoccolino on the Sienese side.
On the Amiata there are the sources of some of the most important rivers of the Maremma, first of all the Fiora and Albegna rivers.
Regarding the history of the mountain, we know that the last volcanic eruption occurred 180,000 years ago, while the first human settlements date back to prehistoric times, presumably the Bronze Age. Subsequently the territory was inhabited by the Etruscans, who believed that this mountain was a sacred land, home of their most important divinity, Tinia, the Roman god Jupiter.
The mountain has an important mining past, especially in the area of Santa Fiora and Abbadia San Salvatore there were some of the most important mines of cinnabar – used to extract mercury – in the world.
The wildlife park
The Monte Amiata wildlife park occupies an area of about 200 hectares in the municipality of Arcidosso. The park was created with the aim of safeguarding the local fauna, in fact many wild animals live in freedom inside.
The Amiata area is home to numerous native plant species, such as maple, field maple, chestnut, lime, juniper and hawthorn.
Free inside the park live numerous wild animals – it is possible to spot them during the free excursions inside the park, following the established itineraries – the Apennine wolf, the chamois, the roe deer, the fallow deer, the deer, the mouflon, the horse and the donkey from Amiata. The Amiata donkey is among other things an endemic breed of Tuscany and in particular of Monte Amiata, this nice donkey has unique characteristics, such as a black cross on the mantle that goes from the withers to the shoulders, a particularly muscular body, ears straight with dark edges.