The Accesa Lake is located in the territory of the Grossetane Metalliferous Hills, south of the municipality of Massa Marittima. It is one of the main naturalistic and archaeological areas of the Tuscan Maremma, now home to an Archaeological Park.
The history of the lake
The area around the lake saw human presence since the Etruscan period, in fact there were settlements already in the sixth century BC. Thanks above all to the proximity to the iron, gold, silver and lead deposits. The first Etruscan villages developed in the hilly area, as evidence of the Etruscan presence, numerous tombs and ruins of houses remain today.
Even in Roman times, industrial activity continued on the area, this activity lasted until the eighteenth century. At the Forni dell’Accesa locality, the remains of the ancient blast furnaces that were used for the transformation of the extracted metals are still visible today.
The mining activities on Lago dell’Accesa were interrupted in conjunction with the start of the reclamation work carried out by the Lorraine.
There is a legend about this lake, it is said that on June 26, Sant’Anna, the owner of the land forced his peasants to work, not respecting the celebrations for the saint, the work lasted until late in the evening and during the night it was heard a very loud roar and at that precise moment a chasm opened in the ground that engulfed the oxcarts and the peasants at work, and in the same place the lake was born. Legend has it that even today, on the night of Sant’Anna, you can hear the moans of the oxen and the screeching of the wheels of the wagons.
The Accesa Lake is located about 7km from the town of Massa Marittima, is surrounded by rolling hills covered with dense woods, it is the only natural basin in the northern territories of the province of Grosseto and is home to some important native plant species of the area. The waters of the lake are extraordinarily clear and crystalline, deep – in some places they even reach 50 meters -. The lake is not very extensive, it has a total area of only 14 hectares.
The particular conformation of the shores of the lake and the reclamation of the marshy area has limited the proliferation of native species of the wetlands, nevertheless the lake hosts an interesting plant variety, common water lily, flounder buttercup, potamogeton coloratus and ludwigia palustris. The stretch of water is completely surrounded by a reed thicket of marsh reeds and sedge, where white vilucchio, common marshmallow and hops are also born spontaneously. Very high weeds and Montpellier thistle are also very popular. In the southwestern area, there are some particularly drought-resistant species Juncus conglomeratus, Scirpo Romano, swamp clover, willows, poplars and ash trees. Ciperaceae are also abundant, specifically Carex distans, Carex Otrubae, Clidemia hirta, Cyperus flavescens and Giunco odorato. Orchids are also very interesting, although rarer, Elleborina Palustre and Orchidea di Palude.
The fish fauna that populates the lake is not indigenous but made up of species introduced by man, largemouth bass, gambusia, herbivorous carp, sun perch and perch.
Archaeological Park of the Accesa Lake
Within the archaeological area there are five districts and as many necropolises. The various archaeological sites cover a time span that goes from the 7th to the 6th century BC, although some pit and well tombs may be older and date back to the 9th-8th century BC.
In all likelihood, the community of Lago dell’Accesa was placed under the control of the powerful Vetulonia.