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Nature Park Biancane di Monterotondo Marittimo | Experience geothermal energy live

Bubbling mud holes, hissing fountains, hot vapours from rock cracks and the ground, mixed with gases that smell of sulphur and rotten eggs.

The scenario is slightly reminiscent of Iceland, the Yukon or other hot regions of the world. One does not necessarily associate the south of Tuscany with it, and yet around Monterotondo Marittimo it is an area where geothermal forces are active and come to the surface.

It is exciting that white areas develop around the escaping high-temperature vapours, because rocks and earth react with the chemical vapours with a white discolouration. The resulting so-called "biancane", white spots, characterise the appearance of this landscape and have given the nature park its name "Biancane di Monterotondo Marittimo". The park is part of the Colline Metallifere National Park.

In the midst of green-brown nature and reddish rock, the Biancane shimmer like white dots of colour set into the landscape by giant paintbrushes. Uniquely beautiful light and natural atmospheres turn the region into a unique spectacle. A work of art, unreal and magically attractive at the same time. Along the designated trail, hikers not only experience living geothermal energy from the hot underground, but the path also leads past old industrial monuments. The region in the Colline Metallifere with its ore-bearing deposits has been exploited for mining since the Etruscans. In 1777, Francesco Hoefer discovered boric acid in the hot waters, which could be used for disinfection purposes, among other things. Today, the Italian energy provider ENEL extracts geothermal energy from the hot springs, which is converted into electricity in the power plant.

A look at the flora and fauna in the nature park is also fascinating, as many plants have settled in this unreal and sometimes rather hostile area and form an endemic community. Plants have to be prepared for high acidity levels in the soil, hot surroundings and other hardships.

Those who want to delve more deeply into the geology and geothermal energy of this unique region in Tuscany can find out exciting background information at the Museo MUBIA and, via an impressive multimedia show, make contact with Gea, the mystical Mother Earth, and discover her inner being.

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