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The Masso delle Fanciulle in Tuscany is an enchanted place. Protect it with your vote
The Masso delle Fanciulle is an enchanted place that wins the hearts of those who visit it. That’s why it deserves to be protected. With your vote.
When someone mentions the Masso delle Fanciulle (Maids’ rock) in Casole d’Elsa, a town in the province of Siena, Italy, the elderly often comment: “We used to go to the Masso when we were young and catch fish with our bare hands. We used to catch bucketful of fish” or “When I was young I used to go to the Masso and sleep there. It’s one of the best memories of my life”.
Where the Masso delle Fanciulle is
The Masso delle Fanciulle, also known as “the sea of the poor”, is a natural area stretching along one side of the River Cecina, in the surroundings of Pomarance and Volterra. It has been a popular destination for centuries among tourists and the inhabitants of the valleys of Era, Elsa and Cecina. It is an enchanted and picturesque place boasting a beautiful landscape. It’s a common destination of students on a school trip and people in search of contact with nature. Studied and observed by researchers, the reserve includes a rocky canyon covered with dense Mediterranean vegetation.
This landscape, like many others in Tuscany, is threatened by the expansion of geothermal power stations on an industrial scale, following Legislative Decree nr 22 of 11th February 2010 that liberalizes the energy sector. The increasing requests for exploring wells in the subsoil threaten the environmental, social and economic sustainability of these regions. For this reason different committees have been formed, such as the Comitato difensori della Toscana, which was established in 2012, and fights against the limitless development of geothermal energy.
The Masso in the heart of FAI
It is sufficient to mention the Masso delle Fanciulle that the face of those who have been there lights up, clears and a smile spreads over their face in the evocation of memories, sensations, emotions. The oldest inhabitants of the region recall their grandparents’ tales: a legend has it that some maids threw themselves into the deepest rock pool of the River Cecina in order to run away from a local landlord who was vexing them; according to another legend there was just one maid who decided to stop her heartaches by throwing herself into the river.
For all these reasons, the Masso delle Fanciulle is running to become one of the Luoghi del cuore (places of the heart) of FAI because “everyone is emotionally linked to at least a place that represents an important part of their life and wants it to be protected forever”.
Voting the Masso “is a way to raise awareness on this area – the members of the Committee said – and protect it from drills”.
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