Sassetta in Val di Cornia
Sassetta is a small village in the Val di Cornia in the province of Livorno, located about 15 kilometers from the sea, in the outback of the Etruscan Coast. It is a typical Tuscan hilltop village of medieval origin, made of stone houses leaning against each other overlooking narrow alleys and small squares. In this village time seems to have stopped at a time away from modern frenzy: for sure the visitor will appreciate the calm that these isolated places are able to instill. Also known as a spa, Sasseta is appreciated both for its cultural heritage and for the naturalistic beauties of the area.
History of Sassetta
Documented until the eleventh century, Sassetta was an important castle in the orbit of the Republic of Pisa until 1503 when it was conquered and destroyed by the Florentines. After this episode the village passed first in the hands of the Strozzi family and then in those of the Ramirez de Montalvo, a spanish family who is responsible for the construction of one of the main monuments of the village: the Ramirez de Montalvo Palace.
Things to do in Sassetta
During your visit in ,you can follow some art itineraries, realized with the works of the Simposio di Scultura, that lead along the various points of interest of the village as the permanent exhibition of sacred art, the remains of the Castle and the Church of Sant’Andrea Apostolo.
- Percorsi d’arte
- Resti del castello degli Orlandi
- Palazzo Ramirez de Montalvo
- Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Apostolo
- Rassegna permanente d’arte sacra
Percorsi d’arte di Sassetta
Each year in Sassetta, the Simposio di Scultura realizes a series of works that are placed in the most characteristic and interesting points of the inhabited center. Born in 2009, the Simposio di Scultura Contemporanea in Marmo Rosso (Symposium of Contemporary Sculpture in Red Marble), is set up as an open-air laboratory in which the artists give life to their works under the gaze of inhabitants and visitors. All the works are made with the famous Sassetta red marble, a material used in art since the Middle Ages. At the end of the exhibition the winning work is decreed on the basis of a popular vote.
Palazzo Ramirez de Montalvo
The Palazzo Ramirez de Montalvo was built in the 16th century when the Montalvo family gained the control over this hamlet from Cosimo I de ‘Medici. Renovated during the eighteenth century, the building stands in a dominant position where once was the Castello degli Orlandi; on the façade you can admire a large family coat of arms.
Chiesa di Sant’Andrea Apostolo
The date of the foundation of the church of Sant’Andrea Apostolo is not known, but it is known that it was renovated and enlarged at the time of the Montalvo family in 1625. Inside there are some 17th century paintings, a sixteenth-century table, Madonna and Child among the Saints Girolamo and Antonio the Abbot and a work by the painter Giovan Battista Soldini. Very interesting are also the baptismal font, on which is located the coat of arms of the Orlandi family, and a rock crystal cross from the Renaissance period.
Rassegna permanente d’arte sacra
Inaugurated in 2010, the permanent exhibition of sacred art is set up in the chapel annexed to the church of Sant’Andrea Apostolo. Here we find some artistic testimonies distributed over a period ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern age. In addition to the works already mentioned when we talk about the church, we find exposed sacred vestments, vases, reliquaries and various goldsmiths.
Things to do around Sassetta
- Parco Forestale di Poggio Neri
- Percorso Botanico
- Museo del Bosco
- Terme di Sassetta
The surroundings of Sassetta offer the visitor the opportunity to immerse themselves in the nature of the Parco Forestale di Poggio Neri, a large wooded area of 700 hectares, where you can do many outdoor activities and there are trails to go on foot, by bike or on horseback . Among the various trekking routes we recommend the route 103 known as the Percorso Botanico, an itinerary enriched by didactic tables, which leads to an old red marble quarry. Also inside the Forest Park of Poggio Neri, in the woods of Monte Bufalaio, we find the Museo del Bosco, a small museum dedicated to the daily life of the ancient coal miners. Here we find a faithful reconstruction of how life used to be in these parts.
Among the various attractions located in the immediate vicinity of Sassetta, there are also the Terme di Sassetta (thermal baths) which are located just outside the town, about 5 km away.
How to get to Sassetta
By car: to reach Sassetta you have to take the SS1 Aurelia till the exit of Donoratico and then continue on the provincial 329 for a dozen kilometers to your destination.