Hidden treasures

The legend of Lake Accesa in Massa Marittima

Mysteries & Legends
Lago_Accesa

The legend of Lake Accesa in Massa Marittima

Just minutes from Massa Marittima you can find a genuine natural oasis, Lake Accesa, on whose shores lies an Archaeological Park. The lake has a curious horseshoe shape and is fed by a spring located on the lake bed: despite popular beliefs claim it is a bottomless lake, it is actually about 40 metres deep, although mud and sediments have made it very difficult to measure it.
In Etruscan times, a small mining village was located not far from the lake. Silver, lead and other ferrous materials used to be processed here, as testified by the many artefacts found by archaeologists in the nearby woods. This area is also the location of another village nowadays scarcely inhabited: 'Forni dell'Accesa', where you can visit what remains of the kilns used for metalworking during the eighteenth century.

But what makes this lake so interesting? Legend has it that in 1218, in the same place we now see the lake, there was a cultivated valley with a small village. Expecting a bountiful harvest, the landowner forced his servants to prolong the threshing season until July 26th, the Feast of St. Anne protector of harvesters; a day which had always been devoted to rest and prayer. Around lunch time the sky grew dark and suddenly a cyclone destroyed the plantations: while everyone screamed in fear, the ground trembled and split apart, opening up a large chasm which swallowed up houses, crops and poor farmers. Huge tongues of fire elongated from the depths and could only be quenched by a torrential rain that unleashed violently. And so, in just over half an hour, what was once a flourishing valley became a small dark lake that exuded a reddish glow.

It is said that even nowadays, if you go to the lake on July 26th, you can hear the cries of farmers and animals fleeing the disaster that struck their village that distant day... and, by listening carefully, you can even hear the sound of the village bells!

 

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Tuscany: 'Buco pillonzi', all of Tuscany’s irreverence in a witty expression

Buho_Pillonzi
Figures of speech

People who speak Tuscan dialect are known for aspirating their c’s. But this isn’t the only peculiarity and, as a matter of fact, w...

View

Pistoia: Where does the name of the Ospedale del Ceppo in the city of Pistoia come from?

Ospedale_ceppo
Mysteries & Legends

Ospedale del Ceppo undoubtedly counts among the many masterpieces that the delightful city of Pistoia has to offer. What fascinates tou...

View

Florence: The 'Rificolona': a funny name tracing back to the mischievous spirit of Florence’s people!

Rificolona
Local Traditions

Lanterns are now very fashionable and are used at parties and weddings. Florence, however, has always been ahead of time, so much so th...

View

Florence: In Florence people are known to be a 'short arm'!

Braccio Fiorentino_2
Historical Curiosities

How many times have you heard the expression 'avere il braccino corto' (lit. to be a short arm)? Many I guess. You will also then know ...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View