Hidden treasures

The legend of Lake Accesa in Massa Marittima

Mysteries & Legends

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: Non avere il becco di un quattrino

Figures of speech

Do you know what the expression ‘non avere il becco di un quattrino’ means? I am worried many of you these days have that clear in ...


Pistoia: The eccentric Dandy: from Pistoia to the web!

Big Names

In Pistoia there is a person who, at least from the point of view of his clothes, disturbs the tranquility of the provincial town. In F...


Florence: Peposo: history of an ancient and delicious dish

Did you know that...

Along with the Florentine steak, peposo is certainly one of the best known and most delicious traditional Tuscan dishes. It is a succul...


Pistoia: Vanni Fucci: the thief from Pistoia

Historical Curiosities

If, after reading the title, you are trying to recall some piece of news to do with Vanni Fucci, unfortunately you are completely wrong...


Top posts

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

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...


Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

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...


Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Local Traditions

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


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

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...