Do you know that geothermal energy supplies almost 30% of the electricity consumed in Tuscany? And do you know that this source of energy is renewable and emits very little CO2 (a greenhouse gas leading to climate change), when power stations transform it into electricity? If you stay in Villa le Barone or in Vecchienna, you will be able to discover the sources of geothermal energy in Tuscany!
The geothermal zones around Larderello, Monterotondo Marittimo, Sasso Pisano and Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina are to be visited: you will discover new landscapes, with lagoons, fumaroles, small geysers, warm waters. You can also visit the very interesting museum in the village of Larderello, which tells the history of geothermal energy since Antiquity.
Evidence of geothermal activity dates back to the Greco-Etruscan-Roman era, and Etruscan and Roman baths have been found in Sasso Pisano, where Vecchienna is located. They appear on a Roman military map of the 3rd century. Baths and hot springs in the region were also used in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The industrial use of hot springs began in the early 19th century under the leadership of François de Larderel, a Frenchman who developed techniques for extracting boric acid from geothermal fumes. This product was once used as a food preservative. It is also François de Larderel who gave his name to the small city of “Larderello”, as he was the young entrepreneur to develop the region. Later in 1904 Prince Ginori Conti used the pressure of geothermal vapors for the first time to make electricity.
The first power station was then built in 1913. This whole story is described in the very didactic museum of Larderello. Tuscany is certainly the cradle of the use of geothermal energy, but it is also exploited in many other parts of the world. A book recently published by Raffaele Cataldi and Mario César Suàrez Arriaga tells the long relationship between humanity and geothermal energy in the world.
If you stay in Vecchienna, our farm in Castelnuovo di Val di Cecina, you can discover geothermal energy, fumaroles, geysers, you can also visit the Museum of Larderello and swim in the hot springs of Sasso Pisano. And Larderello is only 1h30 from Villa le Barone.