Outside the medieval hamlet of Chianni, there is a series of cascades along the stream known as torrente Carbonaia. They are called the cascate del ghiaccione because the water is icy, both in winter and summer. Ghiaccio means ice in Italian; indeed, folks in the area used to use the stream as a natural refrigerator to keep things fresh and cold.

The setting is pretty - chestnut woods interspersed with grape vines and olive groves. Take the road that leads from Chianni towards Castellina Marittima. Paths descend to the Carbonaia stream but are unmarked. Look for a small bridge, followed by another small bridge. The paths are between these two, with the most frequently used being the path immediately next to the second little bridge.

Walk along the stream to take in the vibrant colors (especially pretty in Autumn), the fragrances of the woods, and the sounds of the trickling water. You'll need to cross the stream a few times, so make sure you're wearing good sturdy shoes. If the water is running high like in winter months, bring a change of socks and shoes, as you may get wet!

You'll be rewarded with a nice walk and the spectacle of water racing over the rocks in lovely cascades, and forming pools below. In hot weather you can stand beneath the water or splash in the pools, but even then the water is -as the names says-icy!

Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!

Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Le Cascate del Ghiaccione? Ask them here!

Address in Chianni:

SP 48, Carbonaia.

Have a look at our holiday homes in Chianni.