Traveling along Via del Sale from San Gimignano to Volterra is not just moving in space: it’s especially like stepping back in time.
This cycle route travels through stunning natural surroundings full of evocative soft pastel colors and dotted with olive, cypress and oak trees as well as ancient farmhouses.
The route follows the old Via del Sale, also known historically as the Via Salaiola or the Via Volterrana. In the Middle Ages, great quantities of salt were transported along this route by donkeys and mules. The salt was extracted from the saltwater springs that were concentrated in the ponds and lakes near the Volterra hills. Sodium chloride, as well as other substances (silver, zinc, lead and copper) played a key role in the region’s economic growth and the rise of ancient Velathri, which name nowadays is Volterra.