from Monte Amiata's summit towards the valleys, fresh mushrooms are to be found, and a little lower, in certain places, truffles. reaching the chestnuts belt, in autumn a riot of colours sets off the highly prised chestnuts. While today chestnuts are a valuable product, for many centuries they were the sole source of food for the people of the mountain: now there is an association which protects the chestnuts. . There are many varieties, but only three, the Marrone, the Cecio and the Bastarda Rossa can claim IGP Castagna del Monte Amiata status. The flour obtained by drying the chestnuts in specislly constructed buildings and then grinding them, is used to make a wide variety of sweet and savoury local dishes. It is possible to go all along the seven streches of the "Chestnut Way" as it winds through chestnut woods many centuries old, and old fortified medieval towns.
Below the towns the country is full of the olive trees from which the precious oil is made. Standing out above all the rest is the indigenous "Olivastra Saggianese", which has DOP certification status. Traditional pressing with huge stone millwheels can still be seen at the Camarri Frantoio (press) in Arcidosso, and the very latest machines for pressing at the frantoio "Enolea" in Seggiano.
Lower still is the wine growing area. Amiata is the centre of an area ideally suited for wine growing:to the north Brunello of Montalcino, and Castello Banfi, one of the most interesting estates in the world; to the east the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano; south the Morellino of Scansano and the Bianco of Pitigliano;and west, the vines from the Montecucco area which fan out over the mountain's lower slopes. Superb quality wines with the rich flavours of the Sangiovese grape which is indigenous to the area. Amiata also produces great sheep's cheeses, matured in different ways. A particular type of pig, the Cinta Senese, said to be indigenous, is also reared around here and is responsible for the wonderful quality of meat which is then turned into hams, sausages and salamis, in the pork butchers. The vigorous vegetation in the area favours bees and the production of honey. Lastly, baked products such as the savoury biscuits from Roccalbegna DOP.Fabbiano Flamini, who works in Semproniano is undoubtedly the king of cake and sweet making. In Castel del Piano there is Corsini Biscotti, a small scale family business whose products are to be found in the shops all over the area.