The Ermicciolo Spring gushes out in the locality of Vivo d’Orcia, in the municipality of Castiglione d’Orcia at 1000 meters above sea level and with a flow rate of 180 litres per second, it is one of the most important springs of Monte Amiata. It owes its name to a small hermitage located next to the intake building.
The Ermicciolo Spring gushes out in Vivo d’Orcia, about 1000 meters above sea level and is one of the most important springs of Mount Amiata with a flow rate of 180 litres per second. It owes its name to a small hermitage, called Ermicciolo, which stands next to the intake building. Its foundation is attributed to San Romualdo at the beginning of the 11th century. Here, under the Benedictine and then the Camaldolese rule, he built the hermitage near the lake that existed before the construction of the aqueduct, and further downstream a monastery, where the County of the Cervini family later arose. Today only the Oratory of San Benedetto remains of the original hermitage, a small Romanesque church owned by the Cervini family itself, and a cell used until the 1950s as a squeegee for chestnuts. The aqueduct was built by the Municipality of Siena by the engineer Luciano Conti, with the aim of bringing drinking water to the city and solving the age-old problem of water supply, which afflicted the regional capital since its birth. A work of high engineering, whose works started in 1908 ended in 1914, when the water reached Porta San Marco. 63 kilometres of cast iron pipes were laid and the intake building was built, right where the water flowed from the hard trachytic rock, in order to preserve its freshness and purity. Today the building can be visited by appointment and the scenery that is shown to the tourist is extremely suggestive and exciting.