Toiano alle Brota in Tuscany, the ghost town
27 Aug

Toiano alle Brota in Tuscany, the ghost town

There are plenty of little known but absolutely stunning places in Tuscany. Among these ones is Toiano alle Brota, a village as suggestive as isolated, which falls under the category of "ghost towns". Its origins date back to the Dark Ages and its structure is the one typical of a castle. It is accessed via a bridge, which was probably a drawbridge back then. Toiano is now uninhabited and it has been reported to the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) to be included in the census of the most loved places to be saved.

Toiano is situated in an area of ​​outstanding scenic interest, closed between Palaia and Volterra and situated on a hill of tuff and sandstone. The entire surrounding area is characterized by the presence of tuff spurs of about 40-50 meters called "badlands"; they are blocks of gray-ocher dry terrain, which have been extensively eroded by wind and water through centuries. Because of that, this land is now uncultivable and devoid of vegetation.

The town has experienced a prosperous period up to the Nineteenth century, a time when it boasted a population of about 500 inhabitants. With the advent of industrialization, however, the inhabitants gradually abandoned the place in order to migrate to the big cities. In the end, it was left to be completely desolate.
Toiano alle Brota is reached through a road that is just 3 meters wide and 5 kilometers long, running through the Tuscany's hills. This path is interrupted by the entrance to the village and it goes nowhere else, further testifying the town’s strong isolation. In the middle of the village, there is a single road called Via del Castello, which is only 50 meters long.

The town consists of a few houses, many of which are in ruins, a cemetery and a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, which is now disused and in a state of decay. Toiano alle Brota is the ghost town par excellence and anyone coming here experiences the profound state of desolation of this surreal place. It’s also one of the few places in Tuscany remaining closed to mass tourism, completely devoid of restaurants, eateries, hotels, shops or anything else you might expect to find in a residential area.

Nevertheless, Toiano offers without a doubt a magnificent panorama: in particular, the terrace facing south, in the direction of Volterra, offers a breathtaking view, thanks to the absolute silence surrounding the area.