An Etruscan hypogeum
or an underground burial chamber
Leaving Montecastelli and going towards Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, you’ll find one of the most impressive remains of an ancient human settlement in the Valdicecina. It’s a small Etruscan hypogeum, an underground burial chamber called “Buca delle Fate”, literally “The Fairies’ Pit”, from the 6th century b.C..
It’s a chamber carved in limestone, with a quadrangular shape and supported by a pillar in the middle. Tunnels on the sides of the central room lead to smaller burial chambers, which is where the bodies were placed.
The tomb was probably looted in ancient times and is today completely empty, but the chamber has been used in more recent times, as the many paleochristian symbols on the walls and the central pillar show. As a matter of fact, the Buca delle Fate was used as a shelter for Christians at the times of the Roman persecutions of Christians and Aryans..