Mono-energetic carbon ion scanning beams of 195.2 MeV/u at the Italian National Centre for Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO) have been used to study the microdosimetric features of an “active” carbon ion beam used in hadrontherapy. A 30x30 mm2 area has been scanned by a 6 mm beam with scanning steps of 2 mm. A mini TEPC of 0.57 mm3 has been used to perform measurements in a water phantom at different depths on the beam axis. The detector small size allowed for measuring, with good spatial resolution, also inside the relatively small Bragg peak region and inside the distal edge, where the radiation quality varies quickly. In spite of the high event rate (up to ~ 105 s-1), no pile-up effects were observed. Results showed that the frequency-mean lineal energy scaled well with the absorbed dose. Moreover, the dose-mean lineal energy itself seemed to be a good descriptor of the radiation quality.