Maremma Tourist Information

The Maremma of Tuscany 2017

Grosseto

The Cathedral

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Castiglione della Pescaia

The Maremma

Hotels in der Maremma

Hotels in the Maremma

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The Maremma

Map of the Maremma

Click the small map above to view
the five main geomorphological areas of the Maremma.

Coastal Maremma - the former marshlands

Maremma amara - "bitter Maremma" - this is how a traditional Tuscan song describes the coastal area of the province of Grosseto that makes up the southernmost part of the Maremma. For centuries it was plagued by malaria and had a standard of living that was close to bare survival. In The Divine Comedy (Canto 13 of the Inferno), Dante wrote: "Non han si aspri sterpi né si folti quelle fiere selvagge che in odio hanno tra Cecina e Corneto i luoghi colti" (the wild beasts that find no home in the cultivated fields between Cecina and Corneto find refuge in the thick, harsh bush of the Maremma).

Maremma coast

Maremma coastline

Coastal Maremma is one of the least populated areas of Italy, with large stretches of land left undisturbed for the flora and fauna, which seem, even beyond its boundaries, to be a natural extension of the Parco dell'Uccellina, even though the area has undergone massive reclamation, transforming what was once putrid and unhealthy marshland into habitable terrain. Although the reclamation work was started by the Grand Dukes of Tuscany in the 18 C, continued by Mussolini who moved in settlers from the Veneto, and was only finally completed in the post-war period. The remaining marshes are now protected wetlands where numerous species of waterfowl breed.

It was not, however, just the climate and the environment that gave the area such a bad reputation. In a land where neither agriculture or any other form of development was possible for centuries, banditry was rife and the area was unsafe, with the result that it tended to be avoided. Away from all the main routes, it was effectively cut off from the rest of the region.

The towns on the coast at Cala Martina, Cala Violina, Punta Ala and above all at Castiglione della Pescaia are now tourist resorts that benefit greatly from the beauty of the sea and the hills running down to the coast, as well as the unspoiled countryside which is a mix of Mediterranean scrub and pine woods. Wonderful walks are provided by the climb to Monte d'Alma or Poggio Ballone which provide protection for small villages and rugged castles.

Parco Naturale della Maremma

The most famous part of the Maremma is the Parco Naturale della Maremma, otherwise known as the Parco dell'Uccellina after the name of the hills that comprise a large part of the park area. The entrances to the park are at Talamone and Alberese. The park is not open every day and it there is a limit on the number of visitors allowed in each day. For this reason, in addition to the heat in summer, it's a good idea to arrive early.

Parco Naturale della Maremma

The park stretches inland from the banks of the mouth of the river Ombrone, where on rare occasions one might come across the traditional Maremman herdsmen called butteri, descendents of the settlers from the Veneto. Apart from long-horned cattle and horses, as you move inland you start to come across wild boar, roe deer, fallow deer, badgers and foxes, and it's also common to see ducks and coots, plus predators such as buzzards, kestrels and peregrines, or, during the night, tawny and barn owls. The area is a permanent habitat for some birds, but is also a stopping-off point for many birds on their long seasonal migrations. The park flora is also very interesting, with palmets, scrub plants that grow in sand, lentisk, and daphne, besides pines, which grow spontaneously but have also been transplanted there in order to protect the environment from land slippage or a tendency to become marshy.

Maremma steer

San Rabano

San Rabano

The Maremma is not lacking in interesting architecture which  can be seen at Fonteblanda, Talamone and Alberese, the high point of which is the beautiful abbey church of San Rabano, built by the Benedictines and subsequently taken over by the Cistercians.

Alta Maremma

Alta Maremma - Upper Maremma - does not allude to altitude, even though much of it is very high, but to the northerly location of this area. Villages such as Scarlino, Gavorrano, Ravi and Buriano look out over the coast of the Alta Maremma, which has been inhabited since the days of the Etruscans. The latter founded one of their most beautiful cities here, Vetulonia, which, together with Roselle, reveals some of the most visible traces of their presence in this region. In its time, Vetulonia was extremely prosperous because it was able to exploit the nearby mines at Massa Marittima, and it also had a thriving maritime trade.

During a trip through the Alta Maremma, a visit to the Rocca di Scarlino is recommended. This is the last outcrop of the Colline Metallifere, the metal-bearing hills, and the vegetation surrounding it is extremely beautiful, in particular the change from cork trees and Mediterranean scrub to the centuries-old chestnut trees of Tirli, which is an ideal spot for long walks and excursions.

More about the Alta Maremma.

Area del Tufo

Another part of the Alta Maremma is the inland area of characteristic tuffa rock, famous for its Etruscan past. The villages here are basically a series of open-air museums and seem to grow out of the rock. Manciano, Vulci, Sovana and Saturnia are all worth visiting. Among these villages clinging to spurs of tuffa, is Vitozza, with extraordinary caves hidden in the bush.

Saturnia is famous for the hot sulphurous waters of its thermal baths. The temperature is a constant 37 C, and the waters can also be enjoyed for free in nearby Gorello, where there's a beautiful steam and spray-filled basin.

On the way to Monte Amiata is the town of Pitigliano, surrounded by vineyards and built on the edge of a cliff which gives it the appearance of a fortified town. It has extremely ancient origins and was ruled by many different powers until it finally became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1608.



Saturnia



Pitigliano

Metalliferous Hills (Colline Metallifere)

The centre of this area of the Alta Maremma is Massa Marittima.

Costa d'Argento and the Bassa ("lower" or southern) Maremma

A visit to Maremma should also include the Argentario, a kind of island clinging to the land, where the beauty of the promontory combines with that of the lagoon, making it one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Tuscany and the Maremma.

Similarly, Orbetello lies at an attractive meeting of land and water. The lagoon is enclosed by two strips of land, and can best be appreciated by a trip to Punta Telegrafo, where you get an extensive view inland and on a clear day you can see Elba.


Orbetello

Near Orbetello, and very close to the boundary with Latium, is the small hill village of Capalbio, which, surrounded by arbutus bush, evokes the atmosphere of rich courts and a quiet life. In Roman times, the area was a favourite spot for emperors, who came to spend their summers here away from the heat of Rome.

A bibliography of Grosseto

Grosseto and the Maremma © ammonet InfoTech 2003 - 2017