Located in the south of Tuscany, near the border with Lazio, the Maremma is a wild and unexplored territory, guardian ancient charm, unspoiled nature and crystal clear seas.
The territory of the Maremma extends from the border with Lazio to the area of the Metalliferous Hills, dividing into five macro areas:
COLLINE METALLIFERE: with the towns of Campagnatico, Gavorrano, Massa Marittima, Monterotondo, Montieri, Roccastrada and Scarlino
GROSSETO AREA: home to Castiglione, Follonica, Grosseto, Punta Ala and the Maremma Park
MONTE AMIATA: Arcidosso, Castell’Azzara, Castel del Piano, Cinigiano, Monte Amiata, Roccalbegna, Santa Fiora and Seggiano
MONTE ARGENTARIO: Capalbio, Cosa, Giannutri Island, Giglio Island, Magliano, Orbetello, Porto Ercole, Porto Santo Stefano and Talamone
FIORA VALLEY: with the villages of Manciano, Montemerano, Pitigliano, Scansano, Saturnia, Sorano and Sovana
The Metalliferous Hills are the largest hilly and mountainous complex of the whole Tuscan Apennines. They stretch across the provinces of Livorno, Pisa, Siena and, mainly, Grosseto.
This includes the towns of Grosseto, Campagnatico, Gavorrano, Massa Marittima, Monterotondo, Montieri, Roccastrada and Scarlino.
Already home to the Etruscans, the hills were exploited for their ferrous minerals, such as alum, pyrite, antimony, calamine, galena and blenda. Over the centuries mining was the main economic activity for this area with a great development in the second half of the 1800s and after World War II.
The area is characterized by the presence of boracic fumaroles, especially in the area of Monterotondo Marittimo, mainly exploited for the production of geothermal energy. You can see these belching holes of steam at the Natural Park of Biancane, a geothermal naturalistic area that owes its name to the white colour of its rocks, caused by the emissions of hydrogen sulphide which, when it comes into contact with the limestone, forms a plaster. The vapour that comes out of the rocks and the ground has a temperature of about 100°C. This area is part of the Archaeological Technological Park of the Colline Metallifere Grossetane.
Area di Grosseto
Grosseto is the provincial capital of southern Tuscany and the main city of the Tuscan Maremma. It is located in the Maremma coastal area, just 12km from the sea, in the Ombrone valley.
The territory of Grosseto was inhabited in ancient times. In the north-east of Grosseto, you’ll find Roselle, an ancient Etruscan-Roman city.
The area of Grosseto also houses the National Park of the Maremma. It was the first national park in Tuscany, opened in 1975. The park covers an area of 9,800 hectares from the coast of Principina a Mare to Talamone and Orbetello. Within the protected area are various ecosystems from marshy areas to the Mediterranean scrub and a stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast, which is probably one of the most beautiful in Tuscany.
Just 23km from Grosseto, is Castiglione della Pescaia, an unmissable seaside destination and past winner of Italy’s most beautiful beach. In addition to its marvellous beaches and crystal clear waters, Castiglione della Pescaia is also famous for Diaccia Botrona, a protected nature reserve.
Follonica is about 40 minutes from Grosseto, and is another famous seaside destinations. The origins of the town are not old as it was created as a home for the men and women who worked at the Royal and Imperial Foundries in 1834, but the territory around it has been inhabited since the Etruscan period.
Finally Punta Ala, together with Castiglione della Pescaia, makes up the two most exclusive seaside resorts in the province of Grosseto and the Tuscan Maremma.
Monte Amiata is the main mountain in the Tuscan Maremma. Divided between the provinces of Grosseto and Siena, Monte Amiata is home to the largest beech forest in Europe, and is an ancient dormant volcano. On Monte Amiata is a nature reserve, the Monte Amiata Wildlife Park, which protects native animal and plant species including wolves, horses and the Amiata donkey.
Monte Amiata is home to some beautiful villages:
Arcidosso, on the western side of Monte Amiata, is one of the main towns in the area. Of particular interest is the Church of San Niccolò, dating back to 1144, the Church of Sant’Andrea and the Church of San Clemente, the Cinta Muraria and the Rocca Aldobrandesca. Arcidosso is also famous for one of its historical figures, David Lazzaretti, founder of the religious movement of Giurisdavidismo.
Castel del Piano rises on the western side of the Amiata and houses the Church of San Leonardo, the Church of Saints Niccolò and Lucia, the Pieve di Santa Lucia, the Amiatino Theater and the city walls. Every year on the 8th of September, there is the Palio di Castel del Piano, a historic palio that dates back to 1771. The palio is a contest between the four city districts, Borgo, Monumento, Poggio e Storte.
Cinigiano, built in around the 12th century, is one of the most characteristic villages of Monte Amiata. Among the streets of the village are the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, the medieval Clock Tower and the Casa Museo in the hamlet of Monticello Amiata.
Medieval Roccalbegna is located in the high valley of the river Albegna and is characterized by the presence, in the town, of two imposing rocky cliffs, on which were built the Rocca Aldobrandesca in medieval times and the Cassero Senese, during the Renaissance.
Santa Fiora, famous for its fish pond, built by the Sforza family in the 16th century, houses the source of the Fiora river and is one of the most beautiful villages in the Tuscan Maremma. It has beautiful churches, including the Church of the Saints Flora and Lucilla, the Church of Suffrage and the Church of Our Lady of the Snow, as well as the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini, the Cinta Muraria and the Museum of Mercurial Mines of Monte Amiata.
Seggiano, famous for its extra-virgin olive oil DOP, is located in the north-western areas of Monte Amiata. Nestled in the countryside of Seggiano is the modern art Garden of Daniel Spoerri.
The Argentario coast is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Italy with crystal clear waters bathing imposing rocks covered with Mediterranean vegetation and, in the background, the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Giglio, Giannutri and Monte Cristo.
The Argentario coast is home to:
Porto Santo Stefano, famous for its shops and restaurants. A walk along the promenade is a must if only to soak up the simple beauty of the sea.
Porto Ercole, beloved for its nightlife. Every year it hosts the Night of the Pirates, one of the most beloved summer events and the reconstruction of a historic event. On 12 June 1544, the pirate Barbarossa attacked the town. Porto Ercole has beautiful historic buildings, the Church of Sant’Erasmo, the imposing Forte Stella and the Palace of the Rulers.
Orbetello is at the center of the lagoon to which it gives its name and connected to the mainland by the two thin strips of land, Feniglia and Giannella. Surrounded by its Etruscan walls, Orbetello is a great place in summer when it comes alive with locals and tourists.
Talamone, with its characteristic port, is a delightful seaside village. It is famous as one of the places Garibaldi stopped on his way north to reunite Italy.
Ansedonia is the city of Cosa, an ancient archaeological site of Roman origin. The City of Cosa was founded in 273 BC, and today you can visit the remains of some of the most important Roman buildings including the Temple of Jupiter, the Forum and the Cinta Muraria.
Capalbio is a bit of a celebrity, the summer hang out for VIPs, actors and politicians. Outside the town is the Tarot Garden, a splendid work by the artist Nikki de Saint-Phalle. The garden is animated by statues depicting the tarots cards. Impressive and evocative, they are decorated with stone mosaics, mirrors and coloured glass.
Magliano is famous for its walls and its wine.
Valle del Fiora
In the southern areas of the Tuscan Maremma, the Valle del Fiora is home to some of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany. The territory has been inhabited since ancient times and remains dotted with ancient Etruscan-Roman cities, the Vie Cave and the necropolises.
Manciano is the main town in this part of the Tuscan Maremma, known as the Spy of the Maremma for the breathtaking view that can be seen from the Cassero and which envelopes the Tyrrhenian coast, with the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago all the way to the Apennines.
Montemerano,officially one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Don’t miss the Piazza del Castello, the evocative scenery of the parade ground of the ancient castle, the Church of San Giorgio and the Cinta Muraria, which surrounds the entire ancient settlement.
Saturnia, famous for its spas and the beautiful Cascate del Mulino, the most beautiful free hot spring in Tuscany. Its thermal waters flow at 37°C and are rich in healing properties. The village is one of the oldest in Italy.
Pitigliano, also officially one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, is nicknamed Little Jerusalem for its Jewish quarter where you can see a Synagogue, the Forno delle Azzime, the Butcher, the Cellar and the Ritual Bath. The Cathedral, the Church of San Rocco and the Orsini Palace are also particularly interesting. Outside of town, you can see the Vie Cave, ancient communication routes created by the Etruscans in the tufaceous rocks, and the necropolis.
Sorano, beautiful village of medieval origin and pearl of the Tufo area. Don’t miss the Orsini fortress, the Church of San Niccolò, the Cinta Muraria with its two ancient access gates and the Masso Leopoldino.
Sovana, ancient Etruscan-Roman village and also officially one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It is absolutely unmissable. Here time seems to have stopped in the Middle Ages. On the main strip, you can discover its most beautiful monuments, the Palazzo Pretorio, the Palazzo dell’Archivio, the Loggia del Capitano, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Duomo and the Rocca Aldobrandesca.
To find out more about the Maremma, check out our online guide.