Guida Toscana, Immagini della Toscana

| Parco Naturale delle Maremma


Colline Metallifere

la costa Toscana

Crete Senesi

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore



Montagnola Senese

         Walking in the Montagnola senese


Monte Amiata





          Fonti di Siena



Val d'Elsa

Val d'orcia




          San Quirico d'Orcia


          Walking in the Val d'Orcia

Val di Chiana



Valle d'Ombrone









Podere Santa Pia, situated in a particularly scenic valley, which overlooks on the hills around Scansano, up to the Maremma seashore and Montecristo. Montecristo was immortalised by the novelist Alexandre Dumas as the location for a stash of buried treasures in his novel The Count Of Monte Cristo.

The garden is very shady, also during the summer. Instead of green, the fields are ablaze in that golden yellow you see on postcards,
with the typical bales of hay which appear in every golden field by mid July.
Toacana ] Galleria di immagini  
The Maremma is a vast area in Italy bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea, consisting of part of south-western Tuscany - Maremma Livornese and Maremma Grossetana (the later coincident with the province of Grosseto), and part of northern Lazio - Maremma Laziale (in the province of Viterbo and Rome on the border of the region).
The poet Dante Alighieri in his Divina Commedia places the Maremma between Cecina and Corneto, the former name of Tarquinia.

Non han sì aspri sterpi nè sì folti
quelle fiere selvagge che 'n odio hanno
tra Cecina e Corneto i luoghi colti.

It was traditionally populated by the Butteri, cattle-breeders who until recently used horses with a distinctive style of saddle. Once unhealthy because of its many marshes, the Maremma was drained during the fascist regime and re-populated with people coming from other Italian regions, notably from Veneto.

Endowed with significant natural and environmental resources, the Maremma is today one of the best tourist destinations in Italy, a region where ancient traditions have survived and Tuscan culture is preserved. It is being promoted as a destination for agritourism.

In the Maremma region various popular wines are produced, some of which gained DOCG status, Montecucco, Morellino di Scansano and Maremma Toscana. When it comes to Tuscan wine, organic varieties have found important applications and supportive enthusiasts and the Maremma boasts great organic farms and biodinamic vineyards.

Wines in Tuscany | DOC Montecucco

Wines in Tuscany | The biological or orgaic wine in southern Tuscany

Maremma, map

The Maremma Grossetana can be divided into 5 main areas, each with its own characteristics and attractions.

* Alta Maremma (Upper Maremma) is the northern part of the Maremma region, right on the border with the Province Siena. This area is characterised by the many picturesque hilltop villages (Pitigliano, Roccastrada, Roccatederighi, Sassofortino, Monte Massi, Massa Marittima, Cinigiano, Campagnatico, Pari), which remind of the hilltop towns of the Siena area.
* The heart of the Maremma [1]. Grosseto can be considered the capital of the Maremma. The area around Grosseto and the coast, with Marina di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia and the small villages that lie in the plain between the city and the coast, represents the heart of the Tuscan Maremma.
* The hills of the Upper Maremma [2]. The hills the Maremma can be divided into three areas: the area del Tufo (tufo is a volcanic rock found in the area that has been used for thousands of years in construction), the Colline Metallifere (literally, "the hills that produce metals") and the internal hills on the border with the Siena region. This is the heart of the Etruscan Empire (many[who?] would debate that the heart of the Etruscan Empire was actually in the Maremma Laziale, in an area also known as the Tuscia, where Tarquinia was "the chief of the twelve cities of Etruria"Tarquinia).
* On the shoreline of the Maremma sandy beaches alternate with rocky coastline. The long stretches of pine tree forests which border the beaches of the Maremma are a naturalistic treasure as well as the few areas where the lagoon and swamp ecosystems have survived urbanization, reclamation or simple draining, such as the nature reserve of the Diaccia Botrona near Castiglione della Pescaia.
* The metalliferous hills [3]: The Colline Metallifere (literally, the metalliferous hills or the hills which produce metals) have always been the industrious heart of the Maremma and some places still point to times when the life on these hills was much harder. As their name says, the soil of these hills, which spread from the border with the province of Siena to the Gulf of Follonica, is rich in minerals and mines have been excavated for centuries in search of iron, copper, lead, zinc, pyrites and silver. The main town is Massa Marittima.


The Maremma | Beaches, marinas and reserves

The Maremma's provincial capital Grosseto sits on a plain traced by the Ombrone river. Grosseto was originally surrounded by a marine gulf that, over the centuries, was transformed into a large lagoon.Although it was damaged by bombing during the 2nd World War, the city has a lovely old town center enclosed by its marvelous Hexagonal Walls. They were built by the Medici at the end of the 16th century from a design by Baldassarre Lanci; the Fortezza Medicea, the northeast bulwark of the walls, is a site of particular fascination consisting of tunnels, magazines and gatehouses.
The Duomo is the city's most interesting monument even though its many renovations have removed much of its primitive splendor. While the north side remained unfinished, the façade and south city feature bands of white and red stone. The interior is in the shape of a Latin cross divided into three naves by strong pillars. In the second bay on the left, you will note a lovely octagonal baptismal font from 1470 with very elaborate work.
Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma The archeological and art museum is housed in the former courthouse. The museum has a collection of 5,000 prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman relics. It is organized into 5 sections and presents the vicissitudes of the Etruscan city of Roselle in chronological order. One section is dedicated to the archeology of the province of Grosseto, excluding Roselle, from prehistory to late antiquity.
Roselle Archeological Area: ruins of the Etruscan, Roman and Medieval cities. It was located on a plateau that allowed controlling the present plain of Grosseto, which in ancient times was occupied by the ancient lagoon system that formed a large saltwater lake deep enough to be navigable. You can see the stratified remains of the Etruscan-Roman city: the city wall, remains of Etruscan houses and the Imperial age complex, with forum, stone streets and a well-preserved amphitheater. Visiting hours: from 09:00 to sunset.

Castiglione della Pescaia is an important seaside resort set along the coast of the Tuscan Maremma, where important works for the reclamation of the territory were realised under the Florentine domination.
The village was founded by the Romans, with the name of "Salebrum"; in a IX century document it is mentioned as "Castellione della Piscaria". Then it was conquered by Pisa and, in the second half of the XVI century, passed under the control of the Medici family.
The historic town centre is set on a promontory, characterised by a medieval castle built in the X century by the Pisans as a lookout tower. Many other fortifications are still visible on the territory, such as the Cassero Senese in Vetulonia, the Aldobrandeschi castle in Buriano, Lilli Tower, Cala Galera Tower, Punta Ala Castle and the Appiani Tower.
The archaeological sites in Vetulonia, the remains of a Roman villa near the Bruna river, the Tombolo pinewood and the Daccia Botrona Natural Reserve - in an area originally occupied by the Prile lake - are interesting too.
The Pieve church of San Giovanni Battista was built in the XVI century using a weapons warehouse and realising the bell tower in neogothic style with a tower of the city walls.
Among the other churches, we mention the medieval Pieve church of Santa Maria Assunta in Buriano, the baroque church of Sant'Andrea and the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio.

Located in the center of the homonymous gulf, Follonica is a famous seaside resort, whose city name probably derives from “fulloni”, meaning the bellows used in the foudries.
The first document in which the town is mentioned is dated back to 1038; however many important archaeological remains of the Etruscan period were founded during recent works. Folonica’s history is strictly linked to smelting art and especially to Leopold II of Lorena, who firmerly wanted a foundry here.
In 1977, in the old iron and steel industry was putted on the Museum of Iron and Cast Iron, to testify local activity of artistic manufacture of iron. In the museum it is possible to revive all the phases of manufacture of iron and to admire the old machines used in the above mentioned manufacture.
The Church of San Leopoldo, also known with the name of “iron church” was designed by the architects Alessandro Manetti and Carlo Reishammer between 1836 and 1838. It is in neoclassic style with latin cross plan with iron pronao, rose window and apse. Inside it is characterised by only one nave and cross vault in addition to the use of the iron for the realisation of the base of the pulpit, the balaustrade of the presbytery, columns and candelabras.

The most beautiful beaches in Tuscany | [1] From Principina a Mare to Piombino
The most beautiful beaches in Tuscany | [2] From Principina a Mare to Ansedonia

Massa Marrittima is located in lovely position on a hill. Called the “Jewel of the Middle Ages” due to the beauty of its Romanesque and Gothic buildings, it is a monumental city where everything has remained in the harmonious proportions of past centuries. The city has always derived its wealth from copper and silver mines, agriculture and crafts and, in recent years, from tourism.
The Piazza del Duomo is striking: here, due to the positioning of the buildings, the architectures of the religious power and that of the lay authorities seem to avoid rather than confront each other. The Cathedral, located at the top of a flight of stairs, is in an asymmetric position with respect to the piazza. All this gives it a very dynamic appearance compared to the surrounding space. The cathedral was enriched over the centuries to the extent that what we see today is the sum of different styles, from Lombard to Romanesque and Gothic. The façade has recently been restored and returned to its original splendor. The inside is imposing in its naked simplicity. There are the remains of frescoes from the end of the 13th century and there are several 11th-century Lombard frescoes in the interior façade. There is an imposing Baptistery, closed by an iron gate, which consists of a Travertine basin from 1267 and a marble tabernacle that was added later.
The piazza contains several medieval palazzi, including the centers of the civil power of the time: facing the Duomo, there is the Palazzo del Podestà that was built around 1225 to house the family that ruled the city in the middle ages. On the other side of the piazza is the Palazzo Comunale, formed from the fusion of three house-towers constructed in different periods. Climbing Via Mancini, one comes to the Fortezza dei Senesi, joined to the Torre del Candeliere by an arched bridge. The fortress is a splendid example of medieval architecture and was built by the Sienese conquerors to physically separate the three parts of the city (terzieri) and prevent the residents from rising up against them.
Museo della Miniera: the mining sector, which today is in decline, was the backbone of the local economy for decades. The Mining Museum is housed in a system of subterranean tunnels that were used as an air-raid shelter during the war. In about 700 m of tunnels, the museum recreates the various systems for reinforcing and excavating the deposits. There is a display of mining machinery and a small collection of local minerals.

The small town Magliano has a medieval appearance and a fortified center that is one of the most enchanting of the Maremma. During the Middle Ages, it was a dominion of the Republic of Siena, which fortified it with a mighty wall, which is still well-preserved today. Visitors are astonished by the imposing and elegant architecture of Magliano's wall. The walls on the southeast side are the oldest, constructed by the Aldobrandeschi counts in 1300. The western walls were constructed by the Republic of Siena in 1400, with semi-circular rather than square towers, and many other strategic novelties. The southwest walls, overlooking the sea, are the best preserved. The walls preserve the very suggestive ancient nucleus of the town. The two churches of San Giovanni Battista and the Santissima Annunziata are worth visiting for the many works of art they preserve inside. In particular, in the second church you can see the valuable painting, “La Madonna che allatta il Bambino” (Madonna Nursing the Child) by Bartolomeo di Lando.

In a land of brigands and wild boar, Capalbio is a splendid medieval town that rises on a wooded hill covered with typical Maremma thatch. The view from the town is astonishing and embraces the entire Maremma from the plain to the coastal pine forests and the silver sea. The atmosphere of the village's narrow streets is unique and has made Capalbio a summer resort destination for Italy's cultural, political and economic elite.
During the Middle Ages, it was first a possession of the Aldobrandeschi family, passed to the Orsini counts and, in 1416, was annexed to the Republic of Siena. The territory was later assigned to the Medici of Florence and began a slow and inexorable decline. In the 19th century, the town was home to bandits that terrorized the Maremma for many years and the most famous was the brigand Tiburzi, whose legend has survived to our own days.
The town, dominated by the Rocca Aldobrandesca, preserves its medieval plan almost intact, to the extent that you can follow the entire ancient "camino di ronda" (patrols path) along the walls. The Pieve di San Nicola, with its splendid Romanesque capitals and frescoes from the Siena school, is also worth a visit. Finally, we recommend a visit to the fascinating “Giardino dei Tarocchi” (Tarot Garden) created by the great Franco-American artist, Niki de Saint Phalle. The garden is located in the hamlet of Garavicchio and can be visited from May to the end of October.
Every year, Capalbio is the site of Capalbio Cinema the International Short Film Festival.

Orbetello is a very special town on a thin tongue of land that extends into the lagoon that gave it its name. The city has a singular hull shape which is surrounded by the homonymous lagoon and joined to the Monte Argentario promontory by a dam built in 1841.
Orbetello was already inhabited in the Etruscan period and was later dominated by the Roman Empire. In the past, its favorable geographic position made it an attractive conquest, not only by noble Italian families, but also by foreign states. From 1555 to 1707, it was occupied by the Spanish, who proclaimed it the capital of the “Stato dei Presidi” and constructed mighty fortifications there.
The old town center is surrounded by about 2 kilometers of Etruscan walls. The walls probably date from the 5th century BC and are formed from large masses of polygonal shapes, set in place without mortar. Inside the walls, the ancient Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta rises in Piazza del Duomo, with a Tuscan Gothic façade. Taking a walk through the center, you can see the Palazzo del Governatore, alongside the Torre dell'Orologio and the monument to Garibaldi. In the 17th century, the Spanish built fortifications like the Polveriera Guzman, a large powder storehouse that contained tons of explosives and that, today, houses the city's archeological museum.
The area around Orbetello contains a wealth of interesting places such as the port of Talamone, a picturesque fishing village built around an ancient 15th-century fortress that provides a charming panoramic view of the coast and islands.

ature reserves and beaches | The Tuscan and Etruscan coast

One of the most interesting areas of Tuscany, between Follonica and Castiglione della Pescaglia, thanks to its beaches, tourism port at Punta Ala and the Etruscan monuments at Vetulonia. This area is also very interesting for its nature, with the State Natural Reserves of Tomoboli di Follonica and Scarlino, including the inlets of Cala Martina, Cala Francese and Cala Violina. The hinterland of Castiglione della Pescaia hosts one of the most important wetlands of the Tuscan coast: the Natural Reserve of Diaccia Bortona, where the small WWF Oasis of Marze is located. Beyond the historic centres of Castigllione della Pescaia, Vetulonia and Scarlino, the villages of Buriano and Tirli as well as isolated archeological monuments like the Roman villa of Puntone and the Etruscan necropoli of San Germano and Poggio Tondo are all worth visits.

Walking in Tuscany | Southern Tuscany | Nature reserves and beaches in the Maremma, in southern Tuscan