The Etruscan Heritage
Maremma was the cradle of the Etruscan civilisation. The earliest evidence of a culture that is identifiably Etruscan dates back to 900 BC, and the presence endured until they were assimilated into Roman Empire (27 BC). The Etruscan society was very organised: they developed a system of writing, had impressive skills in metalworking (especially gold), art, and a very complex (polytheist) religion.
The Etruscans also achieved a state system of society and, like the contemporary cultures of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, had a significant military tradition.
The Maremma territory still carries the memory of this great civilisation, and many remains can be seen all around the area.
Village-Hopping in Maremma
One of the best ways to discover this part of Tuscany is village-hopping, as Maremma is full of charisma and authenticity, begging to be explored. Perched villages, mysterious roads with spiritual purposes, traditions, and customs: an ancient history runs through these hills. Villages you can’t miss when in Maremma are:
- Pitigliano, with its typical houses in tuff mixing with the rock underneath, the Orsini Palace and the fascinating Jewish ghetto
- Sorano and its houses excavated in tuff, dominated by the powerful Orsini fortress
- Scansano, the homeland of Morellino wine
- Sovana, most known for the Etruscan Necropoli and the Romanesque Cathedral
If you are in this area, we suggest you also visit Vie Cave, short connecting paths or communication routes cut into the tuffaceous rock. There is an artificial roadway that proceeds between two vertiginous tuff walls, in some cases 30 metres high, which connects the valley with the villages of Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano. To this day, we are not sure of the use that the Etruscans made of it, and one of the most fascinating hypotheses indicates that they could have been sacred paths.
The Coast and Its Beautiful Beaches
The Maremma Coast goes from Piombino to the famous Monte Argentario. It has a varied landscape, and goes from sandy beaches to rocky coves.
Going down from Piombino (the second main port in Tuscany), you will find lots of characteristic spots like Torre Mozza and Follonica, followed by Punta Ala, one of the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany. In the southern part of Maremma, the most famous ones are Castiglione della Pescaia, Talamone, Capalbio and, of course, Monte Argentario. This Monte (Mountain) used to be an island, now connected to the mainland via three narrow sandbars.
The area north of Piombino is not technically considered Maremma, but it is worth mentioning. The seaside stretching from Livorno to Piombino is known as the Etruscan Coast because this was the Etruscans’ favourite coastal area. Populonia, one of the most renewed Etruscan archaeological sites, is located here in the Baratti Gulf.
As mentioned, Maremma is the wildest part of Tuscany, so it is definitely the perfect place for every nature lover.
The first mention of natural attractions has to go to the Natural Park of Maremma, commonly called Parco dell’Uccellina.The park covers an area of 9800 hectares and extends along the coast from the town of Principina a Mare to the town of Talamone. It includes the last marshy lands near the mouth of the Ombrone, which are home to important colonies of marsh birds. The Maremma park is also home to the Butteri, the legendary Maremma’s cowboys.
Another important natural site is Monte Amiata: an ancient sleeping volcano, characterised by beautiful woods and picturesque villages, between the Maremma and the Terre di Siena.
Finally, we have the fascinating Saturnia Hot Spring. Besides the luxurious and exclusive wellness and Spa centre, in Saturnia, there are two outdoor waterfalls, the Cascate del Mulino - probably the most famous natural springs in Tuscany and Cascate del Gorello. The waterfalls are made of several natural pools of warm thermal water, and they are open to the public and free throughout the entire year.
Events in Maremma
There are lots of events in Maremma throughout the year, but the most unique one is the Torneo della Rosa dei Butteri, a tournament in which the most skilled Butteri (the Maremma’s cowboys) compete to steal a rose applied to the arm from each other. This event takes place in Alberese on May 1st.
Furthermore, if you like jazz music, you can’t miss the Gray Cat Jazz Festival, one of the best-known jazz festivals in Italy. It takes place in Grosseto throughout of August.
Finally, if you have kids and you are looking for family-friendly activities to do in Tuscany, check out our guide.
Vineyards Tours and Food Experiences
Maremma has a wine-making tradition that goes back thousands of years to the Etruscans. This land’s soil and climate characteristics are peculiar: the proximity to the sea, mountains, and hills, together with mild winters and summers that are never excessively hot, make this land unique.
The most famous wines of the area are: Morellino di Scansano, Bianco di Pitigliano, Sangiovese della Maremma, and Ansonica dell’Argentario.
There are three main wine routes you can follow:
Road of wine of Montecucco
This itinerary connects the various producers in the territory of Monte Amiata, taking its name from the Montecucco DOC wine. Among the typical products of this area are truffles and porcini mushrooms.
Strada dei Colli di Maremma
This wine route goes from Grosseto to the Valle del Fiora to the Costa dell'Argentario. Combine food and wine, combining the excellent Morellino di Scansano DOCG with the famous Tuscan DOP path.
Wine route of Monteregio
Last route passes through the territory of Massa Marittima and of the Metalliferous Hills, where the Monteregio of Massa Marittima wine and of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP of Seggiano are produced.
Spread all over Maremma’s hills and coast, there are also lots of typical osterie and restaurants worthy of trying. The traditional cuisine is full of tasty dishes like tordelli al ragù di cinghiale (stuffed pasta with wild boar ragu), acqua cotta (vegetable and bread soup), and caldaro (fish soup).
If you are passionate about nature and like a more wild landscape, or you want to discover a less touristy Tuscany, Maremma is the place for you. Check out our range of Villas to rent in Maremma and start planning your dream vacation with the Salogi team. Our local experts will be happy to assist you, please don’t hesitate to contact us to explore our Tuscany villas to rent for your next holiday.
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