5 villages to see in the province of Grosseto
The province of Grosseto occupies the southernmost area of Tuscany and with its over 4,500 km² it is the largest in the whole region. It is a territory as vast as it is varied: it passes from the top of Metalliferous Hills to the plains of the Maremma, from the reliefs of Monte Amiata to the sea, the promontory of Monte Argentario and the islands of the Tuscan archipelago (Giglio and Giannutri). Such a great variety of areas and territories could only give life to an equally great variety of hamlets. In this article we will see some of the most beautiful and represented in the entire province of Grosseto starting with Massa Marittima, an amazing example of a medieval hilltop village, and ending with Giglio Castello which is located on the island of Giglio.
Massa Marittima and its extraordinary cathedral
Let’s start immediately with a bang! Massa Marittima is a true wonder, a medieval jewel rich in history, art and monuments. The city is located in the area of the Metalliferous Hills and from the top of a hill it shows off all its beauty. This center is very ancient, perhaps even of Etruscan origin, and really full of very interesting things to see. The highlight is undoubtedly the Duomo, or Cathedral of San Cerbone if you prefer, a fabulous Romanesque-Gothic church that deserves to be considered among the most beautiful in the whole region, and in Tuscany there are so many beautiful churches! The Cathedral overlooks the beautiful Piazza Garibaldi where we also find the Palazzo del Podestà which houses the Archaeological Museum. There are several museums in Massa Marittima so you will be spoiled for choice. Among other things to see I point out the Fonti dell’Abbondanza, the Cassero Senese with the Torre del Candeliere and the Museum of Sacred Art.
Pitigliano, the little Jerusalem
Pitigliano is a unique show. Really, there are no words to describe the view of this city that emerges from the spur of rock on which it rests, Pitigliano is truly unique! The city is located in the so-called “tuff area”, an area that has been inhabited since ancient time and which already boasted a series of permanent settlements at the time of the Etruscans. Pitigliano is known as the “little Jerusalem” because a Jewish community has settled here for many centuries and has perfectly integrated into the social context. Walking through its narrow streets you will breathe a unique atmosphere, suspended in a time and space that seem light years away from what we are used to. Of course there are also several things to see. The most important are the Medici Aqueduct, the Orsini Palace which houses two museums, the Duomo and the Jewish ghetto with the synagogue and the museum.
Santa Fiora on the Monte Amiata
The time has come to climb Mount Amiata to reach the pretty center of Santa Fiora. An ideal destination for those looking for a little coolness during the summer, Santa Fiora is a picturesque village of medieval origin. The Monte Amiata area was for a long time dominated by the powerful Aldobrandeschi family who owned numerous fortresses and castles. In practically every town in the area there is one; Santa Fiora is no exception even if only a couple of towers of the ancient castle can now be admired, which, moreover, are incorporated between the houses. The most important monument is probably the Pieve delle Sante Flora e Lucilla where you can admire an important collection of terracotta made by the Della Robbia. The most romantic place is undoubtedly the Peschiera, the subject of countless photographic shots. In the city there is also the Mining Museum, dedicated to life and work in the mines of the area.
Porto Ercole, la bellezza dell’Argentario
Finally the sea, and what a sea! We reach the Argentario, the crystal clear sea and Porto Ercole. Located in the eastern part of the promontory, Porto Ercole is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. And who are we to say otherwise? In fact, the place is really beautiful both for the wonderful sea and for the beauty of the city that develops on the hills and along a delightful bay. There are many things to see and do. Let’s start with the sea. There is certainly no shortage of beaches, there are both equipped and free ones; the main ones are Feniglia beach, Cala Galera, Spiaggia Lunga and L’Acqua Dolce. In addition to the sea, however, there are several things to see here. Porto Ercole has a long history behind it and in fact these parts have been seen by both the Etruscans and the Romans. The beautiful Piazza Santa Barbara which offers a truly remarkable panoramic view of the sea, the Rocca Spagnola and the Forte Stella, which is located a little outside the city, certainly deserve to be visited.
Giglio Castello, una perla nel Tirreno
Giglio Castello is located in the heart of the Giglio Island and is also its oldest inhabited center. Visiting it you immediately understand the origin and the antiquity of the center. The village is in fact surrounded and protected by massive medieval walls. Giglio Castello is perched on a hill four hundred meters above sea level from which it dominates the whole island. The village is easily reachable from the port also by bus which reaches its destination in a few minutes. It is just a typical medieval village with narrow and irregular streets in a continuous ups and downs between houses leaning against each other. In the heart of the center is the mighty Rocca Pisana and I recommend a walk along the walls to admire the breathtaking landscape below with the Tyrrhenian Sea that bathes the island of Giannutri, Montecristo, Elba and Corsica.