Tuscan Maremma


Guide to visiting Magliano in Toscana

Magliano in Toscana

Magliano in Toscana is a town in the province of Grosseto located in the central part of the Tuscan Maremma. The village stands in a beautiful hilly position immersed in a countryside full of olive trees and vineyards. The medieval origin of the center is made clear immediately thanks to the mighty walls that surround it and, by visiting it, you can admire many other testimonies of that era.

The history of Magliano, however, does not begin in the Middle Ages but in the Etruscan era. In fact, numerous Etruscan necropolises have been identified in the area, such as those of Heba, which document a deep-rooted presence in the territory of this ancient people. Among the many artifacts found in the area, the so-called “Disco di Magliano” stands out. This is a lead artefact on which one of the longest Etruscan texts ever discovered is engraved and which has allowed us to better understand this language.

In medieval times, Magliano became part of the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi family who controlled vast territories in southern Tuscany. The Aldobrandeschis remained in power until the fourteenth century, when the city entered the orbit of the Republic of Siena which was at that time a real power. Like all the territories of Siena, Magliano also became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany around the middle of the sixteenth century.

What to see in Magliano in Toscana

Magliano is truly a very pleasant village rich in history. Guarded and protected by mighty medieval walls, the town preserves some monuments of great interest such as the Pieve di San Martino, the Palazzo del Podestà, the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista and the Palazzo di Checco il Bello. Lovers of history and archeology can also consider a visit to the Centro di documentazione archeologica.

Medieval walls

The large and powerful walls of Magliano were built by the Aldobrandeschi who once had a fortress here of which no traces remain. The walls were then enlarged during the fourteenth century and partially destroyed by the Sienese. During the domination of Siena, the walls were strengthened again and came to have the shapes that we can still admire today.

The walls are reinforced by 9 towers and have 3 access gates, the Porta di San Giovanni and the Porta di San Martino built by the Aldobrandeschi, and the Porta Nuova from the Sienese era. Obviously the walls have long since lost their defensive function but today, thanks to their well-preserved patrol walkway, they offer a service much appreciated by visitors: a wonderful panoramic view that sweeps far and wide to the sea.

Walls of Magliano in Toscana
Walls of Magliano in Toscana (Photo by Matteo Vinattieri / CC BY)

Pieve di San Martino

The Pieve di San Martino is a graceful Romanesque church documented since the thirteenth century. The façade, very simple, has a portal characterized by two sculpted lateral reliefs: in the one on the left a warrior and a dragon are depicted, while in the one on the right there is another monstrous creature. A second portal opens along the right side of the church. Inside there are a series of frescoes made between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which however are very fragmentary.

Pieve di San Martino
Pieve di San Martino (Photo by Matteo Vinattieri / CC BY)

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista

Even the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista was originally a Romanesque style but, over the centuries, it has acquired new elements that have distorted its appearance. The façade is in Renaissance style with elements of classical inspiration such as the pilasters that frame the façade. Other elements, such as the windows on the left side, are in the Gothic style. The interior, with a single nave, is embellished with frescoes from the Sienese school made between the 15th and 16th centuries. In the apse there is a wall tabernacle from the early 13th century while the baptismal font is located on the left.

Olivo della Strega

Immediately outside the town of Magliano, in one of the many olive groves that surround the village, there is a very special tree: the Olivo della Strega. This is truly a special plant, it is in fact one of the oldest olive trees in all of Europe; according to some estimates it should be over 3000 years old! This monumental olive tree is actually composed of two distinct plants, an older one, now dead, which would have been born around 1000 BC. and a younger one that was born from the first one almost three centuries ago. The dimensions of this tree are impressive: 9 meters in diameter and 6 meters in height.

Monastero di San Bruzio

The remains of the Monastero di San Bruzio are located just two kilometers south-east from the center of Magliano in Toscana. The complex was founded by the Benedictine monks around the year 1000 and the construction of the monastery was completed towards the end of the 12th century. Today very little remains of the church, only the apse, the arches that supported the dome and part of the transept walls. One may think that it is very little, but there are many details that make us understand how beautiful this church must have been, which still today, although reduced to rubble, retains a special charm.

Monastero di San Bruzio
Monastero di San Bruzio (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

Places to visit near Magliano in Toscana

Magliano is located in an excellent position in the Tuscan Maremma at a distance of 14 kilometers from the sea, 25 kilometers from Grosseto and with many other interesting places to visit in the surrounding area. Let’s see together what are some of the main destinations to see near Magliano in Toscana.

Pereta

Pereta is a small hilltop village of medieval origin. The center is located just north of Magliano in a strategic position that was long disputed by various local lords until the final conquest by Siena. The military importance of this center is evidenced by the walls that still partially surround the town today. Access to the oldest part of the village is guaranteed by the Porta di Ponente. The main points of interest are the Torre dell’Orologio, the Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta and the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista.

Montiano

Founded towards the end of the 13th century by the Aldobrandeschi, the village of Montiano has had a history similar to that of Magliano: in the 14th century it was conquered by the Sienese and two centuries later it became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Not far from the village are the ruins of the Castello di Montiano Vecchio which was abandoned at the beginning of the fourteenth century due to the damage suffered after a Sienese siege.

Archaeological sites

In the surroundings of Magliano there are several Etruscan necropolis built between the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The only ones that can be visited are the Necropolis of Santa Maria in Borraccia and the Necropolis of Cancellone, while the Tomba delle Ficaie, the Tomba di Sant’Andrea and the Necropolis of the Sassone are located on private properties. Of particular interest is the Tomba di Sant’Andrea with its beautiful wall paintings which have been reproduced in the Documentation Center of Magliano. The findings of the necropolis are kept in the Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma in Grosseto and in the Centro di documentazione archeologica of Magliano.

Sea near Magliano in Toscana

Magliano is located a few minutes drive from the sea and from some of the most beautiful beaches of the Maremma. The nearest localities are Talamone, a very popular destination for sailing lovers, Ansedonia, Orbetello and the Argentario. In each of these places there are very beautiful beaches and a crystal clear sea.

From Magliano you can also quickly reach the beautiful Parco Naturale della Maremma and the famous Terme di Saturnia.

How to get to Magliano in Toscana

Magliano does not have a railway station and the closest ones are located in Grosseto, Albinia and Talamone. It is not exactly easy to reach the village by public transport therefore it is certainly worth taking the car.

By car: from Florence, motorway junction to Siena, then SS223 to Grosseto (follow signs for Grosseto Sud), take the Aurelia until the exit towards Montiano / Magliano. From Rome (158km) A12 northbound until the exit for Manciano. From there continue on Strada Provinciale Perrina and on SS323 to your destination.

Bus: from Grosseto, line 9 / G.

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