Castiglione della Pescaia, a beautiful castle on the sea
Castiglione della Pescaia is a well known seaside town, very appreciated for its clean sea and its beaches. Castiglione della Pescaia’s sea and shores have got many prizes like the Bandiera Blu (an important approval for the most clean beaches in Italy) for the year 2017.
The area around Castiglione is full of di historical records since it is inhabited since Etruscan times as documented by the near Vetulonia. Probably here there was once the ancient roman centre of Salebrum; the rests of this town could be in the area of the docks, near the river Bruna.
Between the 10th and the 13th centuries, Castiglione della Pescaia was part of the territories of Pisa. After the Pisan domination, Castiglione became a free municipality but, during the 15th century, was conquered by Alfonso V of Aragon. In 1460 the castle became a possession of the family Piccolomini, and then, in 1559, was ceded by these to Medici, rulers of the Granducato di Toscana.
As we said, today Castiglione della Pescaia is an important holiday destination, among the most renowned of the Maremma.
Things to do in Castiglione della Pescaia
Visiting Castiglione della Pescaia there are things to do both in the lower part and in the upper part of the town.
In the lower part there is the modern town; here you can find bars, restaurants, shops and the bathhouses. The seaboard of Castiglione della Pescaia is made by a long sandy beach interrupted only by the port. On both sides of the beach there are bathhouses and free beache.
The upper part of the town is more ancient and stands nestled between the wallson the top of Poggio Petriccio, behind the modern town.
What to see in Castiglione della Pescaia
You can get to the city centre through one of the four city gates opening into the walls. Castiglione della Pescaia still has many parts of two distinct city walls: the first one came from the Pisan domination and was around the upper and the lower town; the second, made by Aragonese and Siena, protect only the area of the castle and the upper town. Many defensive structures of Castiglione are well preserved; among these there are the castle (closed to public), the towers and the emplacements for the arquebuses.
Inside the walls there are some interesting monuments as the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Giglio, built during the 13th century and then incorporated in the walls under the clock tower; the Renaissance Palazzo Centurioni; the Palazzo Camaiori and the chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. Located near the northern wall, the chiesa di San Giovanni Battista has as bell tower a tower of the city walls and, as portal, a bas-relief of the early middle ages. Inside ther are two late Baroque altars; the right one is enhanched with an altar-piece representing the Saints Guglielmo and Petronilla invoking the Madonna to protect the town and conserves the relics of San Guglielmo of Aquitania.
Before you leave the town you can’t miss the panoramic view from the bastions, it’s simply breathtaking!
What to do around Castiglione della Pescaia
In the immediate vicinity of Castiglione della PEscaia we report the Riserva naturale Diaccia Botrona. It is a protected natural area, remnant of the marshes that once covered the Maremma and in particular of the ancient Lake Prile. Here a typical marsh environment has been preserved with its ecosystem. In the area around the riserva naturale Diaccia Botrona there is the isola Clodia, that once was an island, where are the rests of a Roman villa from the first century before Christ and other rests from the Benedictine abbey of San Pancrazio al Fango. An interesting proof of remediation undertaken by the Lorraine during the eighteenth century, is the so called Casa Rossa (or Casa Ximenes) designed to perform functions of reclamation and today used as multimedia Museum (Museo Multimediale della Casa Rossa Ximenes) and visitor center of the nature reserve.
16 September – 30 March: thursday-sunday 15.00-sunset
1 April – 14 June: thursday-sunday 15.30-19.00
15 June – 15 September: tuesday-sunday 16.00-20.30
Museum: regular 2,50 euro; free for kids till 6 years; guided tours for 60 euros.
There are many guided tours to the nature reserve by foot or boat; is possible to walk free into the Riserva Naturale Diaccia Botrona taking the path number 31 or RET 010, length of 14 km.
For more informations about the guided tours, look here.
How to get to Castiglione della Pescaia
By train: the closest train stations are in Grossetoand Follonica, from there you need a bus.
By bus: from the station of Grosseto you can get to Castiglione della Pescaia in 30 or 40 minutes taking the bus line 1/G, 1FP or 49D by Tiemme Grosseto.
From Follonica line 49D by Tiemme Grosseto.
By car: from north A12 higway till the exit Follonica nord, then continue on Aurelia/SP152 through Follonica and take SP158 till destination.
From south A12 highway till the exit Grosseto sud, then SP154 and SP158 till Castiglione della Pescaia.