Maremma
Maremma

Things to do in Massa Marittima: complete guide

Massa Marittima, guide to major attractions

The origins of Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima is in the South of the Colline Metallifere (metalliferous hills) in an area that has been inhabited since prehistoric times as testified by numerous archaeological findings.

Massa was probably found by the etruscan, but the first mention of the town, could come from the Res Gestae by the roman Ammiano Marcellino, where is mentioned a place called Massa Veternensis (Old Massa).

The most important period in the history of the town began in eleventh century when Massa became episcopal seat. So, until the fourteenth century the city reached its peak also and above all thanks to the numerous mineral wealth of the area.

Things to do in Massa Marittima: the visit to Massa Marittima

The historic centre of Massa Marittima is composed by two parts: Massa Vecchia (Old Massa) and Massa Nuova (New Massa). In the Middle, between the old and the new town, stands the fortezza senese.

Old Massa

Massa Vecchia, the lower part of the town, in the past was the center of the civil and religious power.

Our visit begin in via Ximenes. On the right side there are the Palazzo dell’Abbondanza (1265), a warehouse with three pointed arches, and the public fountains called Fontane dell’Abbondanza. The road ends in Piazza Garibaldi. This is the heart of the old town; here we find the buildings that represent the spiritual and temporal power.

The square has an irregular shape  further accentuated by the location of the Cathedral that is placed diagonally to the space in front. With its monumental buildings placed to create a breathtaking scenery, the square is a masterpiece of medieval town planning.

The Cathedral of Massa Marittima

The Cathedral of San Cerbone, built from the second half of the twelfth century, is the main religious building of this area and also the most important monument of the Massa Marittima. This is one of the most important romanesque-gothic building in Tuscany.

The cathedral stands at the top of a steep stairway in the south side of piazza Garibaldi. The wonderful facade is characterized in the lower order with a series of blind arches that continue even on the sides of the building. Above the portal, five more arches on columns stands before the rose window. A last series of arches is in the tympanum.At the base of some columns there are sculptures representing the symbols of the evangelists and other subjects both human and animals. Also the architrave of the portal with the episodes from the life of San Cerbone is remarkable. The bell tower stands on the left. Partially rebuilt in 20th century, it has five series of arches on every sides.

The interior has three naves divided by arches on columns with corinthian capitals. Among the many works preserved inside the Cathedral we recommend to focus on the baptismal font (1267) made by Giroldo da Como; the Ark of San Cerbone (1324), a marble urn made by Goro di Gregorio located behind the main altar; and, inside the Chapel of the Madonna, the Madonna delle Grazie (1316) attributed to the workshop of Duccio da Buonsinsegna and maybe performed by Duccio in person.

Things to do in Massa Marittima: visit the Cathedral of San Cerbone
Cathedral of San Cerbone

Civic Archaeological Museum

In front of the cathedral stands the Palazzo del Podestà or Palazzo Pretorio. Built between the 1225 and 1235, today the Palazzo Pretorio hosts the Civic Archaeological Museum.

The museum documents the history of the town from the prehistoric times to the roman age. Is particularly interesting the section dedicated to the etruscan age.

Opening hours:
April-October: 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00
November-March: 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-17.00

Tickets: regular 3 euro; reduced 2 euro; groups 2 euro

Things to do in Massa Marittima: visit the Palazzo Pretorio
Palazzo Pretorio (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

On the right of the Palazzo Pretorio, in via Todini, stands the Palazzina della Zecca where you can find the Tourist Office. Heading back to Piazza Garibaldi, walking clockwise direction we find Casa dei Conti di Biserno and the Palazzo Comunale (city hall), result of the merger of 13th-14th century tower houses. Right in front of the town hall, you can see Palazzo Malfatti, former Palazzo Pannocchieschi (13th century). To the left of the building starts the street connecting the old and New Mass Mass: via Moncini.

Via Moncini leads to Porta alle Silici (14th century) that connect the massetane walls of the 12th century and the sienese one (14th century). Passing through Porta alle Silici, you’ll reach piazza Matteotti in Massa Nuova.

New Massa

Torre del Candeliere and the Sienese Fortress

In piazza Matteotti there are some military buildings as the Torre del Candeliere (Candlestick Tower), part of the 13th century fortress, that is connected to the Sienese Fortress through an impressive arch. The Sienese Fortress, was built after the 1335 when the Republic of Massa became vassal of Siena. Partially destroyed in 18th century before and in in 19th century after, the building was restored during the last years.

From the fortress you can enjoy an amazing view on the city and and the surrounding area.

Opening hours:
April-October: 10.30-13.30 and 15.00-18.00
November-March: 11.00-13.00 and 14.30-16.30
Closed on monday

Tickets: regular 3 euro; reduced 2 euro; groups 2 euro

Things to do in Massa Marittima: visit the Torre del Candeliere
Torre del Candeliere (Photo by Matteo Vinattieri / CC BY)

Museo di Arte e Storia delle Miniere

On the left side of piazza Matteotti stands the Palazzo delle Armi (15th century) home of the Museo di Arte e Storia delle Miniere (Museum of art and history of mines) that documents the history of mines since the etruscan age until our days.

Opening ours:
April-October: 15.00-17.30
November-March: Open only on reservation
Temporarily closed for renovation

Tickets: regular 1,50 euro; reduced 1,50 euro; groups 1,50 euro

A short distance is Porta San Francesco, part of the defensive curtain which here is well preserved. Just beyond the door stands the Romanesque-Gothic church of San Francesco (13th century).

Museum of San Pietro all’Orto

From piazza Matteotti we take Corso Diaz until the church of Sant’Agostino. Built in the beginning of 14th century in gothic style, the church has a travertine sober facade opened by a big portal and a rose window.

On the left of the church, stands the convent of San Pietro all’Orto. Inside the ecclesiastical complex are hosted some interesting museums: the Museo di Arte Sacra, the Centro Espositivo di Arte Contemporanea Collezione “Martini” and the Museo degli Organi Santa Cecilia.

Museo di Arte Sacra and Collezione d’Arte Contemporanea

The Museum of Sacred Art displays works from the Cathedral and other churches of the town. Many of these artworks are dated between the 14th and 15th century, the most important period for Massa from the historical-artistic point of view.
Among these works of art there are: a wooden crucifix and three statues made by Giovanni Pisano, a crucifix by Pietro Lorenzetti and the Maestà by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

Massa Marittima Ambrogio Lorenzetti Maestà
Ambrogio Lorenzetti – Maestà

The museum of Contemporary Art “Angiolino Martini”, collects about 750 works of art from the twentieth century, coming from the collection of Angiolino Martini.

Opening hours:
April-October: 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00
November-March: 11.00-13.00 and 15.00-17.00

Tickets: regular 5 euro; reduced 3 euro; groups 4 euro

Museo degli Organi Santa Cecilia

This museum collects numerous musical instruments from various periods since the seventeenth century. Among the exhibits there are many mechanical organs, some harpsichords and pianos.

Opening hours:
15 January-February: Open only on reservation
March-May: 10.00-13.00 ande 15.00-18.00
June-September: 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00
October-15 January: 10.30-12.30 and 15.00-18.00

Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced 3 euro; groups 3 euro

Museo della Miniera

Located just outside from the old Massa, in via Corridoni, the Museum of Mine was created inside a an ancient mine that was re-used as refuge during the World War II. Inside, the galleries have been organized in order to reconstruct a realisti working environment of the mine.

Opening hours:
April-October: 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00
November-March: 10.00-12.00 and 15.00-16.30
The Museum is accessed by guided tour only. One visit per hour.

Tickets: regular 5 euro; reduced 3 euro; groups 4 euro
With the ticket fo the Museum of the Mine, you have free access to the Museum of art and history of mines.

Things to do in Massa Marittima: visit the Museo della Miniera
Museo della Miniera (prolocofollonica.it)

Antica Falegnameria

The Ancient Carpentry is a museum that document the job of carpenter. The museum is located in vicolo Massaini, just behind the Palazzo Comunale.

Opening hours:
June-September: 10.00-19.00

Tickets: free access

Things to do in Massa Marittima: visit the Antica falegnameria
Antica falegnameria (coopcollinemetallifere.it)

Useful informations

The tourist Office of Massa Marittima is located in Via Todini 5
Phone number: 0566 906554

The cumulative ticket for all the museums of Massa Marittima (and the Torre del Candeliere) costs: regular 15 euro; reduced 10 euro.

How to get to Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima is located in the province of Grosseto at a distance of 50 kilometers from Grosseto and 20 kilometers from the sea and Follonica.

By car:
From Firenze: freeway Firenze-Siena, then Strada Provinciale delle Galleraie, Strada Provinciale Pavone and SR439 (111km)
From Roma: A12 untill the exit Gavorrano Scalo, then Strada Provinciale Collacchia, Strada Provinciale Perolla and Strada Provinciale Massa Marittima (240km)

By bus:
Massa Marittima is served by the bus Tiemme.
From Grosseto, line 43F
From Follonica, line 49M
From Siena, line 59F
All schedules on the official website Tiemme.

Bytrain:
The nearest train station is in Follonica.

Where to park the car in Massa Marittima

A parking lot is located right at the beginning of our route, near via Ximenes.

One thought on “Things to do in Massa Marittima: complete guide

Comments are closed.

We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience and perform analytics. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use by us of cookies and data gathered from your use of our site. See our Privacy Policy to learn more about the use of data and your rights. You also agree to our Terms of Service.