Maremma
Maremma

What to do in Ansedonia, a tour between sea and archaeology

Ansedonia and the ancient Roman colony of Cosa

Ansedonia is a tourist destination of the southern Tuscany located near the Monte Argentario. Ansedonia has become a seaside and holiday resort during the 20th century, while in the past there was an ancient Roman colony. Located few kilometres from Orbetello, in province of Grosseto, Ansedonia has a very interesting archaeological site and some very nice beaches.

What to do in Ansedonia Tuscany

As we said, Ansedonia is a locality that can meet two distinct types of tourism: summer tourism linked to the sea and cultural tourism.

The beaches of Ansedonia

In Ansedonia there are two beaches that are on opposites sides of its promontory: one on Argentario’s side and one near the area of Capalbio. These are two long sandy beaches where we can find free access beach and bathing establishments with bar and restaurants. Both remain shallow for several meters and thus are suitable for children.

Ansedonia
Ansedonia (Photo by trolvagCC BY)

Archaeological area of Cosa

Cosa was a Roman colony founded in 273 B.C. between two hills behind the seaside of Ansedonia. Founded after the victory against Volsinii and Vulci, the town of Cosa is considered one of the most valiant examples of town from the third century before Christ.

The town had a strong polygonal city wall with defensive towers, today we can see few parts of this wall. Inside the walls the city was organized following a checker scheme; archaeologists found some districts as the foro (the political district), the acropolis (the religious district) and the residential zones. All these areas were partially excavated and brought to light. In the sacred area were discovered the rests of the Capitolium, the temple of the Jupiter, Juno and Minerva and of another temple dedicated to the goddess of Aurora, Mater Matuta.

Ansedonia Archaeological area of Cosa
Archaeological area of Cosa (Photo by SailkoCC BY)

The Museo Archeologico nazionale di Cosa is located inside the archaeological area. The eposition is housed in a building creatd were there was a big roman house. The museum collects the materials coming from the excavations and from the ancient harbour of Cosa. Among the findings there are everyday items of various type and decorations from the temples of Cosa.

Address: via delle Ginestre 35, Ansedonia (GR)
Opening hours: from the 1 ctober 2017 monday-saturday and first sunday every month 8.15-16.30
Tickets: regular 2 euro; reduced 1 euro
For informations and reservations: tel. 0564 881421

Ansedonia Museo di Cosa - Statue
Museum (Photo by SailkoCC BY)

At the feet of the promontory is possible to visit the remainings of the Portus Cosanus, the harbour of Cosa, but before you go there we suggest to enjoy the panoramic view, you’ll be hooked!

The towers of Ansedonia

From Cosa you can see three towers: the Torre di San Pancrazio, the Torre della Tagliata and the Torre di San Biagio; two fo these towers (San Pancrazio and Tagliata) are located on the seaside. The torre della Tagliata is also known as Torre Puccini in honor of the compositor Giacomo Puccini who lived here betweem 1919 and 1922. During these years, Puccini wrote some of its musics as a part of the Turandot. Both the Torre di San Biagio and the Torre della Tagliata should have a medieval origin, even if the structures were enhanced during the 16th century by the Spanish; in the same period, the Spanish built the third tower: San Pancrazio.

 Ansedonia Tuscany Italy: Torre di San Biagio
Torre di San Biagio (Photo by Matteo Vinattieri / CC BY)

A short distance from the Torre di San Biagio, we find the ruins of the oratorio di San Biagio alla Tagliata. This late medieval church incorporates the remains of a Roman mausoleum of 2nd century a.d. According to tradition, this chapel were founded by some Armenian monks to preserve some relics as the head of San Biagio. When these relics were moved to Siena, the oratory lost importance and were abandoned.

The Tagliata Etrusca and the Spacco della Regina

The Tagliata Etrusca and the Spacco della Regina are two Roman engineering works created to canalise the water from the see and avoid trouble to the harbour. The Spacco della Regina is a natural fissure with artificial adaptations, that was substituted by the Tagliata because some landslides blocked the passage. The Tagliata Etrusca… is not Etruscan but Roman! It is a long canal, dug into the rock, to create a a system of currents and against currents between the sea and the canal of the Lago di Burano. Both these works are in southern part of Ansedonia.

Tagliata Etrusca in Ansedonia Tuscany Italy
The Tagliata Etrusca

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