What to do in Paganico, a medieval village in Tuscan Maremma

Paganico, a “borgo franco” founded by Siena

Paganico is a small village in Maremma located near the river Ombrone about 25 kilometres far from Grosseto.

The hamlet was born as “borgo franco” (a duty free village) in 1262 when the Sienese decided to create a fortified outpost at the southern border of the Republic of Siena. In 1278 the burg was equipped with city walls and in 1303 became the seat of an important Vicariate.

In 1334 began the works to finish and restore the defensive structures of Paganico. This intervention was necessary following damage sustained in 1328 when the village was occupied by Castruccio Castracani.

What to do in Paganico: Cassero Senese and Porta Senese
The Cassero Senese and the Porta Senese on the main street of Paganico (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY 3.0)

What to do in Paganico

Paganico still retains a good part of the walls and other fortifications built during the 14th century. The walls, mainly conserved along the north-west and south-west sides, help to easily identify the original rectangular plant that sets this hamlet. On the walls there are still some towers and three city gates: the porta Gorella to the west, the porta Grossetana to the south and the porta Senese to the north. The latter is the most interesting of the three surviving city gates because it is part of the Cassero Senese. The cassero is the most important fortification of Paganico and is equipped with an high defensive tower  that stands to the right of the Porta Senese.

What to do in Paganico: The Cassero Senese in Paganico
The Cassero Senese in Paganico (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY 3.0)

Walking down the main road, which runs from the Porta Senese to the Porta Grossetana, you will reach a pleasant square where is the chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo. Built in gothic style between the 13th and the 14th centuries, the Church preserves some paintings as the afrescoes in the choir attributed to Biagio di Goro Ghezzi, a San Cristoforo (15th century) on the right wall and a Madonna with Child and Saints by Andrea di Niccolò.

What to do in Paganico: Church of San Michele Arcangelo - Andrea di Niccolò - Madonna with Child and Saints
Church of San Michele Arcangelo – Andrea di Niccolò, Madonna with Child and Saints

Along the main road you can notice some brick buildings, one of them is the fourteenth-century Palazzo Pretorio, the ancient seat of the judiciary of the Republic of Siena.

How to get to Paganico

By car: Paganico can be reached by the  Strada Statale SS223 that links Siena and Grosseto.

By bus: from Grosseto, line 51G or 26R (Tiemme Grosseto); from Siena line 51G (Tiemme Grosseto); from Florence line 50G (Tiemme Grosseto)

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