Tuscan Maremma


What to do in Scansano Tuscany

Scansano, the homeland of the wine Morellino

Scansano is a town in the province of Grosseto which extends over a hilly area famous for the production of wine; the historic center of Scansano is also located on a hill at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. It is a very enjoyable area, quite high but not too far from the sea which is about 30 kilometers away.

We are in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma between the Ombrone and Albegna valleys in an area where Etruscan and Roman settlements are also documented. Various events led the village to be part of the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi first and then of the Sforza family, until it was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the seventeenth century.

Panoramic view of Scansano Tuscany Italy
Scansano (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

What to do and what to see in Scansano

Famous above all for its red wine, the Morellino, Scansano is a village that lends itself well to a holiday full of taste and tradition.

The visit to the historic center of Scansano begins by crossing the sixteenth-century door that overlooks Piazza Garibaldi. Going all the way down the main street, via Vittorio Emanuele II, you will reach the church of San Giovanni Battista. A stone’s throw from the church we find the Palazzo Pretorio. Once the seat of the offices that moved from Grosseto in the summer, today the building is the seat of the archaeological museum and museum of grapevine and wine.

Scansano's city gate in Scansano Tuscany Italy
Scansano’s city gate (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista

Built in the thirteenth century, the Church of San Giovanni Battista was radically rebuilt in the eighteenth century. Inside you can admire some valid paintings such as the Madonna del Soccorso, the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano attributed to Stefano Volpi and the Madonna who hands the Child to Sant’Anna and a polychrome wooden statue of the Madonna, dating back to the fifteenth century.

Museo archeologico e museo della vite e del vino

The archaeological section of the Scansano museum complex reconstructs the history of the territory through the artifacts found during excavations in the area. To this end, materials from the Etruscan site of Ghiaccio Forte and the Roman settlement of Aia Nova are of particular importance.

The Museo della Vite e del Vino deals both with reconstructing the history of wine production and promoting excellent local wines and especially Morellino. The museum itinerary is structured in five sections: history, production, the “cycle of the vine and wine”, traditions and information. Inside the museum it is also possible to do a wine tasting, one more reason to visit it!

Continuing the walk through the streets of Scansano you will be able to admire many prestigious buildings such as the Castagnoli Theater and also some sections of the surrounding walls that have been well preserved. To conclude the visit, I recommend that you reach the highest point in the country to enjoy an excellent view.

Wine tasting

Scansano is famous all over the world for its wine production. The famous Morellino di Scansano is one of the best known wines in all of Tuscany and is a full member of the elite of Italian wines. Its production is regulated by a D.O.C.G (or denomination of controlled and guaranteed origin) disciplinary, whose application is supervised by the Consorzio Tutela del Vino Morellino di Scansano. The disciplinary establishes a series of precise criteria relating to the production area, the grapes used, production, vinification and bottling.

Surely one of the main things to do in Scansano is the tasting of the local wine. Wandering around the village you will have no difficulty in finding wine bars where you can taste the Morellino, as well as in the surrounding area, where you can visit the cellars of the producers who often and willingly organize wine tours among the vineyards, with final tasting.

What to see near Scansano

In the surroundings of Scansano there are numerous archaeological sites such as the Necropolis of Poggio Marcuccio, the site of Ghiaccio Forte, that of Aia Nova and the Roman villa in Civitella; small villages like Pereta; castles such as the Castle of Montorgiali, the Castle of Montepò and that of Cotone; and the Convent of Petreto.

Castle of Montepò near Scansano
Castle of Montepò

The Etruscan site Ghiaccio Forte

Near Scansano is located the already mentioned etruscan site of Ghiaccio Forte. Founded in the 4th century before Christ, the village was equipped with a mighty city wall long about one kilometer. Particularly interesting was the presence in town of a sanctuary documented by numerous votive offerings, the bronzes and pottery. The city was abandoned in 280 BC following the destruction by the Romans; since this date it was no longer inhabited again.

Hamlets near Scansano

The Maremma is full of villages to visit and there are also several in the surroundings of Scansano. Going east you will find Saturnia the spectacular thermal baths and the cities of the tuff area or Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana. Towards the south, going towards the sea, there are Magliano and the centers of the Argentario such as Orbetello, Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano.

Events in Scansano

Numerous events throughout the year enrich the Scansano calendar. Among the most important are the Morellino Classica Festival, a musical event that lasts for months on a tour that touches some of the most evocative locations in the land of Morellino; the Sagra del Tortello and the Festa dell’Uva which are two events dedicated to the food and wine delicacies of this part of Tuscany.

How to get to Scansano

Scansano is located about 26 kilometers from Grosseto, 95 from Siena and 170 from Florence and Rome.

By train and bus: Scansano does not have a railway station but is regularly connected to Grosseto by bus (Tiemme lines); the same goes for Albinia where there is another railway station.

By car: From Florence raccordo autostradale Firenze-Siena till Siena. From there SS223 till the exit for Grosseto and finally SP159.
From Rome A12 till the exit Chiarone, then continue to Capalbio and then on strada provinciale 103 till destination.

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