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Maremma, butteri
Photo © alexcap76
Photo © alexcap76

Southern Maremma

Crystal-clear sea, unspoilt countryside, hot springs and the charm of Etruscan villages

Southern Maremma is a wild land, where the most unspoilt nature reigns supreme, made up of Mediterranean scrub that inebriates with its various aromas, from the hilltops to the sea. It is also a coastal land, its crystal-clear waters are a metaphor for the purity and authenticity of this area, where the sea lives harmoniously side-by-side with the inland, home to unique villages and a rich history.

A single summary of the undisputed charm of this environment is the Maremma Regional Park, 9,000 hectares of untouched nature, where herds are raised in the wild and animals live undisturbed in their habitats. Today, shrubbery and pine forests prevail, and the marshland that made this area being known as “bitter Maremma” is a fascinating place for birdwatching and fishing, like in Capalbio, home to the beautiful WWF Oasis of the Burano Lake, or Orbetello, where eels, a popular part of local cuisine, swim freely.

An area, therefore, that does not exhaust its attractions on land, extending its appeal to the sea, with high, rocky cliffs alternating with small beaches and coves. An elegant destination is definitely the Argentario, with its seaside villages, including Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole and Orbetello, all the way to Capalbio. In these towns, one can truly get a sense of the area’s strong history of fishing, clear even in the various artisan trades, like shipwrights (boat makers), and in traditions like the Palio Marinaro, which takes place on Ferragosto, August 15.

The Giglio Island, in front of the Argentario coast, is a true nature paradise. Discovering the three villages it hosts and the splendid granite sea slopes, as well as the beaches or secret coves is a pleasure that will never cease to repay sea lovers. With its crescent shape, the Giannutri Island is the southernmost of the Tuscan Archipelago and can be reached from Porto Santo Stefano or the island of Giglio. At Cala Maestra is the only small beach on the island where swimming is possible.

The Maremma, however, is so much more than just the seaside: the opportunities for exploring characteristic villages are endless, starting with the coastal town of Capalbio and Campagnatico, but also Manciano, with the famous Saturnia Hot Springs, and Montemerano, considered one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, or also Magliano, which together with Scansano is known for its vineyards that produce the delicious DOCG Morellino wine. It goes without saying that the capital city, Grosseto, can reveal, within the walls of its historic center, precious art treasures, starting with its Cathedral.

Visitors will certainly not be the first to choose this land: the Etruscans first and the Romans later made it their privileged home, leaving us traces of civilizations that knew how to be both flourishing and mysterious. The archeological areas in Roselle and Sovana are must-sees, as well the one in Ansedonia, where the ancient city of Cosa was located. The Vie Cave are also interesting to explore, trails carved deep into the rocks, crisscrossing the Città del Tufo Archeological Park. And, imagining a journey through the southern Maremma that starts from the sea and climbs upward, a more than worthy conclusion is to come to perched Pitigliano, a fairy-tale-like village nicknamed “Little Jerusalem” because of the influence of the Jewish community that settled here centuries ago.

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Maremma Sud
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Southern Maremma