Civitella Paganico is located in Maremma, bordering the territories of Siena and Grosseto; it’s for this reason that the village has been greatly affected by the traditions and influences of both areas.
The commune is composed of various centres: Paganico, Casenovole, Casale di Pari, Civitella Marittima, Dogana, Monte Antico, Pari. The municipal offices are in Civitella Marittima, a village with deep Etruscan-Roman roots that sits on top of a hill overlooking not just Maremma but the Sienese Hills.
During the same period the town of Pari was founded, passing under the control of the Ardengheschi family to the Municipality of Siena and then to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany over the centuries. Its incredible position has gifted it a breathtaking view of the Valle dell’Ombrone and the Valley del Farma; the Petriolo Hot Springs are also only a few kilometres away.
Civitella Marittima, the main centre of the municipality of Civitella Paganico, is a characteristic village that sits atop a hill covered in cypress and olive trees, from where you can admire a landscape that fades into the Maremma plain and the coast. The village was the home of the Ardengheschi family, who left important traces of Romanesque architecture in this area, like the beautiful Abbey of San Lorenzo sul Lanzo, also known as Badia Ardenghesca. The village passed into the hands of the Sienese at the start of the 1300s, together with Paganico, which is located where the Ombrone forms a large bay as is descends from the hills toward the plain.
Paganico is a hidden jewel thanks to its wealth of artistic and monumental treasures. The village is enriched with characteristic gates (Senese, Gorella and Grossetana), what remain of the defense walls, the typical terracotta tile houses and their porches dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, and the beautiful Church of San Michele Arcangelo, particularly noteworthy because of its elegant frescoes by Biagio di Goro Grezzi.
In the general area of Civitella Paganico are the popular Petriolo Hot Springs, thermal baths in the middle of the woods that have been used since Ancient Roman times; the baths actually date back to 1230.
Civitella Paganico is the ideal starting point for a journey of discovery through Southern Maremma. The area is surrounded by untouched nature and Mediterannean shrub, with its fragrant aroma and stunning colours.
If you’re looking for a “wild” holiday, the Regional Park of Maremma is exactly where you want to be: as well as seeing cowboys and wild herds with your own eyes, you’ll be able to wander along numerous trails that pass through this 9,000 hectare green oasis. The Ucellina mountains steal the spotlight, what with their green coastal slopes dotted with historic watchtowers and the Tyrrenhenian Sea, lapping at stretches of beach and rocky coast, alongside the plain of the Ombrone river mouth at their feet. Maremma is adored for its coast, with high and rocky cliffs alternating with bays.
The Argentario, with its villages of Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole and Orbetello, is an elegant destination renowned for its fishing and traditions such as the Palio Marinaro di Ferragosto (the Mid-August Nautical Palio).
One of the most typical events of Civitella Marittima is the Festa del Buco Unto, which is held every year on the second weekend of November. The expression “buco unto” stands for the Civitellino, or everyone who lives in Civitella Marittima; according to tradition, residents’ trousers were always smothered in oil (and were therefore greasy) due to the numerous mills in the area. The Festa del Buco Unto is an opportunity to pay homage to the two high quality typical local products such as vino novello and olio nuovo, of which the harvest and subsequent processing were highly anticipated moments in village life.
Typical dishes and products
In Civitella Paganico, you can try all sorts of food and wine specialties that reflect the area’s distinctive character, with typical elements of Sienese cuisine and others of Maremma Grossetana. We particularly recommend trying pici with vino novello sauce (also called drunken pici), tagliolini with chickpeas and finally, ‘biscotti con l’unto’ (donut-shaped sweets with a crumbly consistency and minty aroma).