Argentario's museums by the sea

Where culture has a unique view

Among the museums along Argentario’s southern coastline, the theme of the sea is a unifying element, from an environmental, archaeological and historical viewpoint. 

The Spanish Fortress of Porto Santo Stefano hosts an archaeological documentation centre of objects from the sea that were recovered by chance or by regular digs along the seabed off the coast and off the islands of Giglio and Giannutri. The marine and lagoon fauna of these areas are displayed in two aquariums inPorto Santo StefanoandTalamone. Exhibition space on the area's important fishing tradition is located in the Spanish Fortress (in the Maestri d'Ascia room) and in the two aquariums.
Another important aspect of the museums in this area is the importance given to archaeology, even though many artefacts aren't visible at the moment. Outside the Museums of the Maremma network is the archaeological area of the ancient city of Cosa-Ansedonia and its museum, which is owned and run by the state.

The second archeological museum network is located in Orbetello, where visitors can visit the Civic Museum in its new home atPolveriera Guzman, and the permanent museum at Frontone in Talamone, one of the best known Etruscan monuments in this part of ancient Etruria.
The exhibition hosts the many archaeological artefacts of the area, including  some noteworthy items from Orbetello (found in the Etruscan necropolis' located on the isthmus) and Talamone (like the times found in tombs, votives from the Vivarelli Collection and the Genio Militare with arms and agricultural tools, both miniatures and life-sized items). These items date ace to the 1800s and the early-1900s.
Dedicated to the contemporary history of the area, the Museum of Rural CultureinAlbiniais one of the most recent museums of the area.

The Mediterranean Aquarium of Argentario features 17 basins that gather hundreds of animal and plant species, like grouper, moray eels, sharks, sea horse, octopuses, lobsters, Posidonomya and many others. The aquarium was built with the aim of reproducing marine life and the marine ecosystem along the coast in the most realistic way possible. The aquarium is also connected to the Didactic Centre of Marine Biology and Recuperation Centre of Cetaceans.  

Submerged memories and Maestri d'Ascia
The Spanish Fortress, which dominates the historic centre, was a military structure, built to defend the small residential centre and the port from pirate attacks in the early 17th century. The fortress hosts two permanent museums: the Maestri d'Ascia Museum and the 'Submerged Memories' exhibition. The exhibition aims to chronicle the underwater archaeological research done in the area. The exhibition space in the museum spans two floors of the fortress which display archaeological artefacts from the Roman era that were found in the Tuscan Archipelago.

Permanent Exhibition of Frontone in Talamone- is hosted in the building in front of the cathedral. It contains fragments that compose the great Frontone of terracotta, which dates back to the mid-2nd century BC. The Fontone decorated the Etruscan temple that was erected on Poggio del Talamonaccio. The bas relief in terracotta represents the myth of the "Sette a Tebe", which narrated the dramatic epilogue of the war between Polynices and Eteocles, the sons of Oedipus and Jocasta.
The exhibition "Acquarium of the Lagoon" in Orbetello, located in Talamone, is a thematic exhibition that showcases the fauna and flora of the lagoon. The exhibition offers visitors a complete view of the life and activities of the lagoon: the traditional tools used for fishing as well as a film on the Mediterranean sea; it also showcases the variety and characteristics of the fish that inhabit the lagoon.

The museum deals with the theme of rural life and culture of the Southern Maremma area, from the 1900s to the Land Reclamation and Land Property Reform (1951-1960). In the first room, the social history of local rural life (from 1900 to 1948) is illustrated; particular attention is given to land struggles, the hardships of sharecropping and to the frequent occupations of large estates. On display are reproductions of panels on which tools, work and every day objects were placed, as well as a series of photographs of old rural buildings from the countrysides in CapalbioAlbinia and Marsiliana.
The second room focuses on the transformations of the landscape; in fact, it is dedicated to the period that begins in the 1930s with the birth of Consorzio Bonifica Osa-Albegna, in which the great hydraulic and agrarian works were completed. These included the creation of the river banks of the Albegna and Osa rivers. In the last room, the ficus is on the area's rural history, from 1951 to 1877, which was characterized by Land Property Reform and the subsequent launch of the state-controlled Maremma body.