Grosseto is a charming medieval town in southern Tuscany (Maremma area), near the sea. The beach and certain famous seaside resorts are just a few miles away, and this sometimes relegates Grosseto into second place. But that is a terrible mistake! In actual fact, the city offers countless interesting art and culture spots and is a perfect destination for a day trip or as a "base" for those who intend to spend a holiday in the south of Tuscany. Here’s what you can do, see and discover in Grosseto in one day! Medicean Walls, Cassero Senese and Old Door The main characteristic of Grosseto‘s city walls is their irregular shape: an hexagonal shape, with five bastions and a fortress. The walls were begun by Francesco I de Medici in 1574; since then they have been built, destroyed and rebuilt several times (up until 1757 the exterior was surrounded by a ditch). Today, the area is a public park, boasting trees and a beautiful promenade. The Cassero Senese is an austere medieval tower, part of the city walls. It’s a fascinating building, with hidden courtyards and gardens. When you climb to the top, the city is at your feet! The Porta Vecchia (Old Door), a stone medieval archway with faded inscriptions, leads to the city centre.
San Lorenzo Cathedral Piazza Dante This Romanesque cathedral is the city’s main monument. It dates to the end of 13th century and was built on top of an earlier church; it took two centuries to finish, mainly due to the continuing struggles against Siena. The façade presents beautiful alternate layers of white and black marble (a typically Romanesque style, but in this case it is almost entirely the result of 16th century and 1816–1855 restorations), a large rose window at the center and sculptures at every corner. The bell tower was added in 1402 and restored in 1911. To the left of the churchyard of the Cathedral there is the PalazzoComunale (Town hall), a neo-Renaissance building. In the center of Piazza Dante there is a sculpture dedicated to the Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine (Canapone Monument), on the spot where once stood a well cistern for water. Church of San Francesco Piazza San Francesco This 13th-century church underwent several restorations and reconstructions; it once had an adjoining monastery. Worth the visit are its wooden tabernacle on the simple facade and some artworks inside (like a Crucifix attributed by Duccio di Boninsegna). It also has a characteristic well (The Buffalo Well) at the center of the cloister, and another one in the square outside. Convent of Clarisse and MuseoLab Via Vinzaglio The convent is annexed to the Church of Bigi, both now desecrated. Today, the convent hosts the Museolab Città di Grosseto, an amazing space that is part museum and part laboratory, documenting the recent digs that took place in Grosseto and its surroundings. Church of San Pietro This is the oldest religious building of Grosseto, built in the 12th century along the stretch of the Via Aurelia (the ancient Roman consular road) that pass through the center. Palazzo Aldobrandeschi A medieval palace almost entirely rebuilt in the early 19th century: much of the original building was removed and today, and this beautiful four-storey palace has a Neo-Gothic appearance. It houses the provincial government.
Palace of the Old Court Piazza Baccarini This 19th-century former courthouse hosts the Museum of Archeology and Art of Maremma, which occupies three floors and forty rooms, and the Museum of Sacred Art of the Diocese of Grosseto.