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Maremma Park: walking to San Rabano

A path along the most evocative part of Tuscany

At any time of the year, the Parco della Maremma offers wonderful experiences. Between the pine forest and the crystal-clear sea, there are a number of trekking routes that will lead you to discover treasures hidden in the nature of Tuscany.

From the Alberese Visitor Center, for example, you can take a path to reach the beautiful Abbey of San Rabano and its tower. Once at the medieval abbey, it is possible to reach spectacular viewpoints which are respectively 600 and 800 m from the abbey.

Breathtaking views on the way to San Rabano
Breathtaking views on the way to San Rabano - Credit: Parco della Maremma

The itinerary takes place within the Maremma Regional Natural Park and is one of the most evocative of the entire park.

The route starts from the town of Pratini (reachable from the Alberese Visitor Center) from where you start a steep climb steeply up the hills covered in the thick Mediterranean scrub. Along the route you can enjoy a series of magnificent panoramic views towards the pine forest and the coast. Continue uphill towards Poggio Lecci which at 417 meters a.s.l. is the highest point in the park.

We then slope down towards the ruins of the Abbey of San Rabano (a Benedictine monastery from the 10th century) surrounded by an enchanting oak forest.

The Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria Alborense was built around the year 1000. Afterwards, it was surrounded by walls and equipped with sighting towers due to its strategic position. It reached its maximum splendour in the second half of the 12th century. The Benedictine order experienced a crisis starting in 1200 which culminated in the transition of the abbey to the order of the Knights of Jerusalem in 1307. Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Sienese had the fortifications dismantled, accelerating its decline. Santa Maria Alborense was later abandoned in the middle of the following century and became the place of meditation for the hermit Rabano, who was later beatified and became the namesake for the site.

Next to the abbey, there is a lookout tower that was part of the defensive system set up along the coast. Moving away from the ruins of the building, you re-enter the Mediterranean scrub again, descending towards the so-called source of the Tre Fonti, formerly used by the inhabitants of San Rabano. The route continues down into the valley and ends in the Collelungo olive grove, from where you can easily reach Pratini, the starting point of the itinerary.


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