Discover the best things to see in Maremma, including medieval villages, breathtaking views and glimpses of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Let yourself be overwhelmed by the culinary traditions and deep-rooted passion for wine!
A journey of local and gastronomic but also cultural and historical experiences, two perfect ingredients for a long holiday or a short weekend of relax.
A place ranked as one of the best-loved in Italy where beaches, impervious cliffs, and mountains of wild woods are alternated with thermal baths where you can enjoy moments of tranquillity.
Before looking together at the places to visit in the Maremma, it is important to underline that the Maremma is not just Tuscany as some people mistakenly think, but is a wider area that stretches along the Tyrrhenian coast and is divided between Pisa, Livorno and Latinum Maremma. Each of these areas can be distinguished by their own characteristics.
A destination suitable for all types of travellers, for years has been welcoming couples, families with children, lovers of outdoor activities and historic villages . The Maremma was once the domain of the Etruscan empire and was reclaimed over the years to become what it is today: a unique tourist jewel.
The Maremma of the Etruscans
Historically, the Maremma was occupied by the Etruscans, skilled merchants and sophisticated craftsmen of ceramics, gold, bronze and iron. The Etruscan people are remembered for their fantastic abilities to construct objects of all kinds, such as candelabras and vases, their artistic flair and their skill in managing maritime trade in the Mediterranean Sea.
During the period when the Etruscans ruled the Maremma, they carried out numerous architectural works, building sewers, tunnels, bridges, temples and were the first to introduce the vault and the wedged arch. One historical example that is still tangible is the majestic Arch of Volterra.
On your tour in Maremma among the Etruscan you will find various and good state preservation of archaeological sites offering interesting workshops and guided tours.
A day at the Tarot Garden and Burano Lake
One of the best places to visit, on the list of things to see in the Maremm is a unique park, a veritable open-air museum housing majolica statues and installations by artist Niky de Saint Phalle, a follower of Gaudí’s artistic style.
Each of his creations is different, a true work of art depicting tarot cards and aspects of everyday life as well as abstract subjects such as female intuition, the transformation of the soul and creative imagination.
During your trip to the Maremma, visit the park in a good, sunny day and let yourself be enchanted by the path among the monumental sculptures inspired by the figures of the arcana and tarot cards. The park is suitable for tourists of all ages, both with children and for couples!
After a few hours in the park, we recommend a stop at Burano’s Lake, which is an enchanted place. Here you will find signs with small curiosities such as the shrine at the beginning of the trail, that tells you who the dirtiest animal of the planet. You will marvel at what turns out to be a true magnetic oasis that welcomes the biodiversity of the area with open arms.
At certain times of the year, you may find yourself surrounded by flamingos that fearlessly show tourists all their beauty. Finally, following the path of the lake you will find yourself at the Capalbio’s beach.
Grosseto: the Maremma city surrounded by walls
Surrounded by walls, Grosseto was built after the reclamation of the surrounding marshland. Entering in the historical centre, you will have the impression of walking through centuries of history. Here you will find important historical buildings such as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and the Aldobrandeschi Palace, located in Dante Square, where the arcades on either side frame a trapezoidal-shaped square.
In the centre of Dante Square was a large artesian cistern bordered by chains. At one time the square was called ‘Cisternone’ and later “chain Square”. Today the monument to Canapone stands there and represents Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine in the act of crushing the head of a snake, the symbol of the defeat of malaria in Maremma.
The hidden jewel of this town, however, remains the panoramic view of the Medici Fortress, from which you can see the sea.
Among the best things to see in Maremma for those with more time are the Archaeological Museum and the Maremma Art Museum, both located in Piazza Baccarini. The former houses urns and numerous Etruscan objects, as well as artefacts from the archaeological site of the ancient city of Roselle.
The Tufo’s Villages: Travelling the Hollow Streets of Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana
Visiting the Maremma is also a plunge into the past: here you will find surreal places like Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana. Located in the southern Maremma, in a hilly area, they are famous for their rock settlements, medieval fortifications and wonderful archaeological sites.
The first stop is Sovana, where you will find the archaeological park surrounding the Etruscan necropolises, unique and beautiful sites that tell the story of the past trough the objects and remains found over the years. You can visit the tombs of the winged demons and walk along the famous vie cave, such as the one leading to the tomb of the siren.
The hollow tunnels and open-air roads carved into the tuffaceous rock by the Etruscans; they can be up to 25 metres deep. The experience of walking in one of these quarries is described by visitors as unique.
Pitigliano is a popular village where tourists, who love to stroll through the streets of the historic centre. In Pitigliano you can stop for a quick lunch while admiring the beauty of the landscape and the village, which seems to emerge naturally from the tufa rocks. Full of craft shops, fine restaurants and splendid views, it is well suited to accommodate all types of travellers who love to visit the Maremma.
Sorano is a small village with winding streets that branch out throughout the historic centre, dominated by Orsini Fortress, the village’s main attraction. Passing through the Ferrini Arch, you enter the ancient village.
Here along the main street you will arrive to a church dating back to the 13th century, the Collegiata di San Nicola. Next to the Collegiate Church there is the Comitale Palace with a refined travertine portal, reminiscent of Ludovico Orsini. Another reason to visit Sorano is the location of the village: overlooking the valley of the torrent, it offers suggestive views of the wooded gorges below.
The Orbetello Lagoon
Orbetello is certainly a special town being surrounded by a beautiful and quiet lagoon, which has been recognised as a WWF oasis. The lagoon mirrors Mount Argentario. We recommend an excursion to Orbetello for a walk while admiring the sunset or a boat trip from which you can take a closer look at the mill located in the centre of the lagoon.
What to see in Maremma: Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano
In Maremma, near Monte Argentario, you will find Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano. If you drive along the scenic provincial road that connects the two towns, you will find a stunning panorama, as it is only from here that you can discover the marvellous landscapes overlooking the sea, revealing the remains of several coastal towers, such as Torre di Lividonia built in the 16th century or the Torre della Cacciarella and Cala Grande, now part of a private house that has been converted into a lighthouse.
Porto Ercole is a small village overlooking the sea. Already inhabited in Etruscan times, the historic centre began to have a real history in the late Middle Ages with the coming of first the Sienese and then the Spanish, who stayed on from the Renaissance period until the early 19th century.
Along the road leading to the Rocca di Porto Ercole, you enter the centre through the Porta Pisana. Here in the Santa Barbara Square is the Governator Palace, which was the official residence of the Spanish government. Continuing on, you can get lost in a maze of alleys that also form a path named after Caravaggio, who died here in 1610.
Porto Santo Stefano is always popular with tourists who are attracted by its beautiful coves such as Cala Pozzarello, Cala Grande and Cala del Gesso, known as the pebble beach. Despite being difficult to reach, it is always very crowded. Another popular spot is the Domitian’s Baths, in front of which are the ancient ruins, still visible today, of the villa of the Enobarbi Domizi, a family of ancient Rome from which Nero is also descended.
Giglio Island and Giannutri Island
Two natural islands, a paradise surrounded by nature and sea. Among the thousands of things to do and see in Maremma, the islands of Giglio and Giannutri are definitely at the top of the list if you are near Porto Santo Stefano. From here, in fact, it is possible to embark and reach both islands.
The island of Giannutri is full of footpaths leading to Monte Mario or to the Punta del Capel Rosso lighthouse at the southern end of the island. Excursions by boat and bicycle are recommended.
The island of Giglio, on the other hand, is one of the most popular island in the Maremma. Here you can admire the ancient watchtower, stroll through its streets full of colourful shops and visit the medieval castle. Stop at one of the wonderful terraces for an aperitif overlooking the sea and spend an afternoon at one of the island’s beaches and bays. The largest beaches are Campese, Le Cannelle, Caldane and Arenella.
Seggiano and Roccalbegna
Seggiano is located 40 km from Grosseto and is mainly famous for the Garden of Daniel Spoerri. Spread over 16 hectares, here you can be the protagonist of a real treasure hunt.
Have fun between nature and art as you search for the numerous sculptures and try to understand their meaning. You will be amazed by those that show human cruelty.
There is no lack of creativity in Spoerri’s works, so the three-hour visit to the park will fly by in a flash. Another place to visit in Seggiano during your trip to the Maremma is the Church of the Compagnia del Corpus Domini, surrounded by centuries-old olive trees.
Nearby is Roccalbegna, situated on a rocky spur overlooking the Ombrone valley. It is a small medieval village popular for its panoramic view and romantic walk. Recommended for a short break or lunch on the terrace!
Scansano: a village to savour Morellino wine
A village set in the hills and recognised as the land of wine! In Scansano you can admire numerous medieval buildings and splendid views of the surrounding countryside, while local guides accompany you to admire the environmental and natural beauty.
We recommend to stop at one of the wine cellars to buy the famous wine of this land.
September is the month of celebrations for Scansano, most of the wine cellars open their doors to travellers and throughout the month popular songs and dances accompany tourists to discover the place and its food and wine products.
Massa Marittima and the clock tower
Massa Marittima is surrounded by historical buildings that are worth a brief stop, such as the Palazzo Albizzeschi, where San Bernardino was born in 1380, and Piazza Mazzini, where you will find the Palazzo dell’Abbondanza with its fresco of the famous Fountain of Abundance.
One of the things to see in Massa Marittima is the clock tower, dating back to 1228. The tower was destroyed by the Sienese during the seizure of the town, only to be rebuilt in a lower version. We recommend you visit it for the breathtaking view from the tower.
Beware of those who suffer from vertigo, as climbing the tower requires to walk on a very steep ladder.
What to visit in the Tuscan Maremma, between Castiglione della Pescaia and Punta Ala
The centre of Castiglione della Pescaia is a beautiful medieval village located on Monte Petriccio, which has enchanted millions of visitors for its spectacular combination of sea, castles and towers with unique landscapes.
It is ideal for losing oneself in history and art on a romantic weekend, strolling along the seafront or visiting historical buildings such as the Palazzo Centurioni and the Church of San Giovanni Battista.
Punta Ala is a extraordinary beauty tourist destination, to be marked among the top places to see in the Maremma. Known for its dense pine forest, it is washed on three sides by the sea.
A tongue that encloses unique beaches and a marina that has nothing to envy from other Tuscan resorts. This location has become famous only a few years ago, but in 1931 it was the protagonist of the first ocean crossing.
Discover the natural park of Talamone and the village of Montemerano
Talamone is home to the Maremma Park, with 100 km of itineraries and routes to be followed on foot, by bicycle but also by canoe and even by carriage. Talamone is also known for its Fortness.
Reservations are required to visit it, but we recommend stopping by just for the beauty of the exterior, where the remains of the Rocca blend with the landscape, making it an evocative place and perfect for an afternoon of exploration.
Montemerano is located near the Lazio border, is part of the Grosseto Maremma, and consists of a small village of 500 abitants. A real jewel that, being located higher than the other villages, enjoys a 360° view of the Maremma hills. An excellent place to stop for a short break. The medieval village can be easily toured in an hour, but anyone who has seen it describes it as a place where time has stood still.
Montalto di Castro and Vulci Archaeological Nature Park
Located in the heart of Latinium Maremma, nestled between history and nature is Montalto di Castro, a village with a quadrangular ivy-covered tower. Here, in addition to a tour of the medieval village, you can visit the nearby Vulci Archaeological Nature Park.
It is an enchanting place that covers 120 hectares where, in addition to admiring the large volcanic canyons, you can visit the city of Vulci, and where the remains of Etruscan Roman cities of Etruria are located, such as the Forum with the Great Temple and the small temple dedicated to Hercules.
Finally in Maremma, we find the Castle of the Conti della Gherardesca, situated on a hill and built in the year 1000. Enclosed by walls together with the church of San Lorenzo, it was the nucleus of the historical centre of Castagneto Carducci.
The urban centre is formed by a system of streets, alleys and small squares. While visiting Castagneto, we recommend a visit to the Church of the Crucifix, near which stands the ancient monastery of San Colombano, and the Piazza della Gogna, a place known for the many executions that took place there.
As you have seen, there are many places to visit in the Maremma with many things to do there, such as excursions to national parks, bathing at the Etruscan thermal baths, and the food and wine experiences for which the Maremma is famous.