Southernmost area of Tuscany is known as the Maremma. Ancient villages
perched on distant hills; lush expanses of land face the maritime
landscape. The Tyrrhenian sea laps on the coastal districts that –
sometime since the 8th century B.C. – used to be the home first
of the Etruscans, and later of the Romans.
intricacies of history and civilization have left their strong imprinting
in an area that has gone through many military and political events.
part of Tuscany, giving an important access to the sea, during the
Middle Ages, albeit marshy and unhealthy, became a prey for the ambitions
of various rulers.
in the 14th century, the feudal families of the Aldobrandeschis and
the Orsinis had to surrender to the power of the Republic of Siena.
Later it was Siena herself that had to surrender to the House of Medicis.
Today, what is left, is an extraordinary heritage that went much unspoilt
through the centuries.
romantic halo that still surrounds the Maremma stems also from its
having been a relatively marginal area during the period leading to
Italian unification. Brigands and misfits would easily find in the
solitary expanses of the Maremma a haven, whereas cow-boys leading
their herds away from those dry pastures, would be singing about the
"maremma amara" ("bitter Maremma").
todays attractiveness of coastal resorts as Monte Argentario, Porto
Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole is coupled with the surprising discovery
of up-to-date thermal spas that dot the valleys at the foot of Monte
of Tuscany's most important Etruscan sites are located in this area:
Roselle, Saturnia with its hot sulphur springs and the inimitable
town of Pitigliano looming above the mountainous cliff face pitted
with the caves of former Etruscan tombs.