There’s no part of Tuscany quite like Maremma. Relatively unknown compared with the region’s most celebrated areas, the stunning beaches of Costa d’Argento in one direction and the rugged terrain of the Colline Metallifere mountains in the other gives Maremma a truly unique beauty, preserved impeccably throughout the ages.
One of the clearest examples of the way the landscape has been protected can be seen in the towns: built on naturally occurring tufa rock, which can be found throughout the region. Pitigliano is one such town – from a quick glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that the buildings have simply grown up naturally from the rock below. Similarly, the area’s importance in Italian Jewish history has been carefully preserved despite the entire population’s exodus in the 1940s, with the 16th century synagogue one of the central features of the old town. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon with a glass of white wine and a bowl of acquacotta, a traditional regional soup.
Just bordering Pitigliano to the north is Sorano, another town hewn from Maremma’s landscape. The biggest draw here is the Rocca degli Orsini, a castle originally built back in the 14th century, then reformed into its current shape in the 16th century. Considered a crucial example of Renaissance military architecture, its presence dominates the town to this day. Another unmissable attraction is the nearby Etruscan necropolis of San Rocco, where some of the chamber tombs date back to roughly 200 BC.
These Etruscan origins are also preserved in Sovana, a frazione of Sorano. Another burial place here catches the eye – the Ildebranda tomb, a strange and fascinating gravesite carved out of the tufa. No one knows whom this unusual monument was built for, but it’s definitely worth a visit. As for the rest of Sovana, make sure you stop to admire the cathedral, dating back to the 11th century. That makes it positively modern by the standards of the 2,000-year-old Ildebranda, but the biblical paintings are still certain to inspire awe.
The most populous city in Maremma is Grosseto, the capital of the province of the same name. The city’s old town serves as an atmospheric monument to its Middle Age origins, although its most famous feature is the fortress built by the powerful Renaissance Medici family. Grosseto itself is full of fantastic restaurants and cafés, and the Piazza Dante is home to some of the city’s most important buildings, from the town hall to the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral. Simply sitting in the piazza and taking in your surroundings is the perfect way to round off any trip to Maremma, letting you appreciate both the architectural feats and the natural magnificence of this historic region.
If you’re planning a move to Maremma, Engel & Völkers has the experience to help you with every step of the process. Whether it’s a move abroad, a second home or a retirement villa you’re looking for, we can provide you with all the information you need to ensure you find the right property in the right location. Visit our website for more details.