Today, more than ever, the Maremma is the perfect choice for the romantic traveller.
Today, more than ever, the Maremma is the perfect choice for the romantic traveller. It offers a mixture of ancient civilizations, enduring local traditions, lush landscapes and numeroous nature reserves. All of this is accompanied by an outstanding culinary and wine-making tradition.
Each visit to the Maremma is a new experience with new discoveries. There are long stretches of fully equipped beaches of fine sand accompanied by lush pine forests, tiny coves with sweet sounding names and crystal-clear water, deserted beaches against natural havens, uncontaminated islands in an enchanted sea, villages and castles that are austere and festive at the same time, gentle landscapes brimming with history and natural wonders.
The Maremma also means being among people who have always gathered the fruit of the land and enjoyed being together in every season; a special and inviting atmosphere for the visitor at all times of the year.
The coast boasts of modern tourist ports and professionally organized scuba diving schools that are attended by diving enthusiasts throughout the year. At the same time, antique skills have not been forgotten and are still practiced by expert maestri d'ascia (boat builders) who transmit their great love and respect for the sea through their antique art.
You can breathe the fragrance of the sea and earth all year long in the Maremma thanks to trekking and mountain bike itineraries that take you to splendid natural terraces and exhilarating excursions on horseback.
Few other parts of Italy have so many charming villages so easily and quickly reachable from the coast. Often these villages have their origins in the Etruscan or Roman civilizations or are veritable gems of Medieval architecture.
Yet another aspect of the Maremma is its extraordinarily rich culinary tradition with both sea and inland specialties, accompanied by the Mediterrenean aroma of its olive oil and famed DOC wines.
The province of Grosseto has many locations of archeological, monumental and artistic interest which make the artistic heritage of the Maremma among the most important in the country.
This is a land where man has lived in respectful admiration for centuries. The widespead traces left by the Etruscan civilization show their harmonious union with the environment.
The abundant Roman remains demonstrate that even the great empire carefully approached this territory with restrained delicacy. The Aldobrandeschi family ruled for centuries in the Middle Ages and left behind soaring, graceful towers, castles, fortresses, bastions and villages harmonizing with the territory. They were followed by the Medici and the Lorrain families who left works and fortifications of grandeur, almost with the intention of protecting the natural setting rather than conquering it.
The Etruscan necropoleis and the colonies founded by the Romans, such as Vetulonia, Roselle, Cosa or Sovana, are among the treasures of the Maremma.
And there is no town or village that doesn't offer the visitor a view of beautiful landscape, a sudden glimpse of fortresses, citadels, bastions, antique cathedrals, monastaries and stone abbeys that are an invitation to tranquil meditation.
NATURE & ENVIRONMENT
To visit the Maremma is to be in contact with nature. The Maremma is outstanding for its many protected natural areas that offer the chance to appreciate its wide variety of animals, insects and birds, trees, shrubs and flowers and to enjoy its special light and scenic beauty.The Nature Reserves aren't separate from the rest of the territory, but are symbolic of an integral whole. The Maremma affirms a way of life in harmony with nature and the rhythm of the seasons.
The Parco Naturale della Maremma encompasses the Monti dell'Uccellina, running parallel to the coastline from Principina a Mare to Talamone and was one of the first protected areas instituted in Italy.
Today the Province of Grosseto can boast of 13 Nature Reserves, an additional 8 which include Reserves for Repopulation, Biogenetics, Protection and Comprehensive Protection, plus the various oasis of the WWF. In all, there are almost 40,000 hectares of nature reserves stretching from north to south. They provide a complex and detailed vision of the wealth of the Maremma's natural heritage in all of its diversity from coast to inland, wet zones and mountain crests.
The numerous routes indicated within the parks enable the visitor to perceive the vastness of the preservation project and the botanical, zoological and geological wealth, differentiation, and beauty offered.
FOOD AND WINE
The quality of the food and wine alone is suffient reason to visit this province. Beyond the appeal of the sea and the hills or that of the archeological attractions, there is acquacotta, the dish par excellence of the Maremma, or delicious papparedelle alla lepre, egg noodles with hare sauce, or tortelli ripieni di bietola e ricotta con sughi di carne, ravioli stuffed with chard and ricotta cheese with meat sauce, to make a visit worth while. The quality of the food and wine alone is suffient reason to visit this province. Beyond the appeal of the sea and the hills or that of the archeological attractions, there is acquacotta, the dish par excellence of the Maremma, or delicious papparedelle alla lepre, egg noodles with hare sauce, or tortelli ripieni di bietola e ricotta con sughi di carne, ravioli stuffed with chard and ricotta cheese with meat sauce, to make a visit worth while.
In order to appreciate this land, it is important to learn what it can offer, being especially careful to take in its contrasting flavors, strong and mild, fragrant and decisive. It's easy to talk about food and wine in this setting where dishes are simple and genuine. The Maremma cuisine has maintained its traditional recipes with their wealth of variety.
In a land of hunters, there are tasty dishes of wild-boar, hare and pheasant. But there are also fish dishes which are delicate and vigorous at the same time. Then there are soups and garlic breads boasting of delicious local olive oil and innumerable cheeses and wines. Both the wines and the olive oils from this area are exceptional. Fine D.O.C. wines exhault the unique flavors of the excellent local dishes. The Maremma offers many wine and gastronomical itineraries to serious connoisseurs and those who simply love good food and wine.
One may follow the Strade del Vino: the "Colli di Maremma" with one of the princes of Tuscan red, Morellino di Scansano; the "Montegregio-Massa Marittima" with examples of the Maremma's new wine growing and producing abilities and, the last founded, Montecucco with the unique flavors of a wine born on mountain slopes
SEA AND COASTLINE
The Maremma is bathed by a transparent sea along its long and multicolored coastline of sunny beaches and rocky cliffs. The clear water of the Maremma coast holds the first place as the cleanest in Italy. The 160 km of splendid coastline offer endless possibilities for enjoyment. High cliffs alternate with small isolated coves. Long stretches of sandy beaches providing all comforts are protected by lush pine forests.
The large and accessible sandy shore of the Gulf of Follonica includes coves such as Cala Martina and Cala Violina as well as the furnished beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia and Marina di Grosseto. It is the perfect setting for those who love the sea and nature but don't want to relinquish the comforts of cafés, restaurants and bathing establishments. The tourist of every age can find the fun and diversion he is seeking. It's possible to charter sailing or motor yachts and rent wind-surf boards, enjoy water-skiing and underwater fishing. Sailing, motor boating and scuba diving schools are available for all levels. The highly professional diving centers offer the chance to discover and explore the animated and colorful sea bed.
The extraordinary promontory of Monte Argentario with its small coves and bays, is considered by dedicated scuba divers to be one of most interesting zones in Italy for the abundance of fish and a sea bed rich in coral and shells.
The Maremma coast has many facets: the mystical atmosphere of the Orbetello Lagoon and the golden, groomed beaches of the Feniglia and the Giannella not far from the Capalbio coast with lunar sand and wild, untouched dunes making it unique. The Islands of Giglio and Giannutri are rare jewels with rocky cliffs plummeting to the crystal-clear, emerald green sea and the scent of the Mediterranean scrub and aromatic herbs filling the air.
Fully equipped tourist ports such as Punta Ala, the fishing villages of Talamone, Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole on the slopes of the Argentario, reveal panoramic views over the coast and the islands and offer unforgetable sunsets spread across the sky.
Fortresses, citadels and towers clinging to the rocks create a vision of the time when these ancient ports, like those of Orbetello and Castiglione della Pescaia, were fortified. Today they offer a unique backdrop for those who "take to the sea" along a Mediterranean course.