The Maremma is a storybook name for a part of Tuscany that is only now beginning to receive some much-deserved attention from the international tourist. Ruled throughout the centuries by many and most contentiously, the Maremma is not used to being clumped together as one entity. Officially, the Maremma is the Provincia of Grosseto, but very few locals see themselves as belonging to this province. Instead they are fiercely independent and patriotic to the nth degree about their town and their heritage.
For the modern tourist, this means there are worlds to see in a matter of kilometres. Unfortunately, it’s more than any of us can see in a week, month or even a year of travels throughout the area. So I’ve decided to give you a hand and share a perfect week exploring the very best the Maremma has to offer.
You can easily reach the town by train from most parts of Italy. As the biggest centre in the Maremma, it sometimes gets a bad rap for being chaotic and cluttered, but Grosseto has its own beauty and charm, especially if you leave the main strip behind and explore the side streets and alleys full of kitsch clothing stores and small trattorias.
After dedicating the morning exploring Grosseto’s centre, her gorgeous Duomo and fascinating archaeological museum, let’s rent a car and get exploring!
There is nothing better after a hectic morning of shopping than an afternoon enjoying nature and Grosseto just happens to be next to the Maremma’s largest nature park, the Parco della Uccellina. Here you can while away the afternoon and early evening, walking various trails or just relaxing on the nature park’s beach before returning to your accommodation for the night. Keep an eye out for the Vacche Maremmane or Maremman cows!
Two days are what you need to truly appreciate the Fiora Valley so hop in the car
early after breakfast and head to Manciano. This town is famous for the spectacular view that’s to be had from its Town Hall. To have a peek inside, stop by the museum and ask at the tourist information desk. And while you’re there, visit the museum. It’s free and is the only museum in Italy to feature something from all eras of prehistory.
After a satisfying lunch at one of Manciano’s many restaurants, head out to Montemerano. Recently named one of Italy’s most beautiful towns, Montemerano is a treasure trove of medieval architecture, especially its Chiesa di San Giorgio, which is completely frescoed.
Today is dedicated entirely to the Saturnia hot springs. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to relax in the 37°C thermal springs for free at the Cascate del Mulino or pay €25 to enjoy true luxury with access to pools, sunbed and umbrella at the Terme di Saturnia spa.
Refreshed and relax, we’re off to the seaside. The Maremma has some spectacular beaches and seaside destinations. None are more compelling or attractive than Orbetello, the city by the lagoon. Orbetello has some gorgeous niche stores and a fantastic view on either side. It’s also a gateway to the Argentario Coast.
Spend the morning exploring Orbetello and be sure to try its seafood restaurants then head over to the coast to either continue your seaside exploration at the port cities of Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole or head straight for the beaches that line the Strada Panoramica. There are ones for all types of swimmers from couples to families. The local favourite is Acqua Dolce just outside of Porto Ercole.
Our last day is the Maremma is a wild card. You can head back towards Grosseto and stop at Castiglione della Pescaia, another beautiful seaside town and home to Italy’s top rated beach for both 2014 and 2015, Le Rocchette.
Otherwise you can head further inland towards Siena and stop at Massa Marittima, a true Maremman gem famous for its Romanesque cathedral, incredible museums and Northern Tuscan atmosphere.
Or you can head back towards the Fiora Valley and visit the Etruscan heartland of the Maremma. The Etruscans were a pre-Roman civilization who left their mark on the area. You can explore their most famous necropolis just outside Sorano and while you’re there, stop at Pitigliano, perhaps the Maremma’s most beautiful town and one carved entirely out of its cliff face.