Maremma in southern Tuscany has an out-of-the-ordinary charm. Soak up the artistic ambience, stroll through isolated Medieval hilltop towns or along the miles of unspoiled beaches, and enjoy some of the best seafood in Tuscany. This is a side of Tuscany that many never get to see.
Maremma feels somehow less tame than the rest of Tuscany. It’s less easy to reach which only adds to its allure. And much of it has a whiff of the bohemian about it. Here its picturesque towns have a slow pace of life it’s nothing if not relaxing.
Discover the Maremma, Tuscany
The interior is all peaceful countryside, full of charming small towns with long histories. There’s Massa Marittima and Sovana with their precious Romanesque Duomo, the walled town of Pitigliano that rises up out of the tufa rock, and the hilltop village of Capalbio.
The coast features gorgeous long beaches and pretty fishing ports like Talamone and Castiglione della Pescaia. And there’s an important Nature Reserve Uccellina Park with verdant pine forests, clear waters and white sands. Maremma is perfect if you love the outdoors; activities like trekking, cycling, swimming, horse-riding are easily organised.
It’s a treasure trove for history buffs too. Etruscan necropolises dot the inland territory, and the three “tufa towns” of Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano are an absolute delight. The area has a thrilling history and plenty of atmosphere. Some of the most scenic borghi are Montemerano and Manciano, Magliano and Montepescali.
It’s true it lacks big cities and famous museums, but it’s relative isolation can make for a real off-the-beaten-track holiday. The Maremma is Slow Tuscany, the perfect spot for families travelling with children, those in need of some deep relaxation.
Bear in mind that the coast is very popular with Italian tourists in the summer, and can get very busy on weekends and in August.
Highlights of the Maremma, Tuscany
Sorano and Sovana – along with Pitigliano, these are known as the “tufa towns”. These towns are built onto the tufa rock, and on the side of the hills you can see small caves that used to be ancient dwellings. Sovana has an impressive Cathedral, and Sorano boasts some imposing fortification and Medieval gates.
Sovana Archeological Park and “Vie Cave” (Etruscan sunken roads) – the tufa towns are linked by the network of ‘sunken roads’ that can still be walked today. The Necropolis of Sovana is full of significant Etruscan tombs.
Monte Argentario – right at the southern tip of Tuscany, Monte Argentario is a promontory that stretches towards the sea offering gorgeous views. You’ll find the busy port of Porto Santo Stefano, with plenty of fish restaurants looking onto the sea. Porto Ercole Old town is the most scenic spot, and the best beach is the Tombolo della Feniglia, on the southern side.
Maremma Natural Park – the Uccellina Park is 9800 hectares of protected area that includes unspoilt beaches, planes, sand dunes and Mediterranean shrubland. Good for trekking and birdwatching.
Massa Marittima – The main sight in Massa Marittima , in the Maremma Livornese, is the town’s gorgeous Cathedral of San Cerbone. One of the top romanesque churches outside Florence. Massa Marittima with its churches and museums is the best destinations in southern Tuscany for art lovers.
Capalbio – A scenic Medieval walled village near the coast, gorgeous views and picturesque historic centre.
Capalbio Tarot Garden – A great spot for the whole family near Capalbio. An unusual park created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, it’s colourful, crazy and a feast for the imagination.
Are you curious about the Maremma? If you visit it, you’ll find plenty of reasons to fall in love with it!