The quaint medieval town of Capalbio enjoys a nearly perfect setting in the Tuscan hills above the sea. It is just minutes from the Mediterranean in the wild part of Tuscany known as the Maremma. Here, miles of sandy beaches string along the coastline undisturbed and undeveloped with pretty coves and natural vegetation.
Capalbio is known as the "last town" in Tuscany, situated near the southern border with Lazio. it is near Manciano, Ortebello and the WWF nature reserve of Lago di Burano. The town rests on a hill still encircled by its medieval walls, a charming stone hamlet with its old world atmosphere intact. The Porta Sienese, one of the city gates that could be closed in protection, still has its heavy wooden doors hanging in the portal, just like they've done since the 1500s. There are pretty Romanesque churches, some palazzi, and a general atmosphere of antiquity with balconies and flower boxes that are so typical of Tuscany.
The town has ancient roots, probably dating back to the Etruscans, but the first known record is when Charlemagne gifted it to the Abbey of the Tre Fontane in 805. After that it was passed around as a prize, first in the possession of the powerful Roman Aldobrandeschi family, then to the Republic of Siena, and on to the Orsini, who built the castle that still stands. The Renaissance Palazzo Collacchioni is a testimony of the wealth that once flowed in from these wealthy benefactors. The church of San Nicola has a Romanesque facade and Renaissance frescoes inside.
Nearby is the fanciful, delightful park by sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, the Tarot Garden. It is definitely worth a stop to meander the pathways and smile at the sculptures. There are several good restaurants in the area, and the town throws a series of festivals and concerts throughout the summer months. With the beaches just a few miles away, a good number of tourists come in to the hills to wander through the historic streets and enjoy the views.
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Explore nearby towns
Pescia Fiorentina is a teensy hamlet that is part of the town of Capalbio.
Pescia Roman straddles the Lazio-Tuscany border amid fertile fields that give way to the wide sandy beaches of the coast.
In the gentle hills of the Maremma is the castle and hamlet of Marsiliana, where princes still live.