For a seemingly out-of-the-way town of 8,100 people, Massa Marittima packs a lot of beauty and interesting sights into its medieval old town center. Set above the Pecora River in the so-called colline metallifere (metalic hills) the area has a long history (long as in going back to the Etruscan era!) of mineral mining. The hills give way the gentle rolling landscape of the Maremma region. This less-known area of Tuscany has a beauty all its own, yet still tied to the famous region's medieval and Renaissance history. In fact, Massa Marittima has so many gorgeous palazzi and buildings, you'll just know you're in Tuscany from the architecture.
The center of the town is the triangular-shaped Piazza Garibaldi. This is where you'll have a grand front-row seat at the cafes to watch the flow of people and see the light change on the monuments. This is the home of the cathedral, a stunning Romanesque-Gothic structure dedicated to San Cerbone. It is beautiful inside and out. On the piazza are also the Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo del Podesta', the public buildings from the Middle Ages, still in use as town hall and, in the case of the Palazzo del Podesta' which was also known as Palazzo di Giustizia (palace of justice) it is now home to the archeology museum. Both are from the medieval era; the town hall was also known as Torre del Bargello and has crenellations across its roofline.
Following Via Moncini or Via della Liberta', the main shopping streets in Massa Marittima, also dotted with cafes and restaurants. But wander all over the old town, where narrow vicoli, archways and stepped lanes intersperse with the palazzi and tower-houses. The city gates are still intact as are portions of the medieval walls. It's all tidy and attractive. There are fountains and antique wash basins, so seek those out. The de-consecrated complex of San Pietro has a lovely cloister and three museums inside. At the height of town is the fortezza and tower, called the Torre del Candeliere, go up for the views. But views can be found all around the perimeter of Massa Marittima, over that pretty rolling countryside.
Around town are plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy the dolce vita, Tuscan style.
Other things to do: the coast at Follonica gives you a relaxing beach day, the city of Grosseto is the provincial capital and offers city amenities, while Siena, Volterra, the hot springs at Saturnia, San Gimignano, and many more appealing places are in day-trip's reach.
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Explore nearby towns
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