Massa Marittima is mainly known for its Square, a medieval architectural marvel overlooked by the gothic-romanesque Cathedral, but tis medieval centre closed in by high walls is just as beautiful.
Don’t miss the Palio del Girifalco: an old crossbow competition accompanied by flag-wavers and historical procession.
Tours from Massa Marittima wind through a number of medieval villages with their castles, fortresses, churches and monasteries touching important Etruscan settlements. Already heading down to the sea, you can go along “Lago dell’Accesa”, you can swim in this lake that adjoins the Archaeological Park with the remains of an old Etruscan home.
But the most striking thing is the nature: woodlands and thick pine stands that extend from the mountains down to the sea, the clear sea water, parks and protected oases that alternate with cultivated fields, vineyards and olive groves, lots of thermal spas make this land of Tuscany unique.
The sea is edged with long rocky bluffs that have been cut out by the wind and by the waves, as well as gentle beaches in welcoming spots: Punta Ala and Cala Violina (the first of the top eleven beaches in Italy), Castiglione della Pescaia, Argentario and the Etruscan Coast with the spectacular Baratti Gulf.
The islands of the Tuscan archipelago are easy to get to: from Piombino you can land on the island of Elba in less than one hour.
There are lots of thermal spas (Saturnia, Petriolo, Venturina), where you can relax and tone up at the end of the day or during your visits and tours.
Places to visit
Suvereto and Campiglia Marittima: two true examples of medieval architecture situated on the hillsides dominating the fertile Val di Cornia, offering a delightful view.
Piombino: developed after the destruction of the Etruscan Populonia. In the 13th century it was fortified by the Pisans. The Historical Centre is full of interesting artistic and architectural sites to visit.
Castiglione della Pescaia: delightful historical centre with a panoramic view and enchanting beaches.
Pitigliano: extraordinary town whose architecture has made it renowned as the small Italian Jerusalem.
Sorano: This town is full of testimonies of its Etruscan origins like the other sites in the area; it is located in a very picturesque position that will enchant anyone who stops for a visit.
Sovana: Small enchanting hamlet in the centre of many Roman and Etruscan archaeological sites.
You can visit Bolgheri, Castagneto Carducci, Montalcino, Montepulciano to see the most famous wineries in the world and admire the views of extraordinary vineyards.
Golf Club: in Gavorrano and Punta Ala.
Sailing: there is no better place in Italy with PuntaAla, Castiglione delle Pescaia, Follonica, Piombino and, above all the brand new marina in Scarlino.
Mountain-bikes: Explore the fascinating Tuscan countryside by bike.
Horse-riding: lots of horse-riding establishments in the area also offer the possibility of riding on the beach.
Water sports: there are lots of water-sports centres where you can try your hand at the most innovative water sports.
The Parco Naturale della Maremma, situated south of Grosseto encompasses the Monti dell’Uccellina, running parallel to the Tyrrhenian coastline from Principina a Mare to Talamone. You can take a walking tour through the Reserve to discover the local flora and fauna. www.parco-maremma.it
The Parco di Montioni, nature reserve is located in the Follonica hinterland. It is covered by Mediterranean scrub. Here you can visit the old alum caves and following the marked trails to meet the local fauna, including: wild boar, roe and fallow deer. www.parcodimontioni.it