A secluded paradise of peace and tranquility, the Maremma in Southern Tuscany is a hidden piece of heaven in one of Europe’s most famous holiday destinations, Italy. Although located in a region which often has more tourists than locals, the Maremma remains largely untouched and unpolluted. Cut off from the better known tourist locations, it is one of the very few territories left in Italy which still reflects the real ‘dolce vita’ uncontaminated by the tourist explosion and still true to its ancient peasant roots.
A striking land of artists and poets, which during the Renaissance was the epicentre of art and culture, Tuscany today is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places in Italy. Its landscapes and unbelievable scenery evoke incredible emotions, whilst its wonderful countryside is unlike anywhere else and its towns and cities are seeped in a tradition and history that is both ancient and vivid.
Located in the south of Tuscany, the Maremma still maintains the artistic legacy of the region but is blessed with an unforgettable natural beauty, romantic scenery and a history which dates back to the Etruscan and Roman civilizations. Often neglected for the larger cities of Tuscany, the Maremma has remained sparsely populated, with much of the area covered with thick forests of chestnuts and beeches and sprawling green fields of olive groves and vineyards. The villages and towns situated amongst this natural paradise are charmingly small and lovingly maintained. Pieces of history, these beautiful communities transport you back to the grand and fascinating past of Italy, appearing exactly as they did in the Renaissance, the Middle Ages and the centuries that preceded them.
One such town is Saturnia. A historic site of the Etruscan and Roman civilizations, Saturnia never fails to capture the attention of its visitors with its historically beautiful heritage, rich cultural past and stunning surrounding countryside. Hidden amongst its charming streets are some of the most beautiful historical treasures of the area, including the Archaeological Museum, which holds a large collection of Etruscan and Roman ruins, the Parciatichi- Ximenes Palazzo, once the residence of many important political figures, the Castellum Aquarum, built by the Romans as a cistern and the Saint Maria Maddalena Church, built during the Middle Ages.
Saturnia is also home to an internationally renowned thermal spring. A precious resource for the Maremma, the spring maintains a constant temperature of 37.5˚C and contains sulphur and other natural elements which assist in treating respiratory, circulatory and dermatological diseases.
Staying true to its peasant roots and traditions the Maremma produces some of the best local produce and is highly renowned for its cuisine and typical products. Dishes such as acquacotta (a delicious vegetable soup), panzanella (a bread salad) and pappardelle al sugo di cinghiale (a local variety of pasta with wild boar sauce) continue to be prepared today following ancient recipes and using the freshest local ingredients, demonstrating the inseparable connection between the cuisine, the past traditions and the land.
The Maremma, with its characteristic hills, is also the ideal location for the cultivation of olives and grapes. The ample stretches of olive groves and vineyards have, over the years, become an iconographic symbol, an element which differentiates the Tuscan region from the rest of Italy. As a great amount of care and attention is dedicated to the production of wine and oil the people and the territory take immense pride in producing only the highest quality produce and have received both international recognition and many awards celebrating not only the excellence of the products but also their link to ancient traditions and recipes.
An incredibly unique territory, the Maremma manages to seamlessly bring together the most diverse environments, from the waters of the Costa d’Argento and the charming medieval villages that include Pitigliano, Manciano and Saturnia, to the peak of Amiata Mountain and the stretching plains and valleys.
Blessed with an ancient heritage the territory plays an important role in keeping alive the Roman and Etruscan history of Italy and is home to many significant archeological sites. With so much natural and historical beauty, delicious food and wine and welcoming and affable locals, the Maremma may not be well known but with the simplicity of its countryside and the richness of its culture and traditions, it is simply one of the best holiday destinations in the world.