TUSCANY’S HIDDEN SECRET, MAREMMA, IS A PERFECT AND SAFE GETAWAY DURING THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES
Even if you know your way around Tuscany perfectly well, there’s every chance you have never heard of Maremma. You may have strolled across piazzas in Florence, admired a dangerous angle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, visited spectacular cathedrals in Siena, and towers in San Gimignano. But what about Maremma? Where is Maremma and what is it famous for? And how come you have never heard of it? Let’s find out more…
Where is Maremma?
Maremma is a region in Italy that includes much of south western Tuscany and part of northern Lazio.
Who goes to Maremma?
Maremma is a paradise for connoisseurs tired of flashy Forte dei Marmi. This less explored part of Tuscany can be just as chic but discreet. The rich, the famous and the noble here don’t show off their wealth in front of strangers. Instead, they play golf, cultivate grapes, produce wine and spend time enjoying crystal clear waters of beguiling coves along the cost of the Tyrrhenian sea.
What’s the scene like in Maremma?
Unlike in areas like Sardinia and The Amalfi Coast, rich locals tend to downplay their wealth. But there is one sure sign to tell who’s got the money in Maremma. An original and popular way to spend money here is by building architecturally stunning wineries that are seamlessly integrated into Tuscany’s stunning landscapes. They are temples to great taste and good wine paired with delicious locally sourced food. You won’t regret visiting the likes of Petra, Il Borro, Antinori, Tenuta Ammiraglia-Friscobaldi, Tenuta Argentiera, Rocca di Frassinello and Le Mortelle – all in areas of unparalleled natural beauty.
What are the beaches like in Maremma?
The shoreline of Maremma is a mix of sandy beaches and rocky coastline. Many beaches can only be accessed from the sea, making the area a wonderful getaway for boating enthusiasts. Sandy beaches framed by pine trees and low-slung hills are clean and often not too busy. After Liguria, Maremma has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches (the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators) in Italy. Almost all of the beaches in Maremma are free and great for children. Those on the Argentario Coast are especially ideal for families as the coastline is protected from harsh sea winds and the water is calm and warm. Try visiting L’Acqua Dolce in Porto Ercole, Le Rocchette, Castiglione della Pescaia, Feniglia Beach in Capalbio and Cala Violina between Follonica and Punta Ala.
What else is there to do in Maremma?
Maremma is famous for national parks, birdwatching, wildlife watching, natural hot springs and historic villages. This is Etruscan land where history reveals itself in layers. You will see an abundance of medieval churches rubbing shoulders with Roman ruins and ancient fortresses. Walk through narrow streets, visit charming churches and castle ruins, try local delicacies and don’t rush – the charm of Maremma is in its nature and its people, so take time to soak up this unique atmosphere surrounded by unspoiled countryside.
What is there to eat and drink in Maremma? Any local delicacies?
A trip to Italy is synonymous with a bit of gluttony and your visit to Maremma won’t be an exception. Maremma is a typical agricultural region, making it a perfect place to get familiar with a taste of southern Tuscany. When in Maremma, food includes dishes a family matriarch would prepare before calling all family members to gather around for dinner. Food is simple, honest and unfussy. Freshly caught fish can be bought straight from boats, so treat yourself as much as you can. When in a restaurant, try Pici ai Frutti di Mare (thick handmade spaghetti with seafood). Maremma’s top foods to try are the Acquacotta soup (traditional peasant vegetable soup served with an egg); handmade Tortelli Maremmani (big ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach); Sfratto pastry filled with walnuts and honey (find it in the Jewish village of Pitigliano); Cinghiale alla Maremmana (stew made from wild boar); Cinta Senese (cured meat).
Tuscany has gained popularity with wine coming from the regions of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri. However, in the 20th century winemakers started investing in Maremma. Formed in 2011, Maremma Toscana DOC’s signature grapes include Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc for red wines; Trebbiano Toscano and Vermentino for white wines.
How do you get to Maremma?
Maremma is easy to reach by car, plane, boat or by rail. You can drive down Florence to Siena route, followed by the Siena to Grosetto road. From Rome, take the highway to Civitavecchia. After, continue on La strada statale 1 via Aurelia (SS 1). Maremma also has many ports and marinas, so discovering breath-taking coves hidden along the little-known coast is hassle free and picture perfect. Nearest airports to Maremma are Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci, Rome Ciampino, Pisa Gallileo Gallilei and Firenze Amerigo Vespucci. A small airport in Grosseto is used by charter and private planes.
By Elena Leo
For more ideas, look at our “TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO IN MAREMMA” article.