Considered one of the Tuscan ART TOWNS, Massa Marittima is positioned on the “Colline Metallifere” (metal hills – the area is rich of precious metals), between the Etruscan coast and the countryside. The medieval town is immersed in the territory known as Maremma - the best preserved natural area in Tuscany, rich of vineyards and grazes.
From the old medieval fortress uphill to the new town downhill there are many paths to follow, the old steep alleys of the town, which interweave each other from the town centre to the low town. It is easy to find peculiar corners, suggestive characteristics and panoramic spots from where to enjoy the best views of the sea.
In the central square you will find the gorgeous Cathedral of San Cerbone, the Town Hall, the “Palazzo del Podestà” (original local government building, now hosts the Archaeological Museum); and the fountains which encircle the famous “Fresco of the Abundance” (the public water supply to the town from the Medieval Times) which dates back from the 13th century.
Massa Marittima has a very old history, starting with the Etruscans in the Pre-history, then it was a medieval State city, passed to the domain of Siena, till when during the Modern Era, after the Siennese war, it passed under the control of the Tuscany Grand Duchy, ruled by the despotic Medici family. Other important heritages from the 13th century are: San Pietro all’Orto Monastery, with the cloister of Saint Agostino; the “Candlestick Tower” and the Siennese Fortress.
Moreover, beyond the cultural and historic activities, the surroundings of Massa Marittima offer many outdoor activities, like: mountain biking itineraries; horseback riding; trekking in the local Natural Park; wellness and beautiful and fully equipped beaches, like Follonica, the closest one and a splendid sandy beach with a limpid water; free access or with many establishments to choose. Other nice beaches close by are: a) Torre Mozza, to the north, less than 30 minutes by car, from where is possible to see the fortress of Follonica and the beach of “Puntone”; b) Punta Ala, at the extreme limit of this small gulf between Piombino, the Island of Elba and Punta Ala; it is one of the most exciting points in the Tuscan coast.
“Balestro del Girifalco” – a Medieval Festival which happens twice a year, on the 4th Sunday of May and on the 2nd Sunday of August, featuring a contest between the 3 “Terzieri” (districts) of the town, where 24 crossbowmen (8 from each Terziere) participate to the contest making up Massa Marittima from the date of its constitution as a free city. The festival is enriched by a parade with 150 characters and the flag-wavers’s show. For more information about the “Balestro” visit the Official Website
“Toscana Fotofestival” – an extraordinary adventure in the world of Photography, with exhibitions, workshops and concourses. It takes place during a whole week of July. To check the right dates, visit the Official Website
“Lirica in Piazza” – lyric music concerts take place at the square of the town, on the first week of August. You will have the chance to watch the best of Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Rossini and other famous composers of the lyric history. Tickets must be bought in advance. Official Website