Massa Marittima

A jewel set in the Metalliferous Hills

Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima, nestled between the Colline Metallifere (Metal-bearing Hills) and the Maremma countryside in the province of Grosseto, boasts a rich artistic and historical heritage inherited from a flourishing past.

Massa Marittima, nestled in the Colline Metallifere hills and just a few kilometres away from The Caesar Hotel Pian dei Mucini, boasts a rich artistic and historical heritage inherited from a flourishing past. Its historic centre stretches from the mediaeval village to the new town and is a labyrinth of ancient alleyways leading to fascinating panoramic corners where the view extends as far as the sea.
Sights not to be missed include the majestic Cathedral of San Cerbone, the evocative Palazzo Comunale, the Fonti surrounding the Abbondanza affresco and the Palazzo del Podestà, home to an archaeological museum.
In the Città Nuova, dating back to the 13th century, there are important buildings such as the San Pietro all’Orto complex, the Torre del Candeliere and the Sienese Fortress.

The history of Massa Marittima is also intimately linked to the mines of the Metalliferous Hills, which contributed to its development especially in the medieval period, when it became a Free Commune until 1335, when it lost its political autonomy to Siena, and a period of economic and demographic crisis began.
Despite the difficulties, the mining activity was never completely abandoned, as witnessed by the Mining Museum, which allows visitors to learn about equipment and tools of the time, but above all to visit a series of tunnels, natural and otherwise, also used during World War II as air-raid shelters.

However, starting in the 1980s, mining activity experienced an irreversible decline that led Massa Marittima to embrace a new vocation for tourism, which became the town’s driving force, with its rich historical and artistic heritage as well as opportunities for excursions and outdoor sports.
The Società dei Terzieri Massetani was established in 1959 with the intention of preserving the ancient tradition of the crossbow, including through the ‘Balestro del Girifalco’, a competition held every year on the fourth Sunday of May and 14 August that celebrates the town’s history and culture. Together with other annual events such as Lirica in Piazza and Calici sotto le stelle, the Balestro del Girifalco contributes to the liveliness of the city.

Finally, a curiosity: why Marittima? The addition of the adjective ‘Marittima’ was consolidated in the 18th century under the Lorraine government, which often added the term to Maremma place names to indicate their coastal position. This definition replaced the previous ‘di Maremma’ dating back to the early Middle Ages and indicating a marshy area, taken from the Spanish marisma, which had the precise meaning of ‘marshy coastal area’.


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