A Weekend Getaway in Maremma Bassa

Welcome to the Maremma Bassa, the southern area of the Tuscan coastline stretching from just below Livorno to the province of Grosseto, known for its dazzling blue sea, long sandy beaches, rolling green hills and woodlands, marshes and flat lands and natural thermal baths. It’s a timeless region which remains true to its ancient past. Here the Etruscans and then the Romans flourished for centuries, leaving behind important traces in the Etruscan cities of Populonia and Roselle. During the Renaissance period, noble families, including the one of de’ Medici, also called this area home. While this part of the Mediterranean Sea may not hold the same grand allure as other coastal regions of Italy, seaside getaways do not disappoint. The region boasts long windswept beaches, hidden rocky coves and of course, a few glittering islands to plan the perfect weekend beach adventure. The evocative wilderness of Parco della Maremma, the splendour of the Argentario coast and the medieval magnificence of Capalbio all offer something for every beachgoer and nature lover to enjoy. 

On the trail with the Butteri of the Maremma
Photo courtesy of Agrituristprile.

Comprising 25 kilometres of breath-taking Tuscan coastline surrounded by marshland, pinewood forests, tilled land and pastures, the Parco della Maremma stretch of shoreline is chic yet discrete. Stunning scenery abounds with rambling estates, captivating coves and disappearing dunes. Cultivated by the Etruscans, Tuscans now call it home while tourists live out a romantic dream. The timeless Maremma countryside is also home to the macho butteri, the Maremma cowboys straight out of central casting. These cattlemen spend their lives breeding the native Maremma longhorn cattle, famously known for their protruding bellies and lyre-shaped horns. Back on the coastline, this region is second to Liguria with its number of blue flag beaches, ensuring a pristine beach experience.

After a morning cappuccino, drive south towards Punta Ala for a day at the beach at Cala Violina or Cala Civette or venture on a few km further south to Cala le Rocchette in Castiglion della Pescaia. Feeling more adventurous? Opt for a hike in the Parco della Maremma (Maremma National Park) and reap the benefits at Cala di Forno for a more intimate seaside spot. Don’t forget to stop by Caseificio Inno al Sole / La Maremmana in Grosseto’s Principina Terra to fuel up on some local provisions, such as bufala maremmana (local buffalo’s milk mozzarella cheese) for a picnic lunch in the sand. Or head to Sterpaia for panini, cocktails and music at the beach shack, Nano Verde, hidden within the reserve and known for its quaint yet kitsch decorative fishing net decor.

Perfected your tan? Time to burn a few calories before dinner. Hike up to the old town of Castiglion della Pescaia to indulge in a delicious dinner at Posto Pubblico. Run by two brothers who spend their winters travelling in Asia, Posto’s menu focuses mostly on local ingredients and produce with an added twist inspired by the brother’s seasonal adventures. End the night with a stop for gelato at Cremeria Corradini. Alternatively, head over to Frank & Serafico for a handcrafted beer, gin & tonic or glass of vino.

Two hours from Rome or Florence, the beauty of the Costa d’Argento, also known as the Argentario, captivates visitors thanks to its dramatic jagged coastline, alluring hidden coves and crystal-clear blue sea. Once an island off the coast of Tuscany, this hidden gem is now connected to the mainland by large sandbars and lagoons. Full of wildlife and untamed beauty, Monte Argentario (the mountain) is surrounded by beautiful, rocky shores.

Posto Pubblico in Castiglion della Pescaia.
Photo courtesy of Posto Pubblico

Visitors can hike through nature, take boat trips to the Tuscan archipelago and meander the beautiful port towns of Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano. Of course, when in Monte Argentario, you must come visit us for a stay at Hotel Il Pellicano.

If the day isn’t too hot, start out with a hike to Capo D’Uomo (45 mins each way) in Santo Stefano, or visit il Convento dei Padri Passionisti to enjoy the beautiful panorama. Then drive to Punta Telegrafo, the summit of the Argentario, and admire the islands of Giglio, Giannutri and, if the day bodes well with particularly clear conditions, the island of Montecristo. Stop for a deliciously fresh lunch at I Due Pini and then head to lie in the sun at Monte Argentario’s gorgeous beaches  – il Tramonto alla Giannella, Le Cannelle or la Feniglia Beach and Nature Reserve.

Vino & Rosso alla Dogana. Photo courtesy of Chiara D’Urbano.

Orbetello offers fantastic options for spending the day exploring the coast as well. Enjoy a day at the beach in Ansedonia and have lunch at Carmen Bay or opt for a bit more exclusivity, especially in the crowded month of August, at the private club La Macchia. Just before sunset, enjoy an aperitivo at La Polverosa, a secret “in the know” lively bar located along a quiet side road between Albinia and Marsiliana and then head to dinner at one of Sciò family favourite, La Parrina. As part of one of the oldest farms in the Maremma region, La Parrina’s produce shop in Albinia makes their own dairy products on-site and they source all their local produce, grappa and marmalades from surrounding neighbours.

Head to Capalbio and spend the day under the sun and lunch at Rosso e Vino alla Dogana. Take the afternoon to visit il Giardino dei Tarocchi, just 10 min away, and enjoy an early evening aperitivo at il Frantoio in the village of Capalbio. For dinner, head to Fontanile Dei Caprai for fantastic meat dishes or La Selva for the freshest fish.

Sunset at private club La Macchia. Photo courtesy of La Macchia.

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