Once upon a time a land where reality and dream mingled. There fairies, magicians, and thieves lived. Everything was perfect: shapes, colors and scents. Once upon a time, and there’s now …
The Other Maremma is that strip of hilly land that stretches and overlooks the classical Maremma starting, from Grosseto reaches the foot of Amiata. It is manteined intact and untouched, to give oneself to the visitor who is aware of its beauty. Welcome, then, in The Other Maremma, welcome to the enchanted land.
The Maremma joins different areas: the coastal plain, suitable for cereal crops men with open minded to all the news, the hills of the Mediterranean forest, good for olive trees and vines, with conservative men, and the mountain people with tough dispored to rural .
The Amiata, the Maremma is mountain, visible from every city of the ancient Etruria, is rich in springs and minerals. Cultural impulses came for thousands of years from the sea: they went back the rivers and they spread out in the hinterland, especially in the hills along the paths marked by their tributaries. But the coastal cities, emporiums of East and centers of industry and commerce, always maintained an unquestioned of religious, cultural and political superority. The geological differences determine the variation of human nature, and also the political divisions: the small monarchies where cut down the cities affirmed in Etruria until the Roman conquest. Romesubdued the Etruria, as later Greece, taking from the first the religious doctrines from the second the philosophy. But the Etruscan teaching was tough. The activities of the Etruscan League, which had in the interior of this land the political and religious center the, Fanum Voltumnae, lasted until the triumph of Christianity, even at the time of Onofrio emperor (423 AD) in the Capitoline temple were preserved the books Sibylline that Stilicho violated and destroyed. The arrival of the barbarians began to fire and sword this part of Italy, it suffered particularly the violence of the Ataulfo Visigoths (410 AD) and later by the Lonbards, who in large numbers settled there permanently. They, after their conversion to Christianity, rebuilt on the ruins half-deserted the first civil order (sec. VII). The foundation of the great abbeys was dataded to their age they brightened up the culture of this land. From Lucca, the capital of the Tuscan county even after the confirmation of the Franks, arrived those Aldobrandeschi that, with the Abbey of San Salvatore, then alone, governed for half a millennium all over the Maremma, from Amiata to Grosseto, Tuscania up to the river Paglia and Lake Bolsena. The combined assaults of Orvieto, Siena and Rome marked the end of the Aldobrandeschi and the decay of the Maremma. The events led to the political divisions of the region. Perched on the steep hills, away from the deadly malarial swamps, the new masters – the Sforza family, the Orsini, Farnese, the Basques, the Ottieri resisted Siena, who, tired of so many distant wars, weakened by his old and now inept oligarchy, was won by the Medici. Even these, however, could have the Maremma andTuscany internally: the Spanish created a state named “Presidi” that lived from 1557 to 1801.
The “White River”, L ‘ALBEGNA, down the hills of rock, soon makes lazyin the plain. The Etruscans used his mouth, as a natural harbor, and founded the city of Calusium, mentioned by Virgil among the places who supported Enea in the war against Turno. The rich items, discovered in excavations in the last century by Prince Tommaso Corsini, validate the hypothesis that this locality is reconfigurable with the ancient city of Porsenna.
The visitor who comes here has the feeling of having traveled extensively. It’s the effectd the curves, it is rare to find straight streats, as well as flat fields. Here everything is soft, round and curved. It’is important, not to stress from the clock. Here time has stopped, and whoever comes is invited to share this spell. If you accept this advice, everything will seem perfect and will allow you to enjoy the scenery, the landscapes, that curve after curve, revealed before your eyes. Get ready for a visual increase of emotions. A roundup of jewelry. So mile after mile, curve after curve, you win find the lovely Montemerano, unchanged over time. Manciano, defined by a popular proverb indicator of the Maremma. Saturnia, as the legend tell, was born from the hands of the God Saturn. The Terme di Saturnia, already known and popular in Roman times. Rocchette Fazio, a medieval village as small as a postcard. Semproniano, a country gently set down on a hill with narrow streets as old as the world. The Castle of Triana, to guarda valleythat extends to the sea. Roccalbegna, a village that lives in spite of the most elementary laws of physics. Santa Fiora, as told by an old nursery rhyme, who goes there falls in love. And then Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano, countries made and erected on the tuff. The visitor astonished and enchanted, can see unique shapes and colors in an atmosphere of magic and fairy tale. But it will be simply lovely to walk in the woods to discover wild orchids, or climb to reach the Albegna up to the strette: a wild landscape that recalls the canyon. Around Sovana, then, for those who love the archeology, it will be exciting to visit the Etruscan tombs: the tomb of Ildebranda and the Sirena. In spring it will be nice to see if that tuft of violets grows on his forehead. Or Cavone, a path carved into the stone that combines Sovana to Pitigliano. Be infected by atmosphere you can breathe here. Let stimulate curiosity and go ahead following the magic of this route, do not miss any glimpse, any angle. Everything is here to be admired, to be discovered and above all to enchant you.
Itinerary of the valley of the Fiora
While the Albegna, the “White River”, crossing the millennniums, has mantained its old name, the other river of this Maremma has changed its Latinname Armine, with the beautiful name Fiora, they say for a dedication of its source and the castle that was built around to the legendary namesake saint. But, given the magnificence of the vegetation, spontaneous, living on the river, would not be rejected altogether the hypothesis of the link with the ancient Italian goddess of spring. And it is still alive a pagan cult of the source: the day of St. Mark boys and girls go hilarious in pairs, to adorn, with bouquets and wreaths of wild flowers and words auguring happiness and abundance. The tuff is the essential geological element of the middle and lower valley of the Fiora: powerful banks have been built on the uniform plateau created by the eruption of Cimini, corraded by little streams of water, but tenacious: thus the great expanse, divided in a thousand throats , raises her acropolis of pinnacles and precipices. Countries became immersed in steep gorges become increasingly dominant with the castle, the tower or the bell for those who come here: you see them slowly swallowed by the earth you go away. No less than 140 are the prehistoric sites that testify the great industry of the people who lived in this area over a thousand years before Rome was founded: cemeteries and villages with basement, huts caves and tombs and then the history and great Etruscan civilization necropolis and the remains of the city lives for seven centuries, an incredible number of tombs including architectural done as the homes of the living, small and gathered at first, then larger and finally with facades decorated like temples. Everywhere you find the stones signs wich of human work: streets dug between high walls, open galleries, terraces, underground tunnels of unknown location and use. The Etruscan capital of this part of the Maremma, was Vulci, that gave a king (Servius Tullius) in Rome and the knowledge of painting and Greek myths, six thousand painted vases. Inside this Maremma two large Etruscan settlements show their ruins: Poggio Buco (Statonia) – a meaningful name – and Sovana(Suana) that has the most beautiful architectural tombs of Etruria. Characterize this part of the Maremma, a rude Middle Ages, sometimes intact, and a renaissance of fortresses and castles.
Those who love the flavors of the past, that we keep in a drawer of memory, here they can find undamaged, intact, round and perfect. In the lands of the Other Maremma, is still produced by traditional means, the oil, cold pressed with millstones, wine, cheeses, especially sheep and then the meat, game, fruits, vegetables, honey. But the interpretations of the cooks of the Other Maremma, will delight your palate. Get ready for a growing up. We recommend you to taste the “crostini”, a typical local appetizer, the famous “acquacotta” a poor soup amazing for its simplicity and charming for the taste, the soups of chickpeas, beans, spelled; the ravioliwith ricotta and spinach, pappardelle with hare and the “Buglione”, a dish of the old tradition with lamb, the wild boar and roasts. The list is very long, so we stop here. We leave you the pleasure of discovering how varied, fragrant, flavorful and delicious is our kitchen. And what should not be ignored in any inn and restaurant, where you enter, is the pleasure of tasting traditional dishes and imaginative reinterpretations; more over surely you will find the natural sympathy and the generous hospitality of the people of Maremma. Let temped by the harmony of flavors and you’ll understand why we say that the products and dishes of the Other Maremma enchant the senses.
How To Get
ROME FLORENCE PISA GROSSETO
A1 – from Rome and from Florence: Exit for Orvieto SS 71/ SS 74
VIA AURELIA – from Rome and from Livorno: Exit for SS 74
VIA CASSIA – from Rome and from Siena: in S. Lorenzo Nuovo fork for SS 74