Scarlino is a village of medieval origin located on top of Monte d’Alma. Historically, it was one of the first Maremman towns to become a free municipality around the middle of the 1200s. The town is dominated by the 13th century Rocca Pisana, in front of which there is an archaeological park dating back to the Bronze Age. In this archaeological park, archaeologists have unearthed many finds, the most famous being the “Tesoro di Scarlino”, found in a hideout in the Rocca. A terracotta vase, it contained 100 gold florins dating back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The treasures found in this park are displayed in the Territory Documentation Centre in the town hall.
The oldest part of the town is made up of small alleys and streets, entirely surrounded by medieval walls. The ancient village can be accessed through three gates: Porta della Fonte, Porta a Mare and Porta Scabris.
Seven kilometres from Scarlino is the tourist port, which dates back to Roman times. Today in addition to port activities there are also many clubs.
The vineyards along the Monteregio di Massa Marittima wine route invite you to meet local producers and taste DOC wines.
Every year on August 19th, the folkloristic Festival of the Carriere is held. It’s a competition between the three districts of the town, Donato, Rocca and Centro.
On the Scarlinese coast, we find gorgeous beaches, including Puntone and Cala Violina, which are located within a nature reserve and are considered among the most beautiful in the Maremma. The Oasi di protezione Faunistica Padule e Costiere di Scarlino nature reserve is located between the Scarlino swamplands and the Pian d’Alma plain. It is a protected area that includes hills and some beaches.
Another area worth noting in Scarlino is that of the Grossetane Metalliferous Hills National Park, a multi-thematic park with Etruscan and medieval history, nature and industrial archaeology. Here, we retrace the entire history of metallurgical activity that has always marked this part of Tuscany. The park is very large, touching seven municipalities and is included among the geo-parks recognized by Unesco.
Just 10 kilometres from Scarlino, is the village of Gavorrano located on Monte Calvo. The town is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area. The Naturalistic Mining Park is worth a look with the chance to experience the life of a miner. Inside the park is also the Teatro delle Rocce, carved from an old quarry and used today for concerts and shows.
Just outside Gavorrano are the remains of Castel di Pietra. This castle, located in the northern part of the Gavorrano area, is linked to the story of Pia de ‘Tolomei, mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy (Purgatory). Pia was killed after a long imprisonment by Nello Pannocchieschi, who wanted to marry Margherita Aldobrandeschi. Every year in August, the story is retold at the “Salto della Contessa” festival.
Travelling along the SP Vado all’Arancio towards the hinterland, we arrive in Massa Marittima, one of the most evocative art towns in Tuscany. An important tourist destination, its historic centre is home to numerous historic buildings and is famous for its views, which look out towards the sea. On the main square, Piazza Garibaldi, is the Cathedral, the Palazzo del Podestà, the Palazzo dei Conti di Biserno and the Palazzo del Comune. Massa Marittima is also well known for its produce, above all the Monteregio di Massa Marittima wine.
The most important event is the historical re-enactment of the Balestro del Girifalco which takes place every year in May and August, an ancient local tradition, in which archers in period costumes compete in a crossbow competition.
Castiglione della Pescaia
Another characteristic village that can be visited in this area of the Maremman coast is the seaside village of Castiglione della Pescaia. Perched on a promontory, it is only a 20-minute drive from Scarlino. It is one of the main tourist destinations in Tuscany, famous for its beaches, the sea and its nightlife with numerous clubs.
In the ancient village enclosed within the walls, the Aragonese castle, its towers and walls are worth a visit. The view towards the sea is also very impressive.
Furthermore, about 20 kilometres from Castiglione is the village of Vetulonia. Vetulonia was an important Etruscan city, an economic and political power of the time whose existence remained shrouded in mystery for a long time. It was a marine city located opposite another important Etruscan city, that of Roselle. It was a commercial centre populated by many artisans who mainly made jewellery. The city exploited the nearby metalliferous mines and then traded by sea.
The town, adjacent to Scarlino, is located in this gulf right in front of the island of Elba. Surrounded by a large pine forest, it is famous for its sea and for the services it offers during the summer season, offering the perfect holiday for both families and children. Summer is undoubtedly the best season to go to Follonica but the town also has entertainment and attractions in winter including the famous Carnival of Follonica.
Follonica’s beach is located right in front of the city and is very large. Here there are long stretches of free beach and numerous bathing establishments. Around the town are many other beaches including La Carbonifera, Torre Mozza and La Polveriera.