Brief guide of Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima, Tuscany, Italy
 Massa Marittima, Tuscany

Brief Guides of:

Chianti area
Colle val d'Elsa
Massa Marittima
Monte Oliveto
San Galgano
San Gimignano

Massa Marittima, Tuscany, Italy

The web site of Graziella Battigalli: the famous Italian painter
Graziella Battigalli

Wine collection in a medieval cellar in Siena, Italy

The town of Massa Marittima, located at 380 meters above sea level with a population of about 9000, is set in the Colline Metallifere (metal bearing-hills) enjoys an excellent panoramic location on a hilltop dominating the Maremma area, at less than 20 km from the sea and Tuscan beaches.


It was part of the most important mining area of Tuscany and even today preserves many remains of its activities. The medieval centre of the town is well preserved, with the gorgeous Duomo, the Palazzo Pretorio, Palazzo Comunale, the Church of Sant' Agostino and the Fonte dell' Abbondanza. It is considered one of the medieval jewels of Tuscany.

  • The Duomo: It emerges at the top of a flight of steps in the beautiful Piazza Garibaldi, heart and focal point of the medieval city. Built in the 13th century in Romanesque-Gothic style, of note is the nice fašade with arches and small loggias surmounted by pinnacles. The pointed bell tower is characterized by a series of nice four-light windows. Three nave interior, it preserves notable works of art such as the 14th century travertine baptismal font, a 13th century crucifix and the "Madonna delle Grazie" 14th century, attributed to Duccio di Buoninsegna. The Duomo also preserves the "NativitÓ" by Rutilio Manetti and on the high altar, the marmoreous sculpture "Arca di San Cerbone", nice masterpiece of Sienese school.

  • Palazzo Pretorio: 13th century building with an elegant facade adorned by two-light windows and coat of arms. It houses the "Archaeological Museum" with many Roman and Etruscan finds and the "Pinacoteca" picture gallery where the "MaestÓ" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and some works by Sassetta and Sano di Pietro are on display.

  • Palazzo Comunale: Romanesque building in the 13th century, made from the merging of 3 tower-houses.

  • Sant' Agostino: Built in Gothic style, the church has a travertine romanesque fašade with portal, rose window and semi-octagonal abside with arcs. Inside are works by Lorenzo Lippi and Rutilio Manetti.

  • Fonte dell' Abbondanza: Nice fountain characterized by three pointed arches.

  • Mining museum: It consists in a series of underground tunnels recalling the real environment of the mine, with an exhibition of instruments and machinery, as well as, a rich collection of stones and ores belonging to the surrounding mining area. (guided tours available)

  • Events: The "Balestro del Girifalco" - Since ancient times, twice a year on the first Sunday after May 20 and the 2nd Sunday of August in Massa Marittima the " Balestro del Girifalco" takes place. It's a crossbow competition between the quarters of the city, named " Terzieri", which consists of hitting the target placed at a distance of 36 meters from the start. Each crossbowman, 24 maximum, shoots an arrow. The crossbowman who is able to put the arrow nearest the target centre is the winner. A gold arrow made by an artist, is the prize for the winning arbalester, whereas, the winning quarter receives the "Palio", a painted silk cloth. About 200 people in medieval costumes take part in this historical event. A real flash back to the past!

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