THE BASSA MAREMMA
The Bassa (Lower) Maremma starts at Grosseto and travels along the coast, incorporating
the peninsula of Monte Argentario and the Parco Regionale della Maremma.
TOP OF CHAPTER
Poor Grosseto. Its uninviting name, unattractive surrounds and lack of headline sites lead to
it being ignored by most tourists, relegated to a mere navigational marker for travellers tak-
ing the coastal highway south to Rome. However, like all Tuscan cities it has a distinct
character and is worth a short stop.
One of the last Sienese-dominated towns to fall into Medici hands (in 1559), Grosseto's
bastions, fortress, and hexagonal-shaped, 2.5km-long walls were raised by the Florentines
in order to protect what was then an important grain and salt depot for the grand duchy.
These days the city is the provincial capital of the Maremma and its centro storico (historic
centre) is one of the rare places in Tuscany where the oft-proclaimed 'no car zone' means
almost that, making it a perfect place to wander during the day and to experience the
passeggiata (evening stroll) along Corso Carducci.
The city is renowned for its heavy rainfalls in November, which have caused catastroph-
ic floods in the past.
Sights & Activities
Cattedrale di San Lorenzo
(Piazza del Duomo; 7.30am-noon & 3.30-7pm) Grosseto's late-13th-century duomo has a dis-
tinctive Sienese character and a particularly beautiful rose window. The building has been
altered over time, with much of the facade renewed along neo-Romanesque lines during the
19th century. Inside, look for the the Madonna delle Grazie in the left transept, part of a
larger painting by Sienese artist Matteo di Giovanni.
Also notable are the baptismal font, which dates from 1470, and the two 15th-century
stained-glass windows depicting saints.