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Massa Marittima, Tuscany, Italy

Massa Marittima is a beautiful medieval town located on a hill in Tuscany, about 60 km west of Siena and 20 km east from the Tyrrhenian Sea. The most important attractions are the main square in the shape of a triangle (Piazza Garibaldi), the cathedral of San Cerbone, the Palazzo Comunale, the Palazzo Pretorio, the tower Torre del Candeliere. The town was founded by the Etruscans, and then it was taken over by the Romans. Copper ores and silver were mined in its vicinity, thanks to which the town was rich and could develop. The peak of its heyday fell on the XIII and XIV century.

Parking in Massa Marittima

We park the car on the southern side of the town, on a fairly large parking lot located in the square Piazza Dante Alighieri (P, GPS: 43.047452, 10.886151). Parking lot is payable, the ticket must be purchased at the machine (note: you have to enter the number plate of the car). After leaving the parking lot, we follow the path leading upwards and then we reach the wall. We turn left to pass under the road Via Massetana Sud, and in a moment we are at the street Via Norma Parenti (A; GPS: 43.049003, 10.887377). We turn right onto street Via Butigni and walk about 100 meters to get to the main square Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi

The square (B; GPS: 43.050062, 10.888067) has an interesting shape of an irregular star or triangle, at the sides of which were erected most important buildings, namely the Palazzo Communale from the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Palazzo Pretorio, which houses an archaeological museum with Etruscan artifacts, as well as the impressive cathedral of St. Cerbonus (Cattedrale di San Cerbone) from the thirteenth century with a beautiful belfry and a magnificent façade. It is really worth entering the cathedral and visiting its interior.

Torre del Candeliere

After visiting Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi we walk the street Via Moncini, which at some point turns into a staircase. We reach the Senese fortress (Fortezza Senese) from the 14th century, which housed a military contingent providing control over the town. An interesting element of the fortress is the tower Torre del Candeliere (C; GPS: 43.051351, 10.890448), which you can visit, as well as a nice bridge in the shape of an arch.

We are in square Piazza Giacomo Matteotti (D; GPS: 43.051566, 10.890581) and then follow the street Via San Francesco towards the church Chiesa di San Francesco passing through the gate Porta San Francesco.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Return to the historical center

The tradition says that Saint Francis stayed in Massa Marittima and supported a local group of monks. According to the preserved documentation, the first mentions of the Franciscans come from the mid-13th century, when the construction of the monastery began. From the building of original church (E; GPS: 43.053064, 10.890084) only a small portion of the nave and the apse have been preserved.

We continue our walk along street Via San Francesco, which changes to Via Bernardino degli Albizzeschi. We pass through another gate - Porta San Rocco (F; GPS: 43.052630, 10.889111) and we reach the square Piazza Cavour. We continue the walk along Via della Libertà and finally we are again in the square Piazza Garibaldi. Then we return to the parking lot and drive to another pretty town located nearby: Suvereto.

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