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Grosseto, Province of Grosseto, Tuscany

Grosseto lies 12 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, in southern Tuscany, in an alluvional plain called Maremma Toscana, whose land was reclaimed from marshes thanks to the works carried on by the Lorena family since the 18th century. The area of the commune is very wide, including also centers as Marina di Grosseto and Roselle with almost 3,000 inhabitants each. Not far from the province capital is the ancient Etruscan town of Roselle.

Info

  • Population: about 75,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 58100
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0564
  • Patron Saint: St. Lorenzo, celebrated on 10 August
  • Frazioni & Localities: Marina di Grosseto, Principina a Mare, Montepescali, Braccagni, Istia d'Ombrone, Batignano, Alberese.
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Provinces of Tuscany

History

The origins of Grosseto go back to the Middle Ages. In 803 a document states the assignment of the church of St. George to Ildebrando degli Aldobrandeschi, whose successor where counts of the Grossetana Marquisdom until the end of the 12th century.

In 1151 the citizens swore loyalty to Siena and in 1222 the Aldobrandeschi gave the citizens the right to have a podesta' (a kind of mayor) of their own. In 1244 the city passed under the control of Siena, and was as the rest of Tuscany was a field of battle between Guelph and Ghibelline parties. The pestilence of 1348 struck Grosseto, whose population in 1369 had reduced to some hundred families. The Senese rule ended in 1559, when Charles V handed over the whole duchy to Cosimo I de Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1574 the construction of a line of walls was begun, which is still today well preserved, while the surrounding plain was dried. Grosseto, however, remained a second rate town, with only 700 inhabitants at the beginning of the 18th century. Under the rule of the House of Lorraine, Grosseto flourished, and in 1766 was given the title of capital of the new Maremma province.

What to see

  • Archeological excavations at Roselle, an ancient Etruscan town.
  • Albarese, the entry to the Regional Park of Maremma.
  • The Mura Medicee, built since the 12th century and transformed into the present exagonal circle by Francesco I Medici in 1574. The walls, though transformed in later centuries, are an interesting examples of Renaissance military architecture.
  • The splendid Cathedral of San Lorenzo, whose construction began in 1190, with a Romanesque facade and rosewindow.
  • Marina di Grosseto, a fishermen's village that rose around a defence tower built in 1793, today a fine summer resort with a wide sandy beach, thick pinewood, and a luxuriant vegetation of rosemary bushes and Mediterranean plants.
  • The fortified borough of Montepescali, on a high hill offering a wide view on the Tuscan islands, as far as Corsica, and renowned as the "Maremma balcony"

Where to stay