The history of the area known as Maremma stretches back thousands of years to the Etruscan and Roman civilisations, both of which have left visible marks on the land. Nobody can say for sure when and from where the people arrived who, towards the end of the first millennium AD, populated Cosa, which later became Ansedonia, the Roman castle of Capalbiaccio, and finally the hill of Capalbio, looking over a broad and vigorous extension of arable land. The shrubland of Capalbio still dominates the landscape, with a green that shifts between a thousand different shades and that comes towards us as soon as we leave the village’s small residential area, after just a few steps, full of scent and colour.On this wholesome and beatific soil, the Etruscans were forced to make way for the farms of the colonising Romans, the great villas of the Republican slaveholders, and finally immense imperial estates. Franks and Lombards let their herds graze in the greenery and built villages and forts. Then in the Middle Ages the fear of enemy incursions prompted the reinforcement of the villages, and the great feudal families, constantly quarrelling with one another, transformed their castles into fortresses, for example at Capalbio and Tricosto. Then new rulers arrived. The area was governed from Siena, yes, but in truth the territory had become uninhabitable, full of marshes that made the land noxious. Death rates by diseases such typhus and cholera, plague and malaria grew to alarming levels. Nonetheless the great commercial energy of the Sienese gave rise to many new projects such as quarries, furnaces, mines, river ferries etc.
Maremma: a word that denotes a geographical area, a natural ecosystem, a rich and diverse social fabric with a strong Tuscan identity, an archaeological, historical and gastronomical tradition. The word is also used as a curse with typically Tuscan earthiness and irreverence. And one could go on: nature, culture, history…it is not easy to rein in the adjectives when talking about the Maremma. The Maremma is home to a rich archaeological, historical and artistic heritage, the value of which has yet to be widely recognised, as the area is still best known for its natural and environmental beauty such as that of the Parco dell’Uccellina, which tends to distract attention from the historical and artistic memory of various important sites. Indeed, not everyone knows that the territory features significant and beautiful relics of the Etruscan and Roman civilisations, as well as numerous examples of medieval architecture, all of which happens to be situated in a landscape of rare beauty…