Although the city of Grosseto does not have a lot to offer in terms of nature and culture (the focus of our suggestions on this site), the historic town centre always has some surprises in store...

The first traces of the city date back to 820 A.D., but the city was officially founded in 1138 when the bishop's seat was moved from the hill of now abandoned Roselle (Read the feature articles on the Etruscan and Roman Roselle digs), to the Maremma plain where the new town was built. Its name stems for the name "Rosellae", which grew and developed in the plain and became Grosseto. The word may originally have meant "large rose garden".

What to see in the historical centre of Grosseto

1: The archaeological and art museum of Maremma

This and the Vetulonia museums are the most important collections of the Etruscan and Roman archaeological finds in southern Tuscany. It houses all the objects found in the digs of Roselle Antica.

Historical centre, Piazza A. Baccarini 3, open all year round except 25th December, 1st January and 1st May.

For more information:

2: The Medici fortress with the Sienese gate

It tells the story of the Sienese era with the old eastern gate of the city and the Renaissance period of the Medici of Florence. The imposing fortress stands on the fortified bastion and is the venue for exhibitions, concerts and open-air cinema in the summer.

3: The walk on the hexagonal perimeter of the walls

...offers a view from all sides of the city and of the Maremma plain. From this point of view, Grosseto is one of the few cities completely surrounded by fully intact walls. The 5 defensive ramparts each preserve a fragment of the city's history. To learn more about the history of the walls of Grosseto, we recommend "La città murata" by A.Mazzolai.

4: The buildings designed by Lorenzo Porciatti

An example of late eighteenth-century Tuscan neo-Gothic architecture. His masterpieces are Palazzo Aldobrandeschi in Piazza Dante and the town hall; the Pastorelli villa just outside the new gate in Via IV Novembre; the interesting Vivarelli mausoleum in Talamone, outside the city, in Art Nouveau style.

5: The natural sciences museum

Recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about the fauna, flora and natural habitats of Maremma. Ideally, you should visit the museum as well as the Diaccia Botrona marshes and the Maremma Regional Park where you can encounter the wildlife species displayed in the museum.

Photos of the city of Grosseto are by Giuliano D'Angelo


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