GROSSETO

The capital of the Maremma is a mini Renaissance city with all the charm of Siena and Pisa, just on a smaller scale. Grosseto was almost completely rebuilt by the Americans after some heavy WWII bombings, but some of its original charm remains, especially in the main piazza where you can admire the soaring Palazzo del Pretorio, the seat of the provincial government, the Duomo with its travertine facade and inspiringly dark, but moving paintings and the architrave of cute shops and gelaterias.At the heart of the piazza is a statue of il Canapone, the Grand Duke of Tuscany who saved the Maremma from malaria. By saved, we mean funded the drainage efforts in nearby Castiglione della Pescaia, but it was a big deal since the Maremma was for many decade s on its knees at the hands of malaria. Once you’ve had your fill of the city, explore further to the marina and its gorgeous beaches and the magnificent Parco della Maremma, the area’s biggest nature park with cycling, horse riding and hiking trails for all levels, as well as a pretty and secluded beach from which you can see Tuscany’s islands.