If you were to intelligently veer off the beaten tourist track and decide to visit the Etruscan Coast to see not only the ancient and intricately planned tombs and quarries but to learn of early metallurgy going on here centuries before Christ—in between your visits hedonistic visits to pristine beaches of course—you might, near the end of your trip, develop a hankering for a medieval hill town with castle ruins, flowers, narrow lanes, and very good food.
Welcome to Campiglia Marittima. The “Marittima” added to the old town name reminds you of its Maremma pedigree.
Let’s say you end up in the Piazza della Repubblica. You might think. “Oh, how nice” at seeing this view:
When you take this picture, on the left of you will be a bar with gelato. They have a gelato for dogs. Honest. I don’t think you can get your dog a cone though. On the right side of you is another bar and a very good restaurant, La Tavernetta. If it’s a hot day, have the warm calamari over a citrus salad with shaved fennel. Fantastic, as are the pastas. In front of you is the 13th century Palazzo Pretorio, festooned with coats of arms of the city’s 15th and 16th century Podestàs.
Inside the Palazzo Pretorio is the Archaeology Museum and the Mineral Museum.
Then snake your way up the hill. Eventually you’ll end up at the castle ruins. It’s a window upon the world, and a Romanesque window at that.
Take a good look around while you’re up there. There’s a lot of interesting landscape to look out upon. Then snake your way back down. There are lots of arches, overhangs, odd doors painted in even odder colors, and there are flowers aplenty. People take pride in this town.
Ain’t it just about the prettiest little village you can imagine? It holds just over 13,000 people at the moment. The plague reduced the population of the city to a mere 316.
And the outside of the tourist office is quite nice.
But eventually you’ll want to go learn something. Just north of Campiglia Marittima is the Parco Archeominerario (the Archaeological Mines Park) and the Rocca di San Silvestro. The Rocca is a 10th century fortified castle. The mine tour is something else:
“An evocative kilometre long mine train ride through the mountain along the Lanzi-Temperino Tunnel, with an explanation along the way of what life inside it was like for the miners. The presentation is in Italian, but you can collect an English information sheet at the ticket office that will tell you everything that the guide says during the trip.” ~ Campiglia Marittima Tuscany Italy from the Marrema Guide.
For more, see The Archaelogical Mines Park of San Silvestro Mining minerals here started in the 7th century BC and continued through modern times.