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Museums of Maremma Tuscany: a small guide Argentario Golf Resort & Spa

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Museums of Maremma Tuscany: a small guide

Art, culture and history can be admired in all their forms in Maremma (southern Tuscany), from the most ancient testimonies to those of modern times. In nearly every town there is an exhibition space that shares the history of that land and the traditions of its people.

The main themes of the territory revolve around the heritage of prehistory and of the Etruscan era; the mineral and metal extraction and working tradition; and the natural environment with the variety of its landscapes, where sacred art has a place next to contemporary art.

maremma museum map tuscany

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Here is a small guide of the network of museums across Maremma (Musei di Maremma). They are grouped in 6 geographic areas that make up this part of Tuscany.

 

Museums in the Costa d’Argento – Monte Argentario Area

argentario museums

Acquario Mediterraneo della Costa d’Argento
Address: Lungomare dei Navigatori n. 44 – Porto Santo Stefano
The “Mediterranean Aquarium of the Costa d’Argento” has seventeen tanks, seven of which are panoramic, and is home to hundreds of plant and animal species. The aquarium was built with the intention of reproducing the most indicative ecosystems of Tuscany’s Silver Coast as closely as possible. Here you will also find different permanent exhibitions about shells, underwater photography, about the history of underwater technology, and one dedicated to Cetaceans and the International Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

Fortezza Spagnola
Address: Piazzale del Governatore – Porto Santo Stefano
The “Spanish Fortress” overlooks the old town of Porto Santo Stefano: it was a military building erected in the early seventeenth century to defend the inhabitants and the port from pirates. The fortress is home to two permanent exhibitions: “Museo dei Maestri d’Ascia” (Museum of Shipwrights – displaying examples of the art of shipbuilding) and “Memorie Sommerse” (Submerged Memories – retracing the steps of underwater archaeological research and local findings from Roman times to today).

Museo Archeologico Nazionale e Antica Città di Cosa
Address: Via delle Ginestre, Ansedonia (Orbetello)
The National Museum of Archeology preserves artefacts coming from the Roman colony of Cosa, which was founded in 273 BCE. A large wall that was 1.5 kilometres long surrounded the city, a second wall bordered the acropolis, and there were three doors and many towers. Cosa was located in today’s area of Ansedonia (Orbetello), in an elevated position from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the entire Argentario and Giglio Island.

 

Museums in and around Grosseto

nature museum maremma grosseto

Area Archeologica di Roselle
Address: Strada dei Ruderi – Roselle (Grosseto)
Roselle, located 8 kilometres north of Grosseto, was one of the most important cities in Etruria. It was Romanized at the end of the 3rd century BCE and abandoned in the Middle Ages, when the population moved to Grosseto. The interesting archaeological site allows you to observe large sections of the city wall, the ruins of the Roman city (the forum, the cardo, the court and noble residences) and parts of a small amphitheatre and thermal baths.

Polo Culturale Le Clarisse
Address: Via Vinzaglio, 27 – Grosseto
Set in the historic building of the former convent of Santa Chiara, this museum houses 4 cultural institutions. The Gianfranco Luzzetti Collection Museum is the only testimony of Baroque art in the city of Grosseto, showcasing masterpieces of art that date back to the 14th and 19th centuries. Clarisse Arte is a space reserved for temporary exhibitions and a documentation centre consisting of a library for local art, an artists’ archive, a media library. The Roberto Ferretti Ethnographic Collection and the Muselolab feature original finds and large graphic reconstructions of the history of the city and the territory.

Museo Archeologico e d’Arte della Maremma – Museo d’Arte Sacra della Diocesi di Grosseto
Address: Piazza Baccarini, 3 – Grosseto
The “Museum of Archaeology and Art of Maremma – Museum of Sacred Art of the Diocese of Grosseto” covers three floors divided into forty rooms. Among the different topics covered are the archaeological collection of Canon Giovanni Chelli (founder of the museum in 1860); the archaeological documentation on Maremma; and the history of the town of Grosseto. Of great value is the collection of works coming mainly from the Cathedral of Grosseto and local churches of the Diocese, attributable to Sienese artists working in the centre of the Maremma area.

Museo di Storia Naturale della Maremma
Address: Strada Corsini n. 5 – Grosseto
The Natural History Museum of Maremma is dedicated to the environment of southern Tuscany. Collections of minerals, rocks, fossils and plants are on display in cabinets or in 3D constructions across three floors: two exhibition floors and one for museum activities. Don’t miss the tree of life, a long black wall animated by fluorescent drawings that represent the main scientific groups.

Museo Civico Archeologico Isidoro Falchi
Address: Piazza Vetluna – Vetulonia (Castiglione della Pescaia)
The “Isidoro Falchi” Archeological Museum is named after the archaeologist that rediscovered the Etruscan city of Vetulonia at the end of the 19th century. The exhibition route winds through seven rooms, where many Etruscan artefacts are on display, including the famous stone stele of the warrior Auvele Feluske.

Area Archeologica di Vetulonia
Address: Loc. Poggiarello Renzetti e Via Case di Siena – Vetulonia (Castiglione della Pescaia)
Vetulonia is one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities, and its necropolis is one of the largest and most well-known. In the Archeological Area of Vetulonia, you’ll come across the Belvedere tomb, the Pietrera mound from the second half of the 7th century BCE, the monumental beehive tomb formed by two overlapping chambers, and the Diavolino mound with 80 metres in diameter – among others.

Museo della Guerra – Collezione Menoni Renzo
Address: Località Rombaia, Castiglione della Pescaia
The “War Museum” and its collection of military vehicles and objects of World War II are the result of the passionate work of Renzo Menoni (born in 1925), who lived in the years of World War II and was a veteran of the X MAS (an Italian Navy Commando). His collection is featured in the European Guide of Military Museums. You can visit the collection by appointment.

Museo Casa Rossa Ximenes
Address: Località Casa Rossa Ximenes, Castiglione della Pescaia
The Casa Rossa Ximenes is an evocative building designed by the Jesuit engineer Leonardo Ximenes in 1767 as part of a reclamation project for the Maremma. Today, it houses the Multimedia Museum, dedicated to discovering the Diaccia Botrona nature reserve, with documentaries and a “virtual hut” where visitors can learn to identify the flight of birds. The museum organizes bird watching activities, guided visits to the marsh by boat, mountain bike and hiking excursions and nature-related workshops.

 

Museums on Monte Amiata

art garden maremma tuscany museum

Centro Visite del Parco Faunistico e delle Riserve Naturali
Address: Piazza del Castello, Arcidosso
The Visitors Center is a didactic space dedicated to the Faunistic Park of Monte Amiata and the six nature reserves of Monte Labbro, Pescinello, Rocconi, Poggio all’Olmo, S.S.Trinità and Monte Penna. Guided tours in the park and educational workshops are available upon request.

Castello Aldobrandesco & The Middle Ages
Address: Castello Aldobrandesco, Arcidosso
The Aldobrandesco Castle in Arcidosso is one of the best preserved and most ancient medieval fortresses in Italy and Europe, and one of the few that is completely accessible to the public. Inside its walls, the fort’s history is illustrated by an archaeological-artistic tourist trail. There is also a gallery dedicated to the medieval landscapes, architecture and town planning of Amiata and Maremma.

Museo di Arte e Cultura Orientale – MACO
Address: Piazza del Castello 1, Arcidosso
The Museum of Oriental Art and Culture was conceived by an internationally renowned scholar Prof. Namkhai Norbu. He and his family have a private collection consisting of countless artifacts: works of art, craftsmanship objects, votive items of considerable cultural and ethnographic value…

Centro Studi David Lazzaretti
Address: Piazza Indipendenza 30, Arcidosso
Through paintings, objects and photography, the David Lazzaretti Study Centre tells the story of David Lazaretti, the “Prophet of Amiata”. In the years immediately following the unification of Italy, he founded the Comunità Giurisdavidica, a church that preached socialist equality with its centre on Monte Labbro, where you can still admire the remains of a tower and chapel.

Giardino di Piero Bonacina
Address: Loc. Montegiovi, Casteldelpiano
In his own garden, which he has named “Arte a Parte” (Art Apart), artist Piero Bonancina has collected together all his works, including sculptures in iron, cement, wood, Manciano sandstone and Saturnia travertine. Piero’s garden is a striking piece of the contemporary culture of the Amiata area.

Le Collezioni di Palazzo Nerucci
Address: Piazza Colonna 1, Castel del Piano
The Palazzo Nerucci art collection comes from a private art collector’s personal patrimony, and presents an evocative series of landscapes and views. Among the works on display, the portraits stand out, among which is the prized self-portrait in pastel by Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757).

Museo della Vite e del Vino di Montenero d’Orcia
Address: Piazza Centrale n. 2, Montenero d’Orcia
The “Vine and Wine Museum” is an exhibition space featuring panels with descriptive images of viniculture and traditional objects used in viticulture and winemaking. Of particular interest is the “pigiauva”, an oak wine press dating from 1700, complete with original press plate, levers and basket, in use until 1910. Guided tours are available.

Casa Museo di Monticello Amiata
Address: Via Grande 23, Monticello Amiata
The “House Museum of Monticello Amiata” is in a historic building and faithfully recreates a typical nineteenth-century mountain home of the Mount Amiata region. To enrich the visit, you can go follow two nature trails entitled “Chestnut Trail” and “Trail of the Springs”.

Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio del Monte Amiata
Address: Piazza Garibaldi 25, Santa Fiora
The museum allows you to follow the mining activities and events that have characterized Monte Amiata between the 1800s and 1900s. The exhibition panels and reconstructions document the techniques of research and extraction of Mercury from ancient times. The museum also houses an interesting exhibition of minerals.

Museo della Focarazza di Santa Caterina
Address: Via Roma n. 15 – Santa Caterina
This ethnographic collection of the celebration of the Fire of Saint Catherine is housed in the premises of a former blacksmith’s forge. The museum documents the work, traditions and rituals relating to the traditional celebratory bonfire, the use of fire in daily life and the wood deriving from trees of Monte Amiata.

Sentiero e gallerie minerarie del Cornacchino
Address: Loc. Cornacchino, Castell’Azzara
This trail allows you to explore two of the former mining tunnels of the Cornacchino Mine. These restored tunnels date from before 1889. Guided tours are available by reservation.

Villa Sforzesca
Address: Località Sforzesca, Castell’Azzara
This prestigious Renaissance building was designed by architects Domenico and Giovanni Fontana, pupils of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It was built in 1576, commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Sforza as his summer residence.

Museo Mineralogico di Semproniano
Address: Piazza del Popolo, Semproniano
The Mineralogical Museum offers an excellent selection of minerals from all over the world, but mostly those that are local and national. It is one part of the Parco Museo delle Miniere dell’Amiata and dedicated entirely to mineralogy.

Museo dell’Olio di Seggiano
Address: Piazza Umberto 1, Seggiano
The Seggiano Oil Museum is dedicated to the DOP olive oil of Olivastra seggianese. The museum offers an innovative and engaging space and itinerary that allows you to explore the oil making process throughout history.

 

Museums in the Tufa Rock Area (Regione dei Tufi)

maremma museum archaeology tufa rock

Museo Archeologico “Alberto Manzi”
Address: SP 127 Pantano – via Cava del Gradone, Pitigliano
The open-air Archaeological Museum in Pitigliano allows visitors to completely immerse themselves in the Etruscan history of this place. Walking through the “City of the living,” visitors can see reconstructions of the various phases of the urban design, ranging from the Bronze Age protohistoric village to the Etruscan town. In the underground “City of the dead” visitors can see the Etruscan cemetery of Gradone.

Museo Civico Archeologico della Civiltà etrusca “Enrico Pellegrini”
Address: Piazza Fortezza Orsini 59/c, Pitigliano
The Civic Archaeological Museum of Pitigliano features around a thousand artifacts from the necropolis of Poggio Buco, including numerous vases with geometric decorations and an important set of Etruscan-Corinthian pottery vessels.

Museo di Palazzo Orsini di Pitigliano
Piazza Fortezza Orsini 25, Pitigliano
The Palazzo Orsini Museum is a collection of sacred art housed in the splendid rooms of the 14th-century palace. The museum brings together works of silver and gold, coins, wooden sculptures, panel and canvas paintings, precious textiles, funerary materials, manuscripts and medieval books.

Percorso Ebraico: Museo Ebraico, Sinagoga e Ghetto
Address: Vicolo Marghera traversa di Via Zuccarelli, Pitigliano
Pitigliano is known as the “Little Jerusalem” of Maremma, home to the Museum of Jewish Culture, a Synagogue, and shops and artisan workshops run by the Jewish community that found refuge here back in the Middle Ages.

Insediamento rupestre di San Rocco – Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo
Address: S.P. 22, Sorano
The rocky settlement of San Rocco sits on the enormous, panoramic terrace that dominates the medieval town of Sorano. Along the edges there are numerous chambers dug into the rock: some were used as burial places during the Etruscan period; others date back to the Middle Ages. The Via Cava di San Rocco, dug out of the volcanic spur, offers some jaw-dropping sights.

Insediamento rupestre di Vitozza – Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo
Address: Frazione di San Quirico, Sorano
Vitozza is one of the most interesting and extended rock settlements in central Italy, inhabited from the 12th to the 17th centuries. Here, two hundred caves, the “columbaria” and the remains of the medieval village still survive today.

Museo Civico Archeologico – Fortezza Orsini
Address: Piazza Cairoli, 3 – Sorano
The museum occupies some of the quarters of the fourteenth-century fortress and exhibits mediaeval and renaissance ceramics from the local area. Make sure to join a guided tour of the Orsini Fortress to discover this important example of Renaissance military architecture.

Necropoli etrusca di Sovana – Parco Archeologico Città del Tufo
Address: S.P. 22, Sovana – San Martino sul Fiora
This is one of the most important Etruscan archaeological sites, where you can find fine examples of necropolises with monumental rock tombs, such as that of Hildebrand, Pola, Tifone and Sirena, as well as “semidado” (or semi-dice tombs), and the tomb of the “Winged Demons”.

Polo Museale di Sovana – Museo di San Mamiliano
Address: Piazza del Pretorio, Sovana
The San Mamiliano Museum is home to 498 gold coins discovered in what used to be a Roman thermal system. They date to the 5th century CE. In the museum, there are also Etruscan ceramic and terracotta artefacts on display, found in the votive offering at the entrance to the local via cava known as il Cavone.

 

Museums on the Albegna Hills (Colline di Albegna)

maremma museum art paintings albegna

Museo Archeologico di Saturnia
Address: Via Italia – Saturnia Manciano
The Archaeological Museum in Saturnia conserves the Ciacci family collection, comprising artefacts from Prehistory to the Roman period that were found in the late 1800s/early 1900s in the territory around Saturnia, Sovana and Pitigliano and in other sites in the Fiora and Albegna valleys.

Museo di Preistoria e Protostoria della Valle del fiume Fiora
Address: Via Corsini 5, Manciano
The Museum of Prehistory and Protohistory recounts the histories of the communities who have lived in the valley of the Fiora River from the Palaeolithic era to the Bronze Age.

Polo culturale Pietro Aldi
Address: Piazza Vittorio Veneto 19, Saturnia – Manciano
Here you can admire the works of art by Pietro Aldi, a painter born in Manciano in 1852. During his short life (he died in 1888) he made a name for himself as a painter of historical scenes, from the Middle Ages to the Risorgimento.

 

Museums in the Metalliferous Hills (Colline Metallifere)

traditions museum maremma tuscany colline metallifere
Museo degli Squali & Dinosauri
Address: Via della Cava, Valpiana, Massa Marittima
In the Shark and Dinosaur Museum you can admire 37 tanks with wonderful Mediterranean, Tropical and Atlantic species. There is also an area dedicated to prehistoric fish and dinosaurs with 20 faithful representations in true dimensions.

Museo Archeologico Giovannangelo Camporeale
Address: Piazza Garibaldi – Palazzo del Podestà, Massa Marittima
The Archaeological Museum is housed in Palazzo del Podestà (1225) and its collection is organized in chronological order starting from the Palaeolithic up to the Etruscan age. The centrepiece is the prehistoric Aeneolithic stone-statue called “Vado all’Arancio”, a unique relic of this type in the Maremma region.

Museo degli Organi Santa Cecilia
Address: Corso Diaz n. 28, Massa Marittima
The Santa Cecilia Museum Foundation was established in 2002 by Lorenzo Ronzoni, who made available his impressive collection of musical instruments, including a large number of antique mechanical organs of the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s.

Museo della Miniera di Massa Marittima
Address: Via Corridoni – Massa Marittima
The museum is the result of the transformation of an ancient quarry in which three tunnels had been created for use as a shelter during the Second World War. The museum runs for about 700 metres in length, through tunnels where you can see different types of structures used to support mine roofs and documentation describing different mineral extraction techniques.

Museo di San Pietro all’Orto
Address: Corso Diaz – Massa Marittima
This Museum of Sacred Art highlights the most important artistic and historical period of the town, from the 1300s to the 1400s, with an exhibition of works from the Cathedral and other town churches. The works on display include a wooden crucifix by Giovanni Pisano, statues by Gano di Fazio, and the painted wood work entitled “Maestà” by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

Torre del Candeliere e Cassero Senese
Address: piazza Matteotti, Massa Marittima
Erected in 1228, the Candlestick Tower served as both a watchtower and a symbol of the independence of the town of Massa Marittima. Visiting the tower allows you to walk over the great arch and along part of the panoramic walls of the Sienese Fort.

Centro di Documentazione Etrusco Rocca di Frassinello
Address: Loc. Giuncarico – Cantina Rocca di Frassinello, Gavorrano
The museum is housed in the Rocca di Frassinello winery, designed by Renzo Piano. The visit itinerary exposes a selection of objects aimed at understanding the uses and customs of the Etruscans, with particular attention to the consumption of wine and its role in the society of the time.

Monte Calvo: alla scoperta della bio e geo diversità
Address: Via della Finoria, Gavorrano
This is a sort of open-air museum, an itinerary that runs on the slopes and on top of Monte Calvo (467 meters). This is a geo-site and a habitat of extraordinary interest, with phenomena of karst (sinkhole, caves, fractures) that alternate with scrubland and dry meadows. It’s great to learn about animals, from small reptiles to prey birds, from wild boars to wolves.

Museo in galleria/Ravi March – Porta del Parco di Gavorrano
Piazzale livello +240 – Pozzo Impero, Gavorrano
The Mineral and Nature Park of Gavorrano features two separate old mining areas that have been redeveloped for visitor access: Parco delle Rocce and Ravi-Marchi. There is a museum set in a 150 metre-long tunnel, originally used to store explosives.

MAGMA (Museo delle Arti in Ghisa della Maremma)
Comprensorio ex-Ilva, Follonica
The MAGMA tells the history of the technology, art and people of the steelworks of Follonica at the height of its production. The interactive and multimedia exhibition space brings life back to the old furnace with a captivating experience.

Pinacoteca Civica
Address: Piazza del Popolo n. 1, Follonica
The Civic Gallery features permanent collections of works by painters from the Follonica area and donations from other contemporary artists; and hosts temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art genres like painting, sculpture, photography, installations, etc.

Centro di documentazione del Territorio Riccardo Francovich e Rocca di Scarlino
Address: via della Rocca, Scarlino
The Documentary Centre exhibits archaeological materials that illustrate various ages around Rocca di Scarlino, from the Bronze Age to the seventeenth century. Among the important local discoveries is the so-called “Treasure of Scarlino”, a hundred gold coins dating from the fourteenth century.

Museo Archeologico del Portus Scabris
Address: Via delle Collacchie 1, Puntone – Scarlino
In the Museum of Portus Scabris you will find artefacts that had accumulated over the centuries on the seabed of Puntone di Scarlino, a bay that was the protagonist of underwater archaeological excavations in 2000 and 2001.

Museo della Civiltà Rurale di Rocca di Montemassi
Address: S.P 91 Pian del Bichi, Roccastrada
The Museum of Rural Civilization shows the most authentic traditions of Maremma’s rural culture. It presents a rich collection of objects and tools related to the farming world: over 3000 pieces from the 1700s to WWII that tell the story of the peasant lifestyle prior to modern industrialization.

 

NOTE ON OPENING HOURS AND DAYS:

Please check www.museidimaremma.it or contact Musei di Maremma by phone +39 0566 906295 or email museidimaremma@gmail.com to confirm the opening days and hours of the museums that belong to its network.

SOURCES:
www.museidimaremma.it
www.visittuscany.com

PHOTO CREDITS:
www.museidimaremma.it

 

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