Civitella Marittima, the town of the “greasy hole”
Civitella Marittima is a fraction of the municipality of Civitella Paganico in the province of Grosseto in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma. The town stands on a hill overlooking the countryside and Mount Amiata.
The origins of Civitella Marittima are lost in the mists of time, this town in the Maremma hinterland was in fact one of the oldest fiefs of the noble Ardengheschi family that 1202, after various riots and rebellions, agreed to pay the powerful republic of Siena a ” fodro “(an exemption paid in kind) which amounted to 26 denarii for each family unit included within his possessions.
In 1254 the counts recognized their submission to the city-state of Siena thus marking a slow but progressive deterioration of their hegemony which ended definitively with the sale to the republic of what remained of the fiefdom in 1317.
What to see in Civitella Marittima
Civitella Marittima encloses within its walls an incredible series of ancient places to visit. The homeland of the famous “Buco Unto” boasts an incredible number of churches, historic buildings and monuments that tell the millennial history of this fraction of the scattered municipality of Civitella Paganico.
- Church of Santa Maria in Montibus
- Walls of Civitella Marittima
- Abbey of San Lorenzo al Lanzo
Church of Santa Maria in Montibus
The church of Santa Maria in Montibus is the most important sacred building in the country. The sanctuary was mentioned for the first time in some documents dating back to 1143, but the current appearance of the church is the result of important reconstructions and restorations that it underwent during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its appearance is simple and elegant at the same time, the building has a rectangular plan and the main access is located on the left side of the structure. Inside the church of Santa Maria in Montibus there is an ancient stoup displayed on the main altar and a sixteenth-century table depicting the saints Ansano, Fabiano and Sebastiano. Next to the building stands its picturesque bell tower which is completely plastered in brick probably of the seventeenth century.
Walls of Civitella Marittima
One of the most interesting architectural elements of the village of Civitella Marittima is its walls, the ancient defensive system that still completely surrounds the town today. The walls of Civitella were built by the will of the Ardengheschi at the beginning of the 12th century. A part of the wall was built on top of the pre-existing Cyclopean fortifications dating back to the Etruscan period. Towards the middle of the fourteenth century the village became part of the territory under the control of the republic of Siena and since then to protect the village from external attacks, the Sienese encouraged the construction of another wall band that is still visible. today. Along the walls, even if only partially, one of the original access doors to the village called Porta Piccina has been preserved.
Abbey of San Lorenzo al Lanzo
Also known as the Ardenghesca abbey, the abbey of San Lorenzo al Lanzo is one of the oldest and most interesting historical religious buildings in the country. It is located downstream of the territory of Civitella Marittima surrounded by a large hunting area near the Lanzo stream from which it takes its name. According to tradition, the abbey was founded in the 12th century by the Ardengheschi near the ancient castle of San Lorenzo. Near the abbey there was also the monastery of the counts considered at the time one of the most powerful in the entire region. With the decline of this noble medieval family, which took place in the thirteenth century, the abbey also declined, as reported on the bull issued by Pope Eugene IV dated 1440, in which control of the building was entrusted to the convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Siena. This ancient church, despite having undergone several renovations over the years, still maintains some stylistic elements typical of its time, such as the Romanesque façade with a beautiful marina and three large naves.
Where sleeping in Civitella Marittima
In the village of Civitella Marittima there are various types of accommodation facilities in which to stay. Inside the inhabited center you can stay in B & Bs, apartments or hotels while in the surrounding countryside there are numerous farmhouses
Where to eat in Civitella Marittima
This town in the Maremma is full of unique recipes and culinary proposals. As for most of the territory, the best dishes are those linked to the peasant tradition such as acquacotta, a vegetable soup that was born as a lunch that the laborers ate in the fields. One of the most renowned products of the town of Civitella Marittima is the oil produced in the many olive groves that surround the town. Inside the inns, pizzerias and restaurants of the historic center and those in the countryside you have the opportunity to taste dishes and typical products of the popular culture of this land.
La Locanda nel Cassero (via del Cassero 29/31 Civitella Marittima) Score 4.0