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Grosseto

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Grosseto, Duomo

Grosseto is a town in the region of Tuscany in Italy, approximately 150km north of Rome. Grosseto is the largest town of the Maremma region, and capital of the province of Grosseto with approximately 65,000 inhabitants, While not one of the 'classic' Tuscan towns, Grosseto has a pleasant town centre and the surrounding countryside is certainly worth visiting - not least, because of the lack of mass-tourism.

Understand[edit]

Grosseto is located in the alluvial plain of the Ombrone river, at a distance of 14 km from the Tyrrhenian sea. The town was probably first settled in the 8th century, and grew in importance because of the trade in salt, that was obtained in salt pans in the now reclaimed lagoon that covered most of the area between Grosseto and the sea. Because of its wealth, the town was disputed between Siena and Florence in the 13th and 14th century. By the time however that the Sienese finally managed to assert their dominance over the city in 1328, its tide was already turning because of the silting up of the lagoon, robbing Grosseto of its salt revenues. Grosseto was largely depopulated, and became an extremely unhealthy place because of the malaria in the marshy areas surrounding the town. Despite several attempts to drain the marshes, the town only started to grow again in the 19th century.

Get in[edit]

Grosseto has an airport, but it is currently closed for civil traffic; there are some sporadic flights, usually charters. The nearest airports are in Pisa, Florence and Rome.

By train[edit]

Coming from Pisa Airport (Aeroporto di Pisa Galileo Galilei), take the bus to railway station Pisa Centrale (travel time approx. 0h10, single ticket €1.30). From Pisa Centrale you can take a direct train to Grosseto, travel time approx. 1h20, single ticket €17.50 (Intercity) or €21.50 (Frecciabianca).

From Rome Fiumicino Airport (Aeroporto di Roma Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci), the cheapest option is to take the regional train to Roma Ostiense, and from there the regional train to Grosseto (travel time approx. 2h45, single ticket €19.75). Alternatively, take the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini, and from there the Intercity (travel time approx. 2h30, single ticket €31.00) or Frecciabianca (travel time approx. 2h20, single ticket €41.50).

Frome Florence Airport (Aeroporto di Firenze Amerigo Vespucci), take the bus (FSBusItalia) to the main train station (Firenze Santa Maria Novella, travel time approx. 0h15, single ticket €1.30). From there, you can take various regional trains, most of which pass through Pisa Centrale, where you can also change to an Intercity or Frecciabianca. Travel time approx. 3h, single tickets from €17.50.

See the website of Trenitalia for schedules. From Grosseto railway station, it is a 10-15 minute walk to town centre.

By car[edit]

The E80 (SS1) connects Grosseto to both Pisa (approx. 1h45) and Rome (approx. 2h15). The E78 leads to Siena (approx. 1h05).

Get around[edit]

The town centre is small enough to be explored on foot. Biking is an option as well, although Italian roads and traffic are not particularly friendly to cyclists.

Since the area inside the city walls is partly pedestrianised, cars are better parked in the paid parking lots outside the walls (€3 per day)[1].

See[edit][add listing]

The Palazzo Aldobrandeschi

The town centre is confined between the city walls, and can easily be explored in a few hours.

  • Medicean Walls. The city walls were begun by Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1574, and took 19 years to finish. They are largely preserved, and most of the walls can be walked.  edit
  • St. Lawrence Cathedral (Duomo di Grosseto / Cattedrale di San Lorenzo), Piazza Dante Alighieri. This Romanesque cathedral, built in the 13th-15th century, is now largely the result of 19th century restoration works.  edit
  • Palazzo Aldobrandeschi, Piazza Dante Alighieri. This pleasant neogothic reconstruction of a medieval palace dominates the adjacent square, where the locals gather in the evenings for a stroll and chat. It houses the seat of the province of Grosseto.  edit
  • Museum of Archaeology and Fine Arts (Museo archeologico e d'arte della Maremma), Piazza Baccarini 3, +39 564 488 750 / 759 / 752 (, fax: +39 564 488 753), [2]. 1 Nov - 31 Mar: Tu-Fr 9AM-3PM, Sa-Su: 10AM-1PM and 4PM-7PM, Mo closed; 1 Apr - 31 May and 16 Sep - 31 Oct: Tu-Fr 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su: 10AM-1PM and 4PM-7PM, Mo closed; 1 Jun - 15 Sep: Tu-Fr 10:30AM-17:30PM, Sa-Su: 10AM-1PM and 5PM-8PM, Mo closed. A good collection of archaeological finds from the region, especially from the Etruscan site of Roselle, close to Grosseto. €5.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Grosseto's main shopping street is the Corso Carducci. Being a regional centre, Grosseto has a good range of shops. A list of markets can be found on the website of the Commune di Grosseto.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The Maremma region is not known for many specific dishes, but the local, traditional cuisine is very good. Typical of the region is the custom to serve unsalted bread with the food, which may come as a bit of a surprise. Schiaccia alla pala (oven-baked bread with oil) and schiaccia con cipolle e acciughe (oven-baked bread with onions and European anchovy) are typical breads of the city of Grosseto.

The local wines are not very well known outside the region, but they can be a good alternative to the somewhat overrated Tuscan wines from the Chianti region.

Each year, the Maremma food and wine festival (Passione Maremma Food&Wine Shire) is held in the third weekend of May. The town is then filled with stalls where local producers sell their cheeses, sausages, pastries and wines, and free music performances can be enjoyed as well.

Grosseto has a large number of eating places, most of which will serve local food.

  • Vineria Osteria da Romolo, Via Vinzaglio, 3, +39 564 27 551. 12:30AM-3PM and 7-11:15PM. There are actually two restaurants at opposite sides of the street; the second one has a less attractive interior, but serves the same food. Reviews of food and service are mixed - it seems to better liked by Italians than by foreign tourists. €20-25.  edit
  • Al Numero Nove, Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 9, +39 564 427 698. Gets very good reviews.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

In the evenings, and especially in the weekends, Grosseto fills up with young people who are usually dressed to impress. There is no lack of places to have a drink; unlike many other Italian towns, Grosseto has quite modern bars where you can have a beer and watch the scene.

  • Caffè Ricasoli, Via Ricasoli, 20, +39 564 26 220 (), [3]. 8AM-late, Su closed. This place is very popular with the locals, with people spilling out into the street later in the evening - to the annoyance of the neighbours. Irregular performances of DJs, live music or even poetry readings are offered in the weekend.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Grosseto only has a limited number of hotels and B&Bs. However, the surrounding countryside, and especially the coastal area around Castiglione della Pescaia has plenty of accomodation, including agriturismi.

Hotel[edit]

  • Grand Hotel Bastiani, Piazza Gioberti, 64, +39 564 20 047 (fax: +39 564 29 321), [4]. €115 p/p.  edit

B&B[edit]

  • B&B Via Ricasoli, Via Ricasoli, 3. 4 room B&B with spacious and colourful rooms, good breakfast and a very nice host. €60 p/p.  edit

Get out[edit]

Places to visit in the immediate surroundings:

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