Grosseto is a province of the region of Tuscany in Italy. Its capital is the eponymous town of Grosseto. It is for the most part located in the Maremma region. The western part of the Maremma Grossetana - which lies on the Tyrrhenian coast - is a plain, while the eastern, inland part of the area is hilly, and dotted with picturesque hilltop towns and villages, offering many splendid views. The north-east of the province is home to some higher peaks, including Tuscany's highest mountain, Monte Amiata (1738 m).
Grosseto is one of Italy's least densely populated provinces, with a relatively underdeveloped economy. In spite of - or thanks to - this, there is much worth exploring in this region that is ignored by the majority of tourists.
Towns and villages
The Monte Argentario promontory is a former island now linked to the mainland by two causeways enclosing a lagoon, with two harbour towns:
Smaller beach towns include Marina di Grosseto, Punta Ala and Talamone.
Many medieval villages - such as Vetulonia, Burriano, Montepescali, Sticiano, Gavorrano and Roccastrada - lie on the hills surrounding the plain, offering spectacular views. Vetulonia is also home to Etruscan ruins. All these villages are equally worth visiting, but it would be too much to try to visit them all.
There are numerous other hilltop towns and villages - such as - Arcidosso, Cana, Roccalbenga and Scansano in the inland part of the Maremma Grossetana. Again, they are all worth visiting, but one shouldn't try to visit them all.
The coastal part of the Maremma was a very underdeveloped region of marshes - which suffered badly from malaria - until it was drained under Mussolini's regime in the 1920s and 1930s. As a result, most of the towns and villages in the plain were built in a modern style, with lots of fascist-era architecture - which is by no means always ugly. By contrast, the hilltop towns and villages - some of which previously fulfilled the role of summer capital - usually retain their medieval character. Some of the latter have a fascist-era settlement at the foot of the hill, where the railway station is located. These are usually called (Village name)-Scalo, after the ladder that was used to get on the trains.
The province of Grosseto has a typical Mediterannean climate, with hot, dry summers and humid, mild winters. Rain is most frequent in October and November. Further inland and uphill, winter temperatures are lower with snow in the Monte Amiata area.
The main railway line from Rome to Pisa passes through the province of Grosseto. A secondary line is running from the town of Grosseto to Siena. For information on train schedules and tickets, see the website of Trenitalia.
The E80 (SS1) connects the town of Grosseto to both Pisa (approx. 1h45) and Rome (approx. 2h15). The E78 leads to Siena (approx. 1h05).
The railway lines only connect a limited number of towns and villages, and in most cases you will need additional transport by bus to get to your destination. Bus lines in the province are operated by Tiemme SpA, see their website for more information on schedules and tickets (in Italian only!).
A dense network of local roads connects all towns and villages in the province. Like anywhere in Italy, signposting may not always be very clear, and the state of road maintenance is variable.
Touristic biking routes are detailed on the website of PisteCiclabili.com (in Italian only!).
Long distance hiking
A number of shorter trails can be walked, but there is no website offering an overview of hiking options in the area.
Tuscany is well known for its thermal baths. The volcanic activity in the area gives rise to many sulphur-rich hot springs. The province of Grosseto also features a number of them. Please note that in Italy thermal baths have a long medical tradition, so don't be surprised to find a wide range of wellness treatments on offer.