Maremma

Understand

The name Maremma derives either from the Latin word maritima coastal, or from the Spanish word marisma marsh.

Climate
Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs °C 12 13 15 18 22 26 30 30 27 22 16 13
Nightly lows °C 3 3 5 7 10 14 17 17 15 11 7 4
Precipitation mm 64 57 56 50 40 27 20 37 65 87 94 65
Climate data for the town of Grosseto from www.ilmeteo.it

The Maremma has a typical Mediterranean 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.

History

The region has been inhabitated since prehistory, but the main archaeological sites in the area date from the Etruscan and Roman period. Three Etruscan cities were located in the Maremma: Populonia, Roselle and Vetulonia.

In the Early Medieval period, most of the area was controlled by the Aldobrandeschi family, but in the 13th century the city state of Siena conquered Grosseto and transformed the landscape into a large pasture zone. The coastal zone from that period onwards was depopulated, and became an increasingly unhealthy place: wetlands extended all along the coast and were the source of endemic malaria. It was only during the fascist regime of Mussolini that most of the wetlands were drained and transformed into agricultural land.

The coastal zone for a long time also was home to numerous pirates and bandits, whose hideouts as well as the towers built to curb their activities can still be seen in some places.

Landscape

Geographically, the Maremma can be subdivided into three regions, the Maremma Pisana or Livornese; the Maremma Grossetana or Senese; and the Maremma Laziale.

The Maremma is a relatively untouched and sparsely populated area it has one of the lowest population densities in Italy, with very little industrialization. It offers a varied landscape of plains and hills, and has a fabulous and mostly unspoilt coastline. Mediterranean macchia maquis vegetation alternates with olive groves and vineyards, and sandy beaches with a rocky coastline. The inland hills are rich in natural hot springs.