June 18, 2018
Not far from the extravagant Giardino dei Tarocchi and the village of Pescaia Fiorentina where I am staying lies the small but dramatic hill town of Capalbio. The town is located in the extreme south of Tuscany, about 45 km from Grosseto, with breathtaking sea-views surrounded by forests and countryside on the promontory of Ansedonia.
Capalbio dates back to the Bronze Age. In 806 A.D. it became the property of the Tre Fontane Abbey in Rome, as per donation of Charlemagne. During the Middle Ages, Capalbio belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, in 1339 to Siena, then to the Orsini Counts, until it was annexed again to the Sienese Republic. Later, the territory was passed to the Medici.
In the mid-16th century, the invasion of Spanish troops threw Capalbio into a deep economic and demographic crisis, also due in large part to malaria endemic to this coastal area of Italy. Annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the town lost its independence, thus worsening its plight.
Capalbio is the only medieval village completely rounded within a double set of walls, with two paths on two different levels. The Fortress of Aldobrandeschi towers over the roofs of the town. Adjacent lies the Collacchioni Palace, dating back to the Renaissance period, where the piano used by Giacomo Puccini when visiting the town on holidays is on display.
The coast of Capalbio stretches over 12 kilometers and is characterized by long sandy beaches and crystal clear water, bordered by thick Macchia Mediterranea as the typical yellow colored Mediterranean scrub is called. Most of the beaches in the area are private, Chiarone being the exception.
Chiarone beach is nonetheless expansive, with ample clean, white sand, and in fact the southernmost beach of Tuscany prior to entering Latium province. Adjacent is the WWF nature reserve Lago di Burano, where migratory and aquatic birds may be seen.
(narrative excerpted from www.discovertuscany.com and www.enjoymaremma.it)