Massa Marittima

Lying on a panoramic hill, the historical town centre of Massa Marittima, enclosed within a well-preserved city wall, represents one of the most important urban and architectural complexes in Tuscany.

Massa Marittima Cathedral
Massa Marittima, Cathedral
The town is located in southern Tuscany, in the province of Grosseto, in the area called Maremma. Narrow streets climb up and down the hill, leading to a magical place where a harmony of lines welcomes today’s visitor, leaving him to breathlessly admire shapes and colours that have no limits in time. They are reunited in one atmosphere, the piazza, all of the buildings necessary for the public life of a city of Communal times (XIII century): the cathedral, Palazzo della Podestà, the Town Hall, the market place, and a little further on the Mint and the public Fountain.

In the high town, built in the period of Siennese domination, the mighty fortress with the Clock Tower was raised. 

Mining Museum in Massa Marittima
Mining Museum in Massa Marittima
The Mining Museum is housed in the 700m long galleries above the historical centre of the town, on foot in just a few minutes from the cathedral. These galleries, in part natural and in part dug during the Middle Ages to extract travertine for building purposes, were extended during the Second World War, when the local population used them as air raid shelters. It was former miners themselves who set up the museum to recreate their working environment: from the wood deposit needed to reinforce the galleries to the explosives deposit, from the canteen supervisor’s cabin to the inclined shafts and the ore chutes.

Besides the historical-monumental heritage and the museums, in and around Massa Marittima it is possible to enjoy an articulated series of touring opportunities, from trekking to cycling, and horse riding.

Some events in Massa Marittima are dedicated to the tourists: the Opera in Piazza, the Girifalco Crossbow Competition and Tuscany Photo Festival.

Balestro del Girifalco
Balestro del Girifalco
The Balestro del Girifalco is the most important historical re-enactment of the Maremma, and and consists of a fascinating contest of skill in marksmanship using the crossbow. It is a traditional festival which is based on a medieval game and takes place twice a year: on the 4th Sunday of May and on the 14th of August. 
Flag wavers
Its origins date back to the 14th-15th century, when Massa Marittima was a free and independent city. The festival starts with a historical parade, with over 150 people showing medieval costumes. After the parade there is a flag wavers demonstration and finally the crossbow competition among the three Terzieri (or city sections) of Massa Marittima: Cittanuova, Cittavecchia and Borgo.

Lirica in Piazza
Lirica in Piazza
Lirica in Piazza is the yearly appointment (early August) with open air Opera performances on the main square in Massa Marittima in front of the cathedral. The setting of the illuminated stage in front of the cathedral and the bell tower create a particularly evocative atmosphere and contributes to offer the audience a unique experience. 

Tuscany Photo Festival is a small scale but growing exhibition of photo galleries which is organised every year, especially during the summer season. It was created in 1992 by the local Photograph Club of Massa Marittima in cooperation with the city council. It has developed into an international festival that also hosts famous photographers. During the festival workshops and special events are organized.

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