Castiglione della Pescaia is an ancient seaside town in Maremma Tuscany. It features a beautiful medieval fortress (castello in Italian) and a large fishery (pescheria in Italian), which hint at its designation.
With an important history at its back, dating as far back as Roman times, the tourist port is definitely one of the town’s attractions. It is located on the banks of the Bruna River. Roman ruins were uncovered here, and the harbor played a crucial role during the Middle Ages, protecting Maremma from pirate incursions.
The historic center of Castiglione della Pescaia is home to Centurioni Palace, an impressive architectural complex from the Renaissance. It was renovated in the early XX century.
A notable attraction near Castiglione delle Pescaia is Vetulonia and its ancient remains. This was one of the leading Etruscan cities, and the archaeological site features cyclopean walls and necropolises.
Another interesting sight is Casa Rossa Ximenes, a complex built by mathematician, engineer and astronomer Leonardo Ximenes in 1765 during the reclamation of Maremma. The purpose of Casa Rossa was to control the flow of water between the swamp and the Tyrrhenian Sea: a system of water gates was created by Ximenes under the main building. You can explore the building and its history at the interactive museum Casa Rossa Ximenes.
To get a closer look at the swampy eco-system that once covered most of Maremma, you can visit the Nature Reserve of Diaccia Botrona, a designated wetland area of international interest.
Otherwise, if you enjoy eco-tourism, you can also appreciate local fauna and flora by exploring the hills surrounding Castiglione. These hills are covered by perennial trees and shrubs such as holm, cork oak and arbutus. They also feature mushrooms, myrtle and rosemary. Chestnuts are the nourishment of many migratory birds that come to spend winter in these woods, but also for fox puppies, wild boars and porcupines.
Source & Photo credits facebook.com/comunecastiglionedpescaia