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Bill Thayer

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Grosseto Province

A province of Tuscany. Area: 4504 sq. km. 2003 population: 212,000 in 28 comuni.

[image ALT: A town of maybe 2000 inhabitants covering the sloping top of a hill far above the sea; in the foreground, a scenery of Mediterranean shrub and olive trees. It is a view of Castiglion della Pescaia, Tuscany (central Italy).]

The coastal town of Castiglione della Pescaia.
I've never been there, but we stopped the car to take this shot.

By happenstance, my first visit to this part of Italy was during the worst winter weather it had seen in fifteen years. Snow had not stuck since 1983: so some of the images you see are thus untypical or quite rare (take your pick).

The sites below vary widely in content, partly depending on how long my tourist's visit was. On the other hand, wherever you see one of these asterisks [an asterisk] there's a chapter of one of the best works of its kind ever written about Italy: George Dennis's Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria.


[image ALT: some ancient foundations overlooking a vast plain]

[ 5/15/02: 7 pages, 14 photos, 1 woodcut [an asterisk] ]

The Etruscan and Roman town of Rusellae, about 3 km NE of its descendant Roselle Terme, is still being excavated. My site focuses on the amphitheatre but also shows the forum, a few simple mosaic pavements and three very small Etruscan tombs.


[image ALT: a small open bell-tower; framing the left of the picture, the edge of a Romanesque church façade]

[ 3 pages, 9 photos [an asterisk] ]

Orbetello


[image ALT: zzz]

[ 6/21/04: 3 pages, 16 photos [an asterisk] ]

Pitigliano is one of the most curious little towns I've ever visited. Yes, it has tortuous medieval streets, a few churches, a castle and a museum; but two special interests set it apart from other Tuscan hilltowns. It has centuries of Jewish history behind it (and a beautiful old synagogue); and it sits in the center of a radiating network of what many people say are Etruscan roads. There is also a paleochristian tempietto . . . or maybe not . . .


[image ALT: a segment of wall made of some very large crudely cut stones]

[ 2 pages, 5 photos [an asterisk] ]

Vetulonia is now just a village but was once a major Etruscan center, and preserves a chunk of cyclopean Etruscan wall, the so‑called "arx" or citadel; plus a number of Etruscan tombs within walking distance of the center of town. Most of them are fenced off and unvisitable, but one is not (even if it's apparently the least interesting of the lot).


[image ALT: a segment of wall made of some very large crudely cut stones]

[ 5/15/02: 2 pages, 2 photos [an asterisk] ]

Similarly, Talamone today is a very small fishing port. It may not have been much larger 2500 years ago, but it too was an Etruscan center, and somewhere in between it acquired a powerful medieval castle.


[image ALT: zzz]

[ 5/9/98: 1 page, 1 photo + 1 close-up ]

The strikingly beautiful Duomo of Massa Marittima seems to be virtually unknown: why, I couldn't say. For now, a single small page showing some rather gruesome Lombard sculpture.


[image ALT: zzz]

[6/27/02: 1 page, 1 photo — plus more in my diary ]

I've been to the capital city of Grosseto, and it deserves a bit more of a site. While I sift thru several rolls of film though, there's still just a bit of something onsite, plus the usual offsite links.


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Site updated: 2 May 08