Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia , regionally simply abbreviated as Castiglione, is an ancient seaside town in the province of Grosseto, in Tuscany, Italy The modern city grew around a medieval fortress Italian: castello and a large fishery, from which it acquired its designation Today Castiglione is known mostly for its beaches, a vibrant nightlife, its nature, but also its majestic fortress and the uncontaminated natural reserve Diaccia Botrona, a swampy humid environment hosting unique wildlife, eg flamingoes, mallards and ducks
It has become a centre of international tourism and in 2014 it ranked 4th among the most visited destinations in Tuscany, with approximately 13 million tourist arrivals, only preceded by Florence, Pisa and Montecatini Terme It is interesting to notice how Castiglione is not only the first seaside destination in Maremma, but it is also the first in Tuscany Strangely, although Castiglione is extremely popular among German, Dutch, Russian and French tourists, it is not particularly known by the British, so much that the British online newspaper The Telegraph described Castiglione's annexed fraction, Punta Ala, as a corner of Tuscany the British haven't found Due to its popularity, but also its cleanliness and high environmental standards, Castiglione is often referred to as the Switzerland of Maremma, diversifying itself from other seaside towns by a refusal to turn itself into an industrialised commercial destination, prioritising the nature and its wildness These efforts were rewarded as Castiglione, as mentioned above, is the most popular seaside town in Tuscany
Castiglione's crystalline sea has been repeatedly nominated as Italy's best sea by the national non-governmental environmentalist organisation Legambiente This happened to be the case in the most recent edition of the awards too, in 2015
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Main sights
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
GeographyHilltop fortress - Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia consists of a High City built on the hill that ends a chain of hills towards the sea, and of a Low City at the foot of the High City, straddling the drainage canal and marina that form the central part of town
Castiglione is located in the South-Western portion of Tuscany, with a gorgeous view of the islands of Elba and Giglio, and of the promontory of Argentario The hills that back the city slope into beautiful beaches that front the town in its entirety
To the East of Castiglione is the rich floodplain of the Ombrone Nothing much remains of the ancient lake Prile that used to be Castiglione's lifeblood
While Umbrians and Etruscans were most likely the first inhabitants of its location, Castiglione della Pescaia was first recorded under the name Salebrone in Roman times The hill close to the coast proved to be an excellent location, as it dominated the sizable inland Prelius Lake, while the lake itself provided food fish and trading goods salt
In Medieval times, the city suffered from repeated pirate attacks and almost disappeared It resurfaced in the 9th century AD under its current name, under joint protection of the Papacy and the Republic of Pisa
The Pisans used Castiglione as a key element in their system of defence along the Tyrrhenian coast They built first a single tower on top of the hill, later expanded that to three towers joined by a wall that became the nucleus of the citadel The three towers of Castiglione dominate the city seal to this day
In the 13th century, Castiglione became an independent comune Meanwhile, the river Ombrone had started silting up Lake Prile, which soon became a lagoon In this newformed lagoon, malaria mosquitoes took hold, weakening the population of Castiglione The city requested protection from various powers Siena, the Medici, Aragon and finally became part of the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany under the dynasty of Lorraine
The house of Lorraine started a series of projects that greatly enhanced the lives of Castiglionesi The swamps were drained over decades, increasing the amount of arable land, as well as killing off the malaria carrying mosquitoes
After Tuscany became part of Italy in 1859, Castiglione became a comune in the province of Grosseto
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the area is the famous historical Etruscan centre of Vetulonia, which hosts an Etruscan museum with an adjacent well preserved archaeological site, encompassing ancient remains of the old inhabitants of Maremma Furthermore, the hamlets of Punta Ala, Riva del Sole, Roccamare and Rocchette are beach resorts catering mostly tourists from Central and Northern Europe
In the territory of Castiglione della Pescaia, the 1,000-hectare 2,500-acre Natural Reserve of Diaccia Botrona with 18th-century Casa Rossa Ximenes is a designated wetland area of international interest, according to the Ramsar ConventionPanoramic view of Casa Rossa Ximenes
- Track cycling Marina di Grosseto-Castiglione della Pescaia
- ^ http://wwwilgiunconet/2015/10/08/la-maremma-regina-del-turismo-solo-le-citta-darte-la-superano-castiglione-presenze-record/
- ^ https://wwwtelegraphcouk/travel/destinations/europe/italy/tuscany/articles/Punta-Ala-a-corner-of-Tuscany-the-British-havent-found/
- ^ http://firenzerepubblicait/cronaca/2015/06/08/foto/in_toscana_la_spiaggia_piu_bella_d_italia_e_castiglione_della_pescaia-116400585/1/#1
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