The Etruscans, followed by the Romans, were the first to cultivate the marshes and low hills of Maremma. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, however, the area fell prey to flooding and malaria, twin scourges that left it virtually uninhabited until the 18th century. The land has since been reclaimed, the irrigation canals unblocked, and farming has developed on the fertile soil. The stunning “Parco naturale della Maremma” was set up in 1975 to preserve the area’s native flora and fauna, and to prevent development on one of Italy’s few pristine stretches of coastline.
The fauna in the Maremma is rich and varied. In the Mediterranean scrubland, composed of Holm-oak, heather, strawberry trees, juniper and spurge laurel, one finds nests of the harrier eagle and sparrow hawk, among others; the rare wildcat also hides here. On the rocky cliff walls, tourists will find two ornithological jewels: the peregrine falcon and the rare Corsican seagull. The wild boar is at home here, and there are lagoon birds aplenty.
Discovering the Maremma coast is a constantly changing experience; the very long, well-equipped, fine sandy beaches are alternated with luxuriant pine forests, small coves with soft-sounding names and a crystal-clear view of the sea, deserted beaches, natural paradises, uncontaminated islands, villages and castles that are austere and festive at the same time. Reading about the territory before visiting will transmit the wealth and variety of these elements through a vision that combines all of these aspects into one, incredible image.