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MASSA MARITTIMA

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SIGHTS

MASSA MARITTIMA

The Town-Walls

Museums

MASSA MARITTIMA TRAVEL GUIDE
Grosseto

Massa Marittima is a wonderful interesting medieval town rich of many artistic evidences. Of probable Etruscan origin, the city conserve many monuments of its more prosperous period, that it can be made begin from the half of 11th century when Massa became a bishopric see, until then the Bishop was resident in Populonia. The period of maximum splendor of the city is however that one between 13th century and 14th century, when Massa Marittima thanks to the riches of the silver, copper and pyrite mines, present in the near Colline Metallifere (interesting the Historical Museum of the Mine), developed also from the Etruscans (to visit a few km from Massa Marittima the Etruscan mining settlement of the Lago dell'Accesa), became Free Municipality (1225). Subsequently taken part to the fights between Pisa and Siena for the dominion of the Maremma and beginning from 1335 it was submitted to Siena. In 1555 it passed under the dominion of Florence and of the Granducate of Tuscany, because of the malaria that infested the plains the town lost importance progressively, and only with the reclamation works built under the Lorena only bought back a little more importance.

The city is subdivided in two parts, the low part (or old city) where predominate the Romanesque style and the high part (or new) but founded in 13th and 14th centuries.

The visit can begin from piazzale Mazzini, where is a comfortable payment parking, here is the Palace of Abundance (1265) characterized from three ogival arches, it was the warehouse of the grain of the city, under it, is the public source where recently has been brought back to the light frescoes which traces had gotten lost. Soon we entered in one of the most beautiful public squares of Tuscany, the Garibaldi square, where are show many medieval buildings and where is the most important and beautiful monument than of Massa Marittima: the Cathedral, dedicated to San Cerbone, it's one of the most beautiful examples of the Romanesque-gothic architecture, it was started to be built in the first half of 13th century. The construction turns out raised on a podium with stairs and is arranged diagonally regarding the rest of the square.

Wonderful it's the facade in two orders surmount from a gable. Beautiful it's also the relief of the architrave of the doorway with episodes of the life of San Cerbone. The inside in three apse is supported from columns in travertine with fine carved corinthian capitals. The inner contro-facade brings traces of frescoes of centuries 13th-14th, while the rose-window is decorated by a stained glass window with the image of San Cerbone in front of Pope Vigilio (14th century). In the Cathedral are interesting works of art, between which are (at the beginnig of right aisle) the baptistry in travertine of 1267 with reliefs of the life of San Cerbone and the New Testament, work of Giroldo da Como next it's a stoup in marble of 13th century; in the transept it's the Chapel of the Crocifisso with a crucifix probable work of Segna di Bonaventura (13th century); under the apse it's the Arca of San Cerbone, a urn in marble with high reliefs executed from Goro di Gregorio in 1324; in the left transept is the Chapel of the Madonna with a altar-piece representing the Madonna delle Grazie (1316) of the school (or perhaps of the same) Duccio da Buoninsegna.

In front to the left side of the Cathedral it's the Palazzo del Vescovado, rebuilt in 1914, on an angle of the palace is a column with a wolf (1474), symbol of Siena, that it was used for posting of the proclamations. In front of the facade of the Cathedral it's the beautiful Palazzo Pretorio built in 1230 like residence of the podestà, of which conserve, on the facade, numerous coats of arms, today it's used as Archaeological museum, coming down to the right of Palazzo Pretorio we reached the medieval building of the Mint, where in 14th century the Municipality of Massa Marittima minted their own coins, not far is the San Bernardino Gate and the Salnitro Gate of the Town walls. Returning in the Garibaldi square continuing to right of Palazzo Pretorio are in order: the House of Conti di Biserno (13th century), the Municipal Palace (14th century) in travertine with inside beautiful frescoes of 16th century. In front of the Municipal Palace it's the Loggia del Mercato, a reconstruction of 19th century. Other interesting building in the low part of the city are the former church of San Michele, today center of the Municipal Library, and in the vicinities the San Rocco Gate (13th century).

Continuing from the Loggia del Mercato in the via Moncini, we reach after a steep climb the Porta alla Silici (14th century), past this gate is the Matteotti square, center of the New City, here are some works of fortification like the Torre del Candeliere, rest of the old fortress built in 1228 and joined in 1337 to the Senese Fortress from an impressive arc. The big Fortress Senese, the Cassero Senese, built from 1335 have been partially demolished (1744 and then 1845) but it's still remain an important construction. In the square it's also the Palazzo delle Armi (1443), in the vicinities is the San Francesco Gate, with a beautiful part of the town walls, and then beyond is the Romanesque-gothic church of San Francesco (13th century) and the San Rocco Gate. Another Romanesque-gothic church is that one of Sant'Agostino (beginning of 14th century) to one nave, with the annexed convent (San Pietro all'Orto) that has a beautiful cloister (12th-13th century), recently restored and center of the Museum of Sacred Art, where is exposed the "Maestà" of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, more ahead is the convent of the Clarisse (13th century).

Continue to the Town-walls of Massa Marittima.

 

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The Cathedral of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Cathedral of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Palazzo del Comune, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Palazzo del Comune, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Panorama of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Panorama of Massa Marittima, Grosseto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panorama of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Panorama of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Facade of the church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The bell tower (1627) of the church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Facade of the church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The bell tower (1627) of the church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Palace of Abundance, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Source of Abundance, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Palace of Abundance, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Source of Abundance, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of the fašade of the Praetorian Palace, with the coat of arms of the PodestÓ, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of the fašade of the Praetorian Palace, with the coat of arms of the PodestÓ, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The interior of the Cathedral of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Arca di San Cerbone, Cathedral of Massa Marittima
The interior of the Cathedral of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Arca di San Cerbone, Cathedral of Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Palace of the Mint, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The bell tower of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Palace of the Mint, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The bell tower of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of the facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The portal of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of the facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The portal of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of a column of the facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Detail of a column of the facade of the Duomo, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Praetorian Palace, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Palazzo delle Armi, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Praetorian Palace, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Palazzo delle Armi, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Cloister of the Convent of the Church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Bishop's Palace, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
The Cloister of the Convent of the Church of Sant'Agostino, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
Bishop's Palace, Massa Marittima, Grosseto
 
 
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