Castiglione della Pescaia
The capital of summer tourism in Maremma is the beautiful Castiglione delle Pescaia, considered one of the classier town of the whole region for its lively bars and its beautiful shores. The town is enlisted among the I Borghi più Belli d’Italia (Italy’s Most Beautiful Hamlets) and its sea is so clean that it was awarded with 5 Sails by the Legambiente and Touring Club’s Blue Guide.
The local territory offers a strongly diverse landscape: ranging from the golden inlet of Punta Ala to the wetlands of the natural reserve Diaccia Botrona, including the pine grove of Tombolo and its tree-covered hills, but also featuring a medieval core with fortified walls and a castle overlooking the sea. Castiglione della Pescaia is one of those towns where people leave their hearts, a unique and priceless blend of art, history and natural beauty.
The local night life spins around Corso della Libertà, a boulevard full of shops, restaurants and clubs. From here one can also access the most ancient part of town, with its Aragonese castle, erected in 1447 upon the initiative of Alfonso of Aragon king of Naples. In its immediate surroundings there is also the church of St John the Baptist, with its bell tower characterising the town’s skyline. The reserve of Diaccia Botrona deserves a place of honour among the main attractions of Castiglione: this is a marshy area located not far from the urban centre, the living trace of what used to be Lake Prilius.
What is surprising of this place is its variegated eco-system, where one can spot some rare bird species like the pink flamingo and the western osprey. Within this reserve is also Casa Ximenes, a structure named after Leonardo Ximenes, who used to inhabit it. He was a monk and academic who in 1765 was appointed by Grand duke Leopold to lead the fight against malaria in the region. In this house a small exhibition is now set up, dedicated to the wetlands-specific techniques for hunting and traditional fishing.