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Description

The site where Casale Marittimo can be found today was, in the seventh century BCE, an important Etruscan settlement, an outpost towards the sea of the city of Volterra. These were densely populated areas also in Roman times as testified by the sumptuous Villa della Pieve. The centre of town life, since the Middle Ages up to the present day, has been the town Castle, that sits on top of the concentric rings of roads climbing up through the houses, passing by the Clock Tower and the Casa del Camarlingo (House of the Chamberlain).
The narrow and steep roads of Casale Marittimo lead to the town’s most noteworthy medieval buildings such as the Pieve di Sant’Andrea, a former church which today houses the town hall, and the Palazzo della Canonica, renovated last century.

Over the centuries, the coastal marshland that once lay before the Casale hill was an entry point for pirates, as well as being a most inhospitable place, so much so that it was the cause of the depopulation of the hill itself. From the mid-18th century, with the reclamation of the plain, Casale repopulated, becoming the healthiest village in the whole area, specialized in cereal, olive and vine cultivation. Agriculture therefore became the main source of income for the families of the old town. Over the last decades, however, tourism has become another fundamental sector for the local community.
Casale Marittimo is a member of the eco-tourist Orange Flag (Bandiera Arancione) Association of the Italian Touring Club.

Information
Pro Loco
Via San Sebastiano, 1
56040 Casale Marittimo
t. +39 0586 653411
www.comune.casale-marittimo.pi.it

 

Geographical area
Val di Cecina

Population
over 1.000

Distance from Pisa
63 km

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Culture

A walk in Casale Marittimo

Chapel of the Madonna delle Grazie
A small characteristic chapel, originally commissioned by the population of Casale Marittimo to preserve a no longer existent rural fresco that has now been substituted with a panel of the Sienese school of painting.

Church of Sant’Andrea
This church was constructed in 1827–74 on the ruins of the old parish church that was destroyed by a violent earthquake. The church contains works by Alberto Sparapani from Casale Marittimo, frescoes by Stefano Ghezzani and a baptismal font made from a Renaissance capital.

The Canonica Palace
A delightful example of a 15th-century building made with materials from the Roman villa (e.g. capitals and jambs). Inside, with the priest’s permission, it is possible to visit the finds of the “Roman room”: floor in white and black mosaic, fragments of colored stuccos and a small painting with Sileno.

Etruscan Necropolis of Casa Nocera
With the discovery of its rich grave goods, this necropolis attests the importance of the family that commissioned it. Here, an important burial site of Etruscan Princes was found, with the discovery of two statues of the so-called War Princes of Casale Marittimo, today exposed at the Archeological Museum in Florence.
In addition to this burial, a 5th century corridor and false dome circular structure (a tholos tomb) was discovered at the end of the 19th century. Furthermore, there is no lack of Roman ruins, mostly from the two villas in the area.

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Activities for visitors

Yellow, Green, Orange Routes
The area offers three different colour-coded historical and environmental itineraries: the Yellow Route (10.5 km, 2h 40min), crossing Via della Pieve and almost reaching the Macchia della Magona protected area; the Green Route (3 km, 50min), reaching the Casalvecchio archaeological area; the Orange Route (3.5 km, 2h 20min), through olive groves and vineyards reaching the Linaglia dam.