Capalbio, the city overlooking the sea
- Category Places to visit
Capalbio is at the southern border of Tuscany and perches on top a hill covered by trees and Mediterranean scrub. Originally it was the castle of the Tre Fontane di Roma (8th century). During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, then the Orsini Counts and in 1416, it was annexed to the Sienese Repubblic. Later the territory was turned over to Cosimo dei Medici and it began a slow demographic and economic decline. The town lost its autonomy under the Lorraine and suffered inevitable social disintegration as a result.
This led to the onset of the banditry which plagued the Maremma for a great number of years. Tradition has it that Tiburzi, the most famous bandit in the Maremma, whose exploits became legendary and are remembered today, used Capalbio as his hide-out. With the Plebiscito of 1860, Capalbio followed the fate of the rest of Tuscany and only began to recover in 1950 with the Riforma Agraria, (Agricultural Reform). The town has kept its Medieval structure almost completely intact. It is possible to follow the path of the ancient patrol along the town walls. One of the entrance gates, the Sienese, still has the original massive wooden doors from the 15th century.
Capalbio enjoys rather special tourism, attracted by the Medieval character of the narrow streets, the ancient castle overlooking the valley below and the beautiful beaches of Chiarore, Macchiatonda and la Torba. The prestige of the town is further increased by the “Capalbio Cinema” short film festival held every year during the first fifteen days of July. This festival draws important national and international figures. The “Giardino dei Tarocchi”(Tarot Card Garden) at Garavicchio is also worth seeing. It was created by the recentely deceased artist Niki de Saint Phalle.