Gavorrano, the territory of medieval villages
- Category What to visit in Maremma
The medieval center of Gavorrano rises on the side of Mount Calvo in the heart of the Grosseto Maremma with a splendid view of sea and hills. It was an important mining center and the stone quarries and infrastructure for its excavation are still visible in the area. Today a part of the abandoned mining structures has been converted into a large museum complex: the Parco Minerario and Naturalistico di Gavorrano (Mining and Naturalistic Park of Gavorrano) which is incorporated within the larger project of the Parco Tecnologico ed Archeologico delle Colline Metallifere Grossetane (Tecnological and Archeological Park of the Grosseto Metalliferous Hills). This project provides an important contribution to the cultural and tourist revival of the territory.
The land and castle were administered by the noble family, Pannocchieschi in the 13th century. It is said it was here that Count Nello killed his wife, the Sienese Pia de’ Tolomei, whose fate was described by Dante Alighieri in Canto V of “Purgatory” (“Siena mi fè, disfecimi Maremma ” “Siena gave me life, Maremma took it away”). Every August, in memory of this event, a pageant called “Salto della Contessa” (the Countess’s Leap) is held in the historical center of the town with a parade in Medieval costume, pennant throwing exhibitions, a horse race and a theatrical performance.
The town’s medieval architecture has been conserved in the castle, the arches, the gates, the city walls and the turreted palaces. Gavorrano and its nearby medieval centers, Caldana, Ravi, Giuncarico and the Rocca of Castel di Pietra, offer splendid itineraries within a historical-artistic and naturalistic setting. The ancient spa, Bagno di Gavorrano is the most populated town in the district today and is certainly worth a visit.