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The Maremma region is an area of Italy bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. It comprises part of southwestern Tuscany – Maremma Livornese and Maremma Grossetana (the latter in the province of Grosseto) – and part of northern Lazio (in the province of Viterbo and Rome on the border of the region).
Maremma in literature, music and art
- Non han sì aspri sterpi nè sì folti
- quelle fiere selvagge che 'n odio hanno
- tra Cecina e Corneto i luoghi colti.
Pia de' Tolomei is a tragic figure whom Dante encountered in Purgatory. Her story was so familiar to Dante's readers that an understated allusion in Part Two of The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, was enough to call it to mind:
Translation in English
«Deh, quando tu sarai tornato al mondo,
“Ah, when you have returned to the world,
• Gaetano Donizetti composed an opera, Pia de' Tolomei (1837), to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, the final scenes of which take place in Maremma, where Pia has been imprisoned in a tower by her husband Nello for supposed infidelity. The region’s marshy isolation and pestilential reputation emphasize the Romantic suffering of La Pia. The role of Pia was created at the premiere by Fanny Persiani (1812-1867), the soprano who first sang Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835.
• Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was said to have died of malaria in the Maremma town of Porto Ercole in 1610. In 2010, DNA testing of some bones from a cemetery in the town showed them to have a 50 to 60 percent chance of being those of Caravaggio.
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Maremma is being promoted as a destination for agritourism.
It was traditionally populated by the Butteri, cattle breeders who until recently rode horses with a distinctive style of saddle. Once unhealthful because of its many marshes, Maremma was drained during the Mussolini regime, and people from other Italian regions, notably the Veneto, have since settled there.
Maremma can be divided into many areas, each with its own characteristics and attractions.
- Alta Maremma (Upper Maremma) is the northern part of the Maremma region, on the border with the Province Siena. This area is characterised by the many picturesque hilltop villages (Pitigliano, Roccastrada, Roccatederighi, Sassofortino, Monte Massi, Massa Marittima, Cinigiano, Campagnatico, Pari), which remind of the hilltop towns of the Siena area.
- The heart of Maremma. Grosseto can be considered the capital of Maremma. The area around Grosseto and the coast, with Marina di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia and the small villages that lie in the plain between the city and the coast, represents the heart of the Tuscan Maremma.
- The hills of the Upper Maremma. The hills of Maremma can be divided into three areas: the area del Tufo (tufo is a volcanic rock found in the area that has been used for thousands of years in construction), the Colline Metallifere (literally, "the hills that produce metals") and the internal hills on the border with the Siena region. This is the heart of the Etruscan Empire (many[who?] would debate that the heart of the Etruscan Empire was actually in the Maremma Laziale, in an area also known as the Tuscia, where Tarquinia was "the chief of the twelve cities of Etruria".
- On the shoreline of Maremma, sandy beaches alternate with rocky coastline. The long stretches of pine tree forests which border the beaches of the Maremma are a naturalistic treasure as well as the few areas where the lagoon and swamp ecosystems have survived urbanization, reclamation, or simple draining, such as the nature reserve of the Diaccia Botrona near Castiglione della Pescaia.
- The metalliferous hills: The Colline Metallifere (literally, the metalliferous hills or the hills which produce metals) have always been the industrious heart of Maremma and some places still point to times when the life on these hills was much harder. As their name says, the soil of these hills, which spread from the border with the province of Siena to the Gulf of Follonica, is rich in minerals, and mines have been excavated for centuries in search of iron, copper, lead, zinc, pyrites, and silver. The main town is Massa Marittima.
- Maremma Laziale is the southernmost part. In his biggest definition lays in the western part of Viterbo's province and in the northwestern part of Rome's province, long the coast of Upper Lazio and in the close inland levels and hills of the Tuscia, between the mouth of Chiarone creek and Capo Linaro, the last promontory an appendix of the range Monti della Tolfa beyond which lies the Agro Romano. The most important towns are Canino, Cellere, Civitavecchia, Ischia di Castro, Montalto di Castro, Santa Marinella, Tarquinia, Tuscania, Vulci. Other scholars (e.g. Dante Alighieri) consider the last boundary is Corneto, near Tarquinia, being this the smallest perimeter. Others consider a middle extension, until Civitavecchia.
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