Massa Marittima

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Massa Marittima
Comune di Massa Marittima
Massa Marittima 001.jpg
Coat of arms of Massa Marittima
Coat of arms
Massa Marittima is located in Italy
Massa Marittima
Massa Marittima
Location of Massa Marittima in Italy
Coordinates: 43°03′00″N 10°53′37″E / 43.05000°N 10.89361°E / 43.05000; 10.89361Coordinates: 43°03′00″N 10°53′37″E / 43.05000°N 10.89361°E / 43.05000; 10.89361
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province / Metropolitan city Grosseto (GR)
Frazioni Ghirlanda, Niccioleta, Prata, Tatti, Valpiana
 • Mayor Marcello Giuntini
 • Total 283.73 km2 (109.55 sq mi)
Elevation 380 m (1,250 ft)
Population (31 December 2014)
 • Total 8,483
 • Density 30/km2 (77/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Massetani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58024
Dialing code 0566
Patron saint Saint Cerbonius
Saint day October 10
Website Official website

Massa Marittima is a town and comune of the province of Grosseto, southern Tuscany, Italy, 49 km NNW of Grosseto.

There are mineral springs, mines of iron, mercury, lignite and copper, with foundries, ironworks and olive-oil mills. At Follonica, on the coast, are the furnaces in which are smelted the iron ore of Elba.


The territory around Massa Marittima was inhabited both in prehistoric and protostorical times, as evidenced by numerous finds dating from the Paleolithic to the Bronze Age, among which we remember those of Pianizzoli, Valmora, Le Tane and I go to the Orange. [8] Etruscan settlements have been found in the area of Lake Accesa and not only (Campo di Ginepro, Macchia del Monte, Poggio Corbello, Poggio Castiglione [9], Podere Nuovo and Valpiana) dating to a long period of time ranging from IX To the fifth century BC Further proof of the existence of a probable settlement in the place where Massa Marittima is now awkward is given by the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus, where a Massa Veternensis is cited as the birthplace of Constantius Gallus, nephew Of Constantine, probably attributable to the village of Massa Vecchia.

The name Massa appears for the first time in a document of the tenth century on a list of castles and courts sold to the cleric Ropprando by the Marquis of Lamberto on April 18, 973 and subsequently repaired by Ermengarda, widow of Lamberto, February 15, 986. The century that marked the beginning of the final flowering of the city was the XI century, when the gradual transfer to Massa Marittima of the episcopal seat of Populonia was looted by the Greek pirates and destroyed by the fleet of Niceta, Prefect of Constantinople: a letter from Pope Alexander II to Bishop Tegrin of 1062 testifies to the transfer of the bishop to Massa. Originally inaugurated in Pisa (1216), the city was the peak of its splendor in the years when it became free commune (1255-1337), knowing a great urban expansion and thanks to the construction of high-value buildings still visible today . From May 1, 1317, for a period of at least a year, the city also had its own currency, the Big 20 denarii and the small money, and there was news of the circulation of its coins until the end of 1319. [11] Entering into Siena's well-being, with which he has been linked in collaboration since the middle of the 13th century, joining her in the battle of Montaperti (1260), she joined it in three leagues (1276, 1307, 1319) and It was completely subjugated in 1335.

The centuries of Sienese domination were dark periods, in which Siena exploited the economic potential of the city, weakening it to annihilation. The pestilences (the most severe in 1348 and 1400) and the demographic downturn brought the city to a never-known decadence to date, to which the insalubriety of the place was added, as the Siena did not care, as was the case in Grosseto and In other places of Maremma, to the reclamation works. In 1554, during the war between Siena and Duke Cosimo de 'Medici, the Massa fortress capitulated, besieged by the Spaniards led by Carlo Gonzaga. On February 3, 1555 the city was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

During the Medici rule, the city experienced an initial attempt at remediation by Grand Duke Ferdinando I, but none of its successors became interested in the fate of Massa and Maremma: the only interventions were related to Valpiana's ironworks Rest, the failure of the torrents to do so caused the environmental conditions to return to their terrible condition. Malaria spilled the city back and, when in 1737 the Medici family disappeared, Massa counted only 527 inhabitants. It was in the course of the eighteenth century, under Lorraine, that the city resurfaced again. On March 18, 1766 Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo divided the Sienese state into two provinces: the upper province and the lower province. The lower province was head of Grosseto and was divided into four captains, Grosseto, Arcidosso, Sovana and Massa. In the years between 1770 and 1790, the areas of the garland of Garland, of that of Venelle, Pozzaione and dell'Aronna were reclaimed. Leopold II of Lorraine, in the nineteenth century, continued the work of environmental and economic improvement: the Montebamboli lignite mine, Montioni's alum, was reopened and Massa returned to be a mining town. It called new impulse to Valpiana's ironworks and made Follonica cast iron city.

Massa actively participated in the Risorgimento movements that led to the unity of Italy. Garibaldi himself went to Massa Marittima, later became an honorary citizen, and were some young Massetans, Lapini brothers among others, to help him reach Cala Martina to embark on Porto Venus in September 1849. In 1923 the city of Follonica, which has always been a hamlet of Massa Marittima, constituted an autonomous municipality. At the end of the Second World War there were Massa's episodes of partisan struggles and a strong commitment to Resistance, as well as painful human tragedies. They remember the murder of the nineteenth-century miners of Niccioleta (June 13, 1944) and the Norma's barbaric homicide Pratelli Parenti, Heroine of Resistance and Gold Medal for Military Value (June 22, 1944).

In the post-war period, Massa Marittima consolidated a mining center until it closed the last mine in 1994. Today, the city mainly lives in tourism, thanks to the presence of numerous works of art and the valorization of ancient crafts, mainly linked to mines.

Main sights[edit]

  • The 13th century Saint Cerbonius Cathedral (13th century). The church is in Romanesque-Pisane style, and is on the Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles divided by cruciform pilasters and cylindrical columns. The central portal has lion sculptures and five panels with stories of Saint Cerbonius, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. The rose window has a rare 14th century glass with the Redeemer in Glory and Histories of St. Cerbonius. The interior is home to a Romanesque font (1267 with a cover of 1447), a Gothic reliquary (1324) of Saint Cerbonius, a Maestà attributed to Duccio di Buoninsegna (1316) and 14th-century fresco under which is a Roman sarcophagus from the 4th century AD.
  • The battlemented Palazzo Pretorio. It houses the Archaeological Museum, containing a work by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
  • The Cassero Senese (Sienese Fortress), built in the 13th–14th centuries.
  • Monteregio Castle, built by the Aldobrandeschi in the 9th century, later used as the bishops' residence.
  • Church of St. Francis, founded, according to the tradition, by the saint himself in Gothic style. It houses an Assumption by Raffaello Vanni.
  • Fonti dell'Abbondanza, of the 13th century, the end point of a water supply project. This palazzo features a unique fresco of a phallus tree, dubbed The Fertility Tree after its discovery in 2000.[1]
  • Church of St. Augustine (14th century), with a Renaissance cloister.
  • Palazzo del Podestà.
  • Palazzo delle Armi, in Renaissance style.
  • Church of San Rocco (15th century).
  • Native house of San Bernardino da Siena.

In the frazione of Prata are a medieval castle with two towers and the Pieve of Santa Maria Assunta. The walled borough ot Tatti includes the medieval church of San Sebastiano and another Cassero.


Massa Marittima is possibly the birthplace of the fourth-century emperor Constantius Gallus.[2]

St. Bernardino da Siena was born here in 1380.


  1. ^ Stiles, Donna. "Art in The Middle Ages: Unrivaled Medieval Art". Maremma Guide. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  2. ^ Smith, William (1854). "Massa". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Perseus Digital Library. 

External links[edit]