From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Comune di Orbetello
The windmill on the lagoon of Orbetello.
The windmill on the lagoon of Orbetello.
Coat of arms of Orbetello
Location of Orbetello
Orbetello is located in Italy
Location of Orbetello in Italy
Orbetello is located in Tuscany
Orbetello (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 42°26′34″N 11°13′29″E / 42.44278°N 11.22472°E / 42.44278; 11.22472
ProvinceGrosseto (GR)
FrazioniAlbinia, Ansedonia, Fonteblanda, Giannella, San Donato, Talamone
 • MayorAndrea Casamenti
 • Total226.8 km2 (87.6 sq mi)
3 m (10 ft)
 (31 December 2017)[2]
 • Total14,744
 • Density65/km2 (170/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
58010, 58015
Dialing code0564
Patron saintSaint Blaise
Saint dayFebruary 3
WebsiteOfficial website

Orbetello is a town and comune in the province of Grosseto (Tuscany), Italy. It is located about 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Grosseto, on the eponymous lagoon, which is home to an important Natural Reserve.


The main gate of Orbetello.
The blockade of Orbetello, 1646, engraving by Matthäus Merian

Orbetello was an ancient Etruscan settlement, which in 280 BC passed under the control of the Romans, who had founded their colony of Cosa (near the modern Ansedonia).

The emperor Domitian had a substantial property here, which had belonged to the Domitii Ahenobarbi and he inherited through his wife Domitia Longina. He also built other sumptuous villas nearby for his courtiers.[3]

In the Middle Ages it was a possession of the Aldobrandeschi family, who held it until the 14th century, when it was acquired by the city of Orvieto. After several struggles with the Orsini of Pitigliano and Orvieto, in the following centuries Orbetello was captured by the Sienese Republic. In the mid-16th century it was part of the State of Presides, a Spanish possession, becoming its capital.

The town was besieged by the French during the 1635-1659 Franco-Spanish War. This led to the inconclusive naval Battle of Orbetello on 14 June; in July, a Spanish army forced the French to lift the siege.[4]

It formed part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until 1860, when it joined the newly unified Kingdom of Italy.

In 1927–33, Italo Balbo's "air cruises" started from Orbetello's lagoon. During World War II, the German Air Force's 2nd Squadron of Embarked Air Group 196 used the lagoon as a base for its Arado Ar 196 float planes for a brief period in 1943.[5]



The municipality is formed by the municipal seat of Orbetello and the towns and villages (frazioni) of Albinia, Ansedonia, Fonteblanda, Giannella, San Donato and Talamone.

List of mayors[edit]

Mayor Term start Term end Party
Tobia Savelli 1962 1972 Italian Communist Party
Piero Vongher 1972 1984 Italian Communist Party
Daniele Fortini 1984 1987 Italian Communist Party
Floriana Scialanca 1987 1989 Italian Communist Party
Alessandro Fommei 1989 1992 Italian Republican Party
Fidenzio Belmonti 1992 1993 Italian Socialist Party
Adalberto Minucci 1993 1997 Democratic Party of the Left
Rolando Di Vincenzo 1997 2006 National Alliance
Altero Matteoli 2006 2011 National Alliance/The People of Freedom
Monica Paffetti 2011 2016 Independent (centre-left)
Andrea Casamenti 2016 Incumbent Independent (centre-right)

Main sights[edit]

  • The city walls (5th century BC).
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built over an Etruscan-Roman temple and restructured in 1375 along Tuscan-Gothic lines. Preceded by a step, it houses some notable 15th-century frescoes.
  • The Spanish Forte delle Saline, in the frazione of Albinia.
  • Remains of the Roman city of Cosa in the frazione of Ansedonia.
  • Ruins of the Monastery of Sant'Angelo.


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Blake, M.E., 1959, Roman Construction in Italy from Tiberius through the Flavians , Washington: Carnegie Institute of Washington p 140–1
  4. ^ Black, Jeremy (2002). European Warfare 1494-1660. Routledge. p. 190. ISBN 978-0415275323.
  5. ^ Kleckers, Axel; Grams, Christian. "Bordfliegergruppe 196". Retrieved 18 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Media related to Orbetello at Wikimedia Commons