"I am beautiful Capalbio, defended by the Sienese lion who protects me and who restored these original walls."
(An inscription carved into the Porta Senese, originally in Latin)
The last town on the Maremma-Lazio border, Capalbio looks out onto the Tyrrhenian Sea in an almost wistful way, as if it too would be happier following the tide to some unknown land.
Renowned across Italy for its enviable beauty, Capalbio is no stranger to tourism. Its locals are used to the hustle and bustle of visitors who walk from grand palazzo to profoundly beautiful church to striking seaside vista with awestruck looks on their faces.
After all, they've had a lot of time to get used to tourists. Capalbio's much-heralded splendor dates back to 805 when its castle was donated to the Abbazia dei Santi Anastasio e Vincenzo alle Tre Fontane by the Emperor Charlemagne.
From then on, the town has been a refuge and source of inspiration for religious figures, poets and artists alike - all of whom have left their mark on Capalbio.
Unlike other towns in the Maremma, this mark has not been erased by the test of time. Instead to the great satisfaction of the locals, it remains untouched by a modern world that is unable to contaminate la sua suggestiva atmosfera medioevale (its evocative medieval atmosphere).
Today this great artistic patrimony is rivaled only by Capalbio's natural beauty. Perched on a high cliff and surrounded by a forest of Mediterranean shrubs, the town is like an isle of stone and red brick in a sea of lush countryside.
The view is so striking that it earned Capalbio five sails and the top spot in the Guida Blu Legambiente-Italian Touring Club Guide - a much coveted title awarded to the town for its tireless protection and careful management of its beaches, cultural heritage and environment.
Photo: Riccardo via Flickr
Sights and museums
Sights outside of Capablio
Local products and legends
Photos from left to right: mauro.bosio, riccardo, riccardo and dede90 via Flickr.