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The first thing the locals say to those who are lucky enough to wander through the medieval walls of Manciano is - "Manciano delle streghe, dove si va si vede", which means, "Manciano, where the witches are, wherever you go you see".

Okay, so they won't actually say it to you, but this little ditty has been around for centuries and everyone knows it off by heart, including me, and I wasn't even born in Manciano!

Witches aside, this quote perfectly sums up Manciano's claim to regional fame - its incredible view.

But first, a few things about the locals. The Mancianese, as they're called, are deeply traditional and unpretentious country folk who spend their days strolling through the cobblestone streets, stopping to chat to neighbours in their beautifully conserved tufo rock homes or sitting in the oak-lined park watching the world go by.

And what a world they watch! From their little hill top, the Mancianese can admire all of the Maremma.

They bask in the lush, olive grove-spotted hills in the nearby valleys. Peer at the roof tops and bell towers of the other medieval towns around them. And even get a glimpse of the rolling tides of the Argentario Coast more than 30 kilometres away.

It's one hell of a view and it never fails to enchant the many tourists who spend hours standing in the terrace of the Fortezza Aldobrandeschi just trying to take it all in.

Historically, Manciano has plenty to complement this gorgeous view.

Its rich heritage began in the Middle Ages in the hands of the very powerful Aldobrandeschi family, who then gave the town away as a wedding gift to the Orsini Counts, rulers of nearby Pitigliano.

Like all of Maremma's cities, Manciano continued to change hands, going from the Orsini Counts to the Republic of Siena, to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and even the famed Florentines- the Medici.

Without a doubt, it's this diverse history that has coloured Manciano's streets and monuments today. The city is a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture, but for me it's also home.

I love it for the atmosphere that envelopes all these buildings. The quiet summer afternoons when everyone is out for a stroll enjoying the view and the evenings when they pack restaurants like Il Miravalle for what has to be the best local fare for miles!

Sights

Chiesa di San Leonardo

Manciano’s offering to its patron saint, St Leonardo. This charming medieval church is ornamented with soft salmon-coloured marble.

Chiesa SS. Annunziata

A splendour of the Renaissance, this church is simple but striking. Inside you’ll find beautiful paintings by master painter and local icon Paride Pascucci.

Fortezza Aldobrandesca

Like a Maremma fortresses, this one is the heart of Manciano. It’s also the best spot to catch of glimpse of the town’s famous and breathtaking panorama.

Fontana Piazza Garibaldi

Designed by local architect Pietro Aldi, this stone fountain was built in the 1920s and is a picture of post WWI Liberty Style. It’s even home to a few fish.

Torre dell’Orologio

Close to the Fortezza Aldobrandesca, this clock tower was built by Sienese, and at last look, didn’t work, but it’s still beautiful enough to marvel over.

Museo della Preistoria


This museum is one of territory’s most important and recreates the life of the ancient civilisations that once called the Albegna and Fiora valleys home.

Sale della Terra

A small exhibition that celebrates Manciano’s ‘contadini’ culture or farming heritage with authentic items that date back to the early-20th century.

Neighbouring towns

Manciano is lucky enough to have some of the Maremma’s best towns as its frazioni – that means they belong to the same town council. These towns are minutes from Manciano and definitely worth a look:

Saturnia

This beautiful town is considered to be Italy’s oldest city. It’s home to ancient ruins and the world famous Terme di Saturnia hot springs.

Cascate del Mulino

Saturnia’s hot springs in question are the most luxurious bath in the most luxurious setting you’ll ever have. The Cascate del Mulino are free and open 24/7 so you can enjoy the 37°C water whenever you like!

Montemerano

A medieval village that never fails to amaze and enchant with its simply beautiful piazzas and hidden vias.

Events

Sagra Della Fragola

May

One of the Fiora Valley’s oldest and cheeriest festivals, the Sagra della Fragola is a celebration of strawberries in Marsiliana, a small town about 20km from Manciano.

Festa delle Cantine

September

This festival captures the two great loves of every Mancianese: food and wine. And, believe me, both are good enough to deserve their own celebration.

Vivamus 

June -July

This event is very close to my heart. As its name suggests, it’s about living the Maremman lifestyle in all its splendour and vigour, beauty and vitality.

Top Secret Maremma

May and October

All over the world, cities are opening their most treasured buildings to the curious eyes of strangers for one week only, and now Manciano is one of them!

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