Throughout the Middle Ages, Montieri was coveted, first by Volterra and then by Siena, both of whom wanted the surrounding silver, copper and lead mines for themselves. Unfortunately both powerhouses were also quick to sack Montieri of its mineral deposits, damaging the landscape in the process and leaving the town to a slow decline.
Since then, the locals have done everything they could to undo that damage. You'd be hard pressed to find a bunch more dedicated to preserving and celebrating their environment.
Hectares of untouched forests around Montieri are now covered in a network of more than 500 kilometres of walking trails. Much of this landscape is in protected nature parks and is extremely popular with Tuscans looking to get in touch with their wild side through hiking, horse riding or other outdoor sports.
As well as having a huge green heart, Montieri's residents are sticklers for tradition. Like much of the Maremma, their town has been marked by centuries of different aristocrats and republicans.
Over the years each one's unique influence has been given pride of place in Montieri's heritage and lovingly preserved through the careful management of the buildings and through the annual festival, Tempora Artis Magicae, which draws inspiration from the town's Medieval roots.
Photos in slider: Egui, Baba 1967, LaPaola and Alienautic via Flickr