orbetello-4

Orbetello is a picturesque and bustling city that stretches across the shores of the Orbetello Lagoon.

With breathtaking views of the Monte Argentario coast and palm trees everywhere you look, Orbetello is unlike anywhere else in the Maremma.

The locals are relaxed, convinced the lagoon air does them wonders. The pace is dictated by afternoon walks down Corso Italia, the main strip.

Living next to the Orbetello Lagoon is, by the locals, likened to living next to a nature park. It's a birdwatcher's dream and home for between 200 and 450 different bird species.

If you're looking to admire the Orbetello Lagoon, the best time to visit is in the evening, when the rather shy nocturnal animals make an appearance and the incredible sunset makes its way over the water and behind Monte Argentario.

Beyond the lagoon, Orbetello is a city shaped by Etruscan origins and refined by centuries of wealth and prestige. When the Romans left, Orbetello remained an important asset for the powers that came, from the Republic of Siena in the 15th century to the Spanish of the 16th century and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the 18th century.

During the almost two centuries of Spanish rule, Orbetello was the capital of the so called Stato dei Presidi - a small Spanish-ruled kingdom that covered most of the Argentario Coast.

The Spanish invested a lot of money into building grand churches, impressive monuments and serious fortifications with a Spanish flair.

Even Corso Italia has a hint of old luxury about it. Either side of the via brushes against richly painted homes and buildings covered in detailed stonework and marble.

Orbetello's shops are some of the most glamorous outside of Grosseto and are made up of fashion boutiques, homeware stores and restaurants.

Sights

Duomo S. Maria Assunta

Built in the 13th century, this cathedral sits on top of the ruins of a pre-existing Pagan temple.

Palazzo dei Governanti

A beautiful building built under the Stato dei Presidi with all the flair and pomp that defined the Spanish invaders in the Maremma.

Polveriera Guzman

A military building built in 1692 to house explosives and famous for its unique, almost cathedral-like design.

Porta a Terra

This Baroque archway is joined to the wall that encircles the city and is the first monument you see as your enter Orbetello.

Mulino Spagnolo

Erected on the waters of the magnificent lagoon, this windmill is the last of what used to be nine rustic mills built in the 1500s by the Spanish.

Museo Archeologico

A large exhibition of military relics, and Etruscan and Roman treasures. Home to the famous Frontone di Talamone.

Outside of Orbetello

Cosa

A very old and very beautiful Roman city, which has been transformed into a large open-air museum.

Cultura Contadina

This museum is dedicated to rural life in the Maremma in the 19th and 20th centuries. It showcases the social history of a rather tumultuous period.

Aquario Lagunare

Opened in 2009, this aquarium offers visitors a peek into lagoon life with all its vibrant colours and varied creatures.

Events

Gustatus

October-November

A true treat, Gustatus is one of, if not the biggest, gastronomic festival in the Maremma. In Latin Gustatus means ‘The Sense of Taste’.

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