Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione della Pescaia (Italian pronunciation: [kastiʎˈʎoːne della peˈskaːja]), regionally simply abbreviated as Castiglione, is an ancient seaside town in the province of Grosseto, in Tuscany, central Italy. The modern city grew around a medieval 12th century fortress (Italian: castello) and a large fishery, from which it acquired its designation. Today Castiglione is a very popular tourist destination with attractions that include beaches, natural parks, biking trails, historical Etruscan archaeological sites, a panoramic mediaeval hamlet as well as the natural reserve Diaccia Botrona, a swampy humid environment of historical relevance whose endangered wildlife comprise pink flamingoes, mallards and ducks.

Castiglione della Pescaia
Comune di Castiglione della Pescaia
Maremma Coast-Toskana-Italy.jpg
Location of Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia is located in Italy
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia
Location of Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy
Castiglione della Pescaia is located in Tuscany
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 42°45′N 10°52′E / 42.750°N 10.867°E / 42.750; 10.867
ProvinceGrosseto (GR)
FrazioniAmpio, Buriano, Macchiascandona, Pian d'Alma, Pian di Rocca, Ponti di Badia, Punta Ala, Riva del Sole, Roccamare, Rocchette, Tirli, Vetulonia
 • MayorGiancarlo Farnetani
 • Total209.28 km2 (80.80 sq mi)
4 m (13 ft)
 (31 December 2017)[2]
 • Total7,289
 • Density35/km2 (90/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0564
Patron saintSt. William of Aquitania
Saint day2 May
WebsiteOfficial website

Despite Castiglione's popularity as a holiday destination, the town's natural surroundings - including the sea, marshes and pinewoods typical of the Maremma area - have been meticulously preserved and are today forming protected natural reserves. Notably, in 2015 Castiglione's sea was nominated as Italy's most beautiful by the national non-governmental environmentalist organisation Legambiente, which not only praised the town's seawater cleanliness but also its environmental efforts and efficient recycling.[3]

Castiglione is the most visited seaside destination in Tuscany and it ranks second among the most visited cities in the region,[4] being only preceded by Florence. In 2019, approximately 1.6 million tourists visited Castiglione reaching an historic record.[5] The town is also one of the most visited in Italy.[6]

Interestingly, Castiglione della Pescaia is home to the second most expensive street in Italy for property prices,[7][8] with average values exceeding those of homes in every other Italian street except one, also in Tuscany.

Many notable figures have resided or reside in Castiglione and its comune. Among these are Golden Globe-winning actor Roger Moore,[9] Oscar-winning actress Sophia Loren,[10] Grammy-winning conductor Georg Solti,[10] film producer Carlo Ponti,[10] Formula One racing driver Alex Zanardi,[11] authors Italo Calvino,[12] Pietro Citati,[13] and Carlo Fruttero,[14] film director Giovanni Veronesi,[15] banker Siegmund G. Warburg,[16] and many others, including former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi,[17] also former President of the European Commission, and former King of Spain Juan Carlos I.[10]


View in the hilltop fortress.

Castiglione della Pescaia consists of a High City built on the hill that ends a chain of hills towards the sea, and of a Low City at the foot of the former, straddling the drainage canal and marina that form the central part of town.

Castiglione is located in the South-Western portion of Tuscany, with a view of the islands of Elba and Giglio, and of the promontory of Argentario. The hills that back the city slope into beaches that front the town in its entirety.

To the East of Castiglione is the rich floodplain of the Ombrone river. Nothing much remains of the ancient lake Prile that used to be Castiglione's lifeblood.


While Umbrians and Etruscans were most likely the first inhabitants of its location, Castiglione della Pescaia was first recorded under the name Salebrone in Roman times. The hill close to the coast proved to be an excellent location, as it dominated the sizable inland Prelius Lake, while the lake itself provided food (fish) and trading goods (salt).

In the Middle Ages, the city suffered from repeated pirate attacks and almost disappeared. It resurfaced in the 9th century AD under its current name, under joint protection of the Papacy and the Republic of Pisa.

The Pisans used Castiglione as a key element in their system of defence along the Tyrrhenian coast. They built first a single tower on top of the hill, later expanded that to three towers joined by a wall that became the nucleus of the citadel. The three towers of Castiglione dominate the city seal to this day.

In the 13th century, Castiglione became an independent comune. Meanwhile, the river Ombrone had started silting up Lake Prile, which soon became a lagoon. In this newformed lagoon, malaria mosquitoes took hold, weakening the population of Castiglione. The city requested protection from various powers (Siena, the Medici, Aragon) and finally became part of the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany under the dynasty of Lorraine.

The house of Lorraine started a series of projects that greatly enhanced the lives of Castiglionesi. The swamps were drained over decades, increasing the amount of arable land, as well as killing off the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

After Tuscany became part of Italy in 1859, Castiglione became a comune in the province of Grosseto.

Main sightsEdit

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the area is the historical Etruscan centre of Vetulonia, which hosts an Etruscan museum with an adjacent well preserved archaeological site, encompassing ancient remains of the old inhabitants of Maremma. Furthermore, the hamlets of Punta Ala, Riva del Sole, Roccamare and Rocchette are beach resorts catering mostly tourists from Central and Northern Europe.

In the territory of Castiglione della Pescaia, the 1,000-hectare (2,500-acre) Natural Reserve of Diaccia Botrona (with 18th-century Casa Rossa Ximenes) is a designated wetland area of international interest, according to the Ramsar Convention.

Panoramic view of Casa Rossa Ximenes.


The municipality is formed by the municipal seat of Castiglione della Pescaia and the villages (frazioni) and hamlets of Buriano, Pian d'Alma, Pian di Rocca, Punta Ala, Roccamare, Rocchette, Tirli and Vetulonia.


List of mayorsEdit

Mayor Term start Term end Party
Carlo Mini 1946 1953
Otello Carraresi 1953 1961
Walter Vannucci 1961 1964
Fedro Mirolli 1964 1977
Giancarlo Farnetani 1978 1990 Italian Communist Party
Dario Viti 1990 1992 Italian Communist Party/Democratic Party of the Left
Massimo Emiliani 1993 1996 Italian Radicals
Franco Roggiolani 1996 2001 Democratic Party of the Left/Democrats of the Left
Monica Faenzi 2001 2011 Forza Italia/The People of Freedom
Giancarlo Farnetani 2011 Incumbent Democratic Party


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "I PRIMI 50 COMUNI ITALIANI PER NUMERO DI PRESENZE TURISTICHE". Time2marketing (in Italian). 2018-12-12. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  7. ^ "La via con le case più care d'Italia? È nella patria del Brunello". (in Italian). 2019-09-12. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  8. ^ Nazione, La (12 September 2019). "Case da sogno in Toscana, sono qui le dimore più lussuose d'Italia". La Nazione (in Italian). Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Addio a Roger Moore, lo 007 che amava passare le estati a Castiglione della Pescaia". (in Italian). 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  10. ^ a b c d "Castiglione, la formula? Natura e sapori familiari | Firenze la". Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  11. ^ Nazione, La (20 June 2020). "Alex Zanardi, la Toscana il suo amore: tanti amici ovunque. In Maremma la sua casa". La Nazione (in Italian). Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  12. ^ "IL BISTURI PUO' SALVARE ITALO CALVINO - la". Archivio - la (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  13. ^ "Pietro Citati "Io e Italo Calvino""In Maremma trovò un'altra patria"". la Repubblica (in Italian). 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  14. ^ "L'omaggio dei lettori su Twitter Sarà sepolto accanto a Calvino". Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  15. ^ "L'amore al tempo dei capelli bianchi". Il Tirreno (in Italian). 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  16. ^ Attali, Jacques (2014-04-01). Un homme d'influence: Sir Siegmund G. Warburg (1902-1982) (in French). Fayard. ISBN 978-2-213-64173-7.
  17. ^ "- Il Tirreno". Archivio - Il Tirreno (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-12-15.

External linksEdit

Official website