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Castiglione della Pescaia, Province of Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy

An ancient seaside town grown around a medieval fortress (Italian: castello) and a large fishery, from which it got its name, the town is well known for its beautiful beaches and is a favorite destination of international tourism.

The center consists of a High City built on the hill, and of a Low City near the marina. The hills behind the town slope into beautiful beaches, with a great view of the islands of Elba and Giglio, and of the promontory of Argentario.

Info

Population: about 7,500 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 58043 -- Phone Area Code: 0564 -- Patron Saint: San Guglielmo d'Aquitania celebrated on 2 May -- Frazioni & Localities: Ampio, Buriano, Macchia Scandona, Pian d'Alma, Pian di Rocca, Ponti di Badia, Punta Ala, Riva del Sole, Roccamare, Tirli, Vaticino, Vetulonia

History

Umbrians and Etruscans were most likely the first inhabitants of its location, though Castiglione was first recorded under the name Salebrone in Roman times, when the inland Prelius Lake - today mostly disappeared - provided fish and trading salt. In Medieval times, the town suffered from repeated pirate attacks, then in the 9th century it was under protection of the Republic of the Pisans, who used Castiglione as a key element in their system of defence along the Tyrrenian coast and built three towers - still exisitng today - joined by a wall that became the nucleus of the citadel.

In the 13th century, Castiglione became an independent comune. Meanwhile, the river Ombrone had started silting up Lake Prile, which soon became a lagoon, where malaria mosquitoes took hold, weakening the population of Castiglione. The town became part of the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany under the dynasty of Lorraine, who started a series of projects that drained the swamps, increasing the amount of arable land, as well as killing off the malaria carrying mosquitoes.



Province of Grosseto

What to see

  • The ruins of Vetulonia, one of the leading Etruscan cities.
  • The Regional Reservation of Diaccia Botrona, a protected area with noteworthy natural landscapes.
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