Montemerano is one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. Located in southern Tuscany‘s Maremma region, Montemerano is just 10 minutes from the famous Saturnia hot springs. Let’s find out what to see in this picturesque Tuscan hamlet.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Montemerano; everything about it is exactly what you imagine Tuscany to be. Its location, perched atop a hill surrounded by a patchwork of olive groves, grain, and vineyards; its old stone walls and buildings; its narrow alleys and arches that spider web out from the piazzas; its cafes where you can sip authentic Tuscan wines and taste homemade dishes. If it sounds like heaven, you’re right- it truly is.
Montemerano rose to fame in about the year 1000 when the Aldobrandeschis took control and built the castle. Over the next several hundred years the town fell to Orvieto, Siena, and the Medicis.
What to See in Montemerano
This is our favorite kind of trip because while the art cities are fabulous, we think that everyone who visits Tuscany needs to spend some time in villages like Montemerano to unwind and truly soak in the culture. Everything is concentrated in the tiny historic center.
Porta Grossetana is the northern gate opening to the historic center while Porta del Ponte is the southern entrance. The town is enclosed by a “triple set” of walls dating to various periods and telling Montemerano’s story. The oldest encircle the castle at the highest point of the village; the second and third date to between the 13th and 16th centuries.
If you love to snap the perfect shot then this place is for you! Aside from the picturesque cobblestone streets and houses at every turn, the panoramic views as far as Monte Amiata, the Argentario Coast, and even Giglio Island will take your breath away!
The simple Romanesque Church of San Giorgio dates to the 14th century. There are numerous pieces of priceless art within its walls dating from the 14th to the 17th centuries, but by far the most famous is the Madonna della Gattaiola or Mary of the Cat Flap. In English, this doesn’t make much sense but basically, the painting has a hole in it. It is thought that its purpose was to let cats pass through the wall to keep the church free of mice.
Two more piazzas complete the historic center: Piazza del Forno and Piazza Campanile which contains the old bell tower and the old Church of San Lorenzo which has been converted into a theater.
Make sure to stop and savor a delicious meal at any one of the authentic trattorias. Montemerano is famous for its tortelli which are filled with ricotta, herbs, and greens and topped with a rich ragù sauce. Another dish to try is acquacotta, a tasty soup topped with a poached egg. Tripe is also popular and make sure to pick up a bottle of olive oil from the local olive groves. It’s known throughout the entire region of Maremma.
We recommend the Fonte del Cerro Hotel 4 km away