The small village of Capalbio is immersed in Tuscany’s Maremma countryside yet close to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Tiny shops line its streets and ancient alleys making it one of Maremma’s quaintest villages. Are you curious about what to see in Capalbio? Andiamo!
A Tiny Slice of History
Nicknamed the “Little Athens” because of its rich history, Capalbio’s origins date to Etruscan and Roman times. This historical period has left its mark on the original layout of the small village. Its most prosperous period was under the dominion of Counts Aldobrandeschi and Orsini, and then in 1416, it fell under Sienese rule, giving it greater prestige. Unfortunately, from the 16th century onwards, Capalbio experienced some dark years until it was rediscovered in recent history.
Capalbio’s Historic Center
As soon as you enter through the arch into the historic town center you’re greeted with a unique statue called “Nanà Fontaine”. It was created by the famous sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, the very artist who also created the famous Tarot Garden, located just a few kilometers away. From Piazza Belvedere, as the name suggests, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view, maybe while enjoying an aperitif.
Fortunately for pedestrians, Capalbio is closed to traffic making it even more enjoyable to wander its intertwining alleys. When you come to Via IV Novembre, framed by an arch, you will have two options: get lost in the labyrinth of alleys or stroll along the ancient walls admiring the view. From here you can admire the Tyrrhenian coast with Giglio Island and Monte Argentario in sight, but also a hilly landscape so typical of the Maremma. Capalbio is the perfect fusion of the sea and the hills.
Another access point in the heart of the town is Porta Senese, which is located a little further on once you have passed Piazza Belvedere.
This little square is truly a gem and seems to have come out of a fairy tale. The flowered balconies, stone houses, and the uphill streets along with the ancient city walls all create a lovely atmosphere. As you approach Piazza Magenta, you’ll have a spectacular view off to your left.
The Rocca Aldobrandesca is located in the heart of the historic center and the highest point in all of Capalbio. Inside, you’ll find finely decorated rooms, including one dedicated entirely to Giacomo Puccini where his piano is still on display. Make sure to make the effort and climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the village and the surrounding countryside and sea.
Tickets only cost 2 €.
Pieve di San Nicola
Just opposite the fortress, there is a small church with a single nave from the 12th century, where you can see beautiful frescoes including the Madonna Enthroned with the Child.
Other Places to See Near Capalbio
The Tarot Garden
As already mentioned, just 10km away from Capalbio is the famous Tarot Garden. This is an open-air park and art museum that is perfect for children and people of all ages.
It’s open in the afternoons from 2:30 pm and your visit can be booked at this link at a cost of € 14.
Less than 20km from Capalbio, you can also visit the village of Orbetello and reach Monte Argentario. Art, culture, delicious cuisine, and the seaside all await!
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a little relaxation, the Terme di Saturnia are just 30km away.