Castiglione della Pescaia, comprehensive guide to the town

Castiglione della Pescaia, comprehensive guide to the town

The days of strong heat have arrived, and while so many of us begin to move to the seaside, I, on the other hand, continue to visit unknown villages. Today I'm introducing you to a special onebecause it brings together both lovers of ancient villages like me and avid fans of seaside vacations. I am talking about Castiglione della Pescaia also known as the Switzerland of Maremma for its beauty and quality of life. Only 20 kilometers away from Grosseto (about which I wrote an article you can find here) in this beautiful village you can enjoy wonderful clear waters, long seaside walks but also a beautiful and unique medieval old town overlooking the coast and the archipelago.

So here I decided to write for you a guide that will be very very useful. A different article than the others because here you will find information about what to see and do in Castiglione della Pescaia, where and what to eat e about the most beautiful beaches and seaside resorts. First, however, as always let's get to know a little of its history.


an alley typical of the historic center of castiglione della pescaia with houses and a street built of stone. On the left is an underpass that leads to the highest part of the center
an alley in the historic center of Castiglione della Pescaia

The history of Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione della Pescaia like many other villages in the area has Etruscan origins. The most important evidence comes from the ancient city of Vetulonia and in the area between Val Beretta and Pian di Rocca. In Roman times several urban works such as viaducts and villas were built. During the Middle Ages Castiglione della Pescaia was under the control of Pisa, which built walls and towers thus fortifying the village. In 1404 Castiglione submitted to the Signoria of Florence, which repopulated the village by carrying out numerous land reclamation works. From 1447 the village was ruled by the King of Naples, who enlarged the castle. In the following years Castiglione della Pescaia passed into the hands of different families until the possession of Eleonora of Toledo. From this time life became quieter and numerous acts of improvement were made to reclaim the surrounding marshland.

the entrance to the historic center of Castiglione della Pescaia via the underpass of the clock tower that towers very high in the foreground
the entrance to the historic center via the clock tower

What to see in Castiglione della Pescaia

Centurioni Palace

It is theoldest building in the village and was for many centuries the administrative and justice center of Castiglione. In 1918 it became home first to a kindergarten and then an elementary school. In the 1970s the building fell into disuse only to be renovated in 2008. Today it is a venue for painting or photography exhibitions.

Church of St. John the Baptist

It is the main church in the historic center of Castiglione della Pescaia, and you will notice it immediately by its distinctive bell tower. This in fact is carved out of one of the defensive towers of the medieval walls. The church was built in the 16th century in place of an arms depot. Inside you will find the relics of St. William of Malavalle or of Aquitaine, patron saint of the town.

the distinctive medieval stone tower of the church of saint john the baptist seen from a distance from one of the narrow streets in the historic center of castiglione della pescaia
the tower of the church of saint john the baptist

Church of St. Mary of the Lily

This church is really small but you will notice it right away because it is located under the front door of the clock tower. It dates back to the 1200s and was probably the chapel reserved for the garrison. The present building is a 1700 renovation using materials from the former hermitage of Santa Petronilla. Inside you will find an 18th-century painting depicting "the Madonna and Child."

War Museum - Menoni Renzo Collection

It is a private museum that can be visited by reservation only and was desired by the strong passion of Renzo Menoni. Inside are preserved many testimonies of World War II represented by military objects, vehicles and motorcycles in use during that period. If you want to visit the museum I leave HERE the official page and contact information.

The Castle

This structure was built in the 10th century AD and is located at the highest part of the hill overlooking the entire area below. Today it is privately owned so it is not possible to visit it inside except on certain occasions. In any case it is always nice to photograph outside as well and then from here you have a wonderful view of the entire Maremma and the entire Tyrrhenian coast ..

the castle of castiglione della pescaia seen up close and hidden among the vegetation and trees in the garden. You can see the medieval structure with the battlements typical of a castle
the castle of castiglione della pescaia

The historic center

Its medieval beauty and charm will strike you immediately! As you walk up its narrow streets you will see many stone houses, the ancient walls winding around and the ancient entrance gates. In addition to all this you will find a wonderful panoramic terrace that will show you the sea and the whole Paludare area and the Maremma. In short, the historic center of Castiglione della Pescaia is to be enjoyed calmly with a leisurely walk and cuddled by the sound of the sea.

the wonderful view of the coast and maremma with monte argentario in the background. In the foreground you can see the green marshland of the diaccia botrona reserve while on the right the golden beaches
the wonderful view of the Maremma and the coast


If you are in Castiglione della Pescaia, it is a must, after visiting the historic center, to take a waterfront walk. I recommend you start from the Piazzale "Maristella" with its lighthouses and walk the whole promenade on the sand. This way you will be able to admire the castle and medieval walls from below and also the beautiful beaches with crystal clear water.

Diaccia Botrona Reserve

It is what remains today of the ancient Lake Prile. A typical lake area that offers a rare and incredible ecosystem that is home to a significant variety of animals and plants. It is possible to travel all of it on foot or by bicycle, which can be rented at various points.

Ximenes Red House Museum

Built in 1765, it was created as part of the marsh reclamation work. Today this building houses an interactive multimedia museum that allows visitors to observe live the movements of all the animals in the area. In addition to this, the museum tells the whole story and evolution of natural and human interventions in the marsh. If you want to visit it I leave HERE the page with the hours and all the information you need.

the waterfront of castiglione della pescaia with its many bathing establishments and in the background above the view of the historic town center with its castle and church tower
the waterfront with a view of the old town in the background

The beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia

West Beach

It is the one that goes from the harbor to Punta Ala and is the busiest of Castiglione della Pescaia's beaches. Here you will find many equipped bathing establishments, bars and restaurants. There are also some stretches of free beach.

Levante Beach

It is that stretch of beach that goes south from the harbor toward Marina di Grosseto. Here you will find fewer bathing establishments than on the western beach but a beautiful pine forest and also Bau Beach Selene, a beach where dogs are allowed.

Rocchette Beach

It is located in the direction of Punta Ala after the west beach. It is a beautiful stretch of coastline (one of the most beautiful in the whole Maremma) with bathing establishments, bars and a restaurant and lots of free beach. Compared to the other beaches here you will find a rocky seabed.

Punta Ala

It is a hamlet of Castiglione della Pescaia, and to get there you will have to take a means of transportation. It is definitely a very in and wealthy area given the large number of villas and yachts. In any case, it is not prohibitive to take a walk along its wonderful waterfront with crystal clear water.

castiglione della pescaia's golden beach and the clear water of the sun-kissed sea. Two lighthouses of the harbor near the beach can be seen in the background
the beach and the clear water of the sea

The cuisine of Castiglione della Pescaia

What to eat in Castiglione della Pescaia

The cuisine of Castiglione della Pescaia is dominated by both products of the land and the sea. All the dishes are really tasty and will leave you truly satisfied. The typical dishes that I recommend you try are: tortelli maremmani with wild boar ragout; acquacotta; pappardelle with hare sauce; golden or nuanced eel; stewed snails; and stewed wild boar with olives. In addition to these tasty dishes you can and should definitely try the sliced meats including the very good Maremmano salami, bresaola and Maremma lard. Along with everything we perfectly fit in a nice glass of local red wine.

Where to eat in Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione della Pescaia being a renowned seaside town really has a lot of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can try the local cuisine and dishes mentioned in the previous point. This you will be able to notice walking along Corso della Libertà in the lower part of town but also in the whole area as there are so many businesses. Choosing a few restaurants for you was very difficult but below I will write down a few that I would personally try based on the great reviews and tasty photos of the dishes.

NB: clicking above the restaurant name will take you directly to the restaurant page with the proposed menu!

a board of mixed cold cuts and cheeses that you can eat in the restaurants of castiglione della pescaia with a glass of red wine from the maremma alongside
a board of cold cuts


Gabriele Orbetti
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