Città di Grosseto

Aerial view of Grosseto

Coat of arms

Location of Grosseto in Italy

Coordinates: IT 42°46′N 11°06′E / 42.767°N 11.100°E / 42.767; 11.100Coordinates: IT 42°46′N 11°06′E / 42.767°N 11.100°E / 42.767; 11.100
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province / Metropolitan city Grosseto (GR)
Frazioni Alberese, Batignano, Braccagni, Istia d'Ombrone, Marina di Grosseto, Montepescali, Principina a Mare, Principina Terra, Rispescia, Roselle
  Mayor Antonfrancesco Vivarelli Colonna (PD)
  Total 474.46 km2 (183.19 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population (30 November 2015)
  Total 82,131
  Density 170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Grossetani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58100
Dialing code 0564
Patron saint St. Lawrence
Saint day 10 August
Website Official website

Grosseto [ɡrosˈseːto]  listen  is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 kilometres (9 miles) from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain on the Ombrone river.

It is the most populous city in Maremma, with 82,284 inhabitants. The comune of Grosseto includes the frazioni of Marina di Grosseto, the largest one, Roselle, Principina a Mare, Principina Terra, Montepescali, Braccagni, Istia d'Ombrone, Batignano, Alberese and Rispescia.


The origins of Grosseto can be traced back to the High Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in 803 as a fief of the Counts Aldobrandeschi, in a document recording the assignment of the church of St. George to Ildebrando degli Aldobrandeschi, whose successors were counts of the Grossetana Mark until the end of the 12th century.

Grosseto steadily grew in importance, owing to the decline of Rusellae and Vetulonia until it was one of the principal Tuscan cities. In 1137 the city was besieged by German troops, led by Duke Heinrich X of Bavaria, sent by the emperor Lothair III to reinstate his authority over the Aldobrandeschi. In the following year the bishopric of Roselle was transferred to Grosseto.

In 1151 the citizens swore loyalty to the Republic of Siena, and in 1222 the Aldobrandeschi gave the Grossetani the right to have their own podestà, together with three councilors and consuls. In 1244 the city was reconquered by the Sienese, and its powers, together with all the Aldobrandeschi's imperial privileges, were transferred to Siena by order of the imperial vicar. Thereafter Grosseto shared the fortunes of Siena. It became an important stronghold, and the fortress (rocca), the walls and bastions can still to be seen.

In 1266 and in 1355, Grosseto tried in vain to win freedom from the overlordship of Siena. While Guelph and Ghibelline parties struggled for control of that city, Umberto and Aldobrandino Aldobrandeschi tried to regain Grossetto for their family. The Sienese armies were, however, victorious, and in 1259 they named a podestà from their city. But Grosseto gained its freedom and in the following year and fought alongside the Florentine forces in the Battle of Montaperti.

Over the next 80 years Grosseto was again occupied, ravaged, excommunicated by Pope Clement IV, freed in a republic led by Maria Scozia Tolomei, besieged by emperor Louis IV and by the antipope Nicholas V in 1328, until it finally submitted to its more powerful neighbour, Siena.

The pestilence of 1348 struck Grosseto hard and by 1369 its population had been reduced to some hundred families. Its territory, moreover, was frequently ravaged, notably in 1447 by Alfons V of Sicily and in 1455 by Jacopo Piccinino.

Sienese rule ended in 1559, when Charles V handed over the whole duchy to Cosimo I de Medici, first grand duke of Tuscany. In 1574 the construction of a line of defensive walls was begun, which are still well preserved today, while the surrounding swampy plain was drained. Grosseto, however, remained a minor town, with only 700 inhabitants at the beginning of the 18th century.

Under the rule of the House of Lorraine, Grosseto flourished. It was given the title of capital of the new Maremma province.

Main sights

The Medicean Walls

The walls were begun by Francesco I de Medici in 1574, replacing those from the 12th-14th centuries, as part of his policy of making Grosseto a stronghold to protect his southern border. The design was by Baldassarre Lanci, and the construction took 19 years, being completed under Grand Duke Ferdinando I. Until 1757 the exterior was surrounded by a ditch with an earthen moat. There were two main gates: Porta Nuova on the north and Porta Reale (now Porta Vecchia) on the south.

The walls are now used as a public park and walking area.

The Cathedral of Grosseto.

Religious architecture


Main article: Grosseto Cathedral

The Romanesque cathedral, the main monument of the city, is named for its patron St. Lawrence, and was begun at the end of the 13th century, by architect Sozzo Rustichini of Siena. Erected over the earlier church of Santa Maria Assunta, it was only finished in the 15th century (mainly due to the continuing struggles against Siena).

The façade of alternate layers of white and black marble is Romanesque in style, but is almost entirely the result of 16th century and 1816–1855 restorations: it retains decorative parts of the originary buildings, including Evangelists' symbols. The layout consists of a Latin cross, with transept and apse. The interior has a nave with two aisles, separated by cruciform pilasters. The main artworks are a wondrously carved baptismal font from 1470–1474 and the Madonna delle Grazie by Matteo di Giovanni (1470).

The campanile (bell tower) was finished in 1402, and restored in 1911.

Churches in the city centre

Church of San Francesco
Bell Tower of the Church of San Pietro

Churches outside the city walls


Civil architecture


Palazzo Aldobrandeschi.
Palazzo del Monte dei Paschi.
Palazzo Tognetti.
Villino Panichi.
Teatro degli Industri.

Within the walls of Grosseto are the following buildings:

Outside the walls of Grosseto are the following buildings:






Main article: Tuscan dialect


Andrea da Grosseto was born in Grosseto in the first half of 1200. He is very important in Italian literature, because he is considered the first writer in the Italian language. Andrea da Grosseto translated from Latin the Moral Treaties of Albertano of Brescia, in 1268. His texts were written in the Italian language, without too many redundancies and constructions, words and typical ways of speech of the vernacular and the dialect. The writer intended to not utilise his own Grossetan dialect, but to use a general "Italian national language". In fact he twice refers to the vernacular which he uses defining it italico (Italic). So Andrea da Grosseto was the first to intend to use vernacular as a national unifying language from the north to the south of the entire Peninsula.


Grosseto and Maremma have been settings for numerous works of fiction and movies, including the novels and associated films, such as The Easy Life (1962) with Vittorio Gassman; La vita agra (1964), from the novel of the same name by Luciano Bianciardi, with Ugo Tognazzi; An Ideal Place To Kill (1969) directed by Umberto Lenzi; In viaggio con papà (1982), with Alberto Sordi; Nothing Left to Do But Cry (1984), with Massimo Troisi and Roberto Benigni; It's Happening Tomorrow (1988); Viola bacia tutti (1997) with Asia Argento; The Talented Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon and Jude Law; Emma sono io (2002); Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio; Manuale d'amore 3 (2011) with Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci; Swiss movie Summer Games, and some Leonardo Pieraccioni's movies. Famous Italian actress Elsa Martinelli and actor Luigi Pistilli were both born in Grosseto. Actress Laura Morante was born in Santa Fiora, and director Umberto Lenzi in Massa Marittima, both in the province of Grosseto.


Schiaccia alla pala (oven-baked bread with oil) and Schiaccia con cipolle e acciughe (oven-baked bread with onions and European anchovy) are typical breads of the city of Grosseto. Acquacotta is typical of Mount Amiata: it is a poor soup, and the main ingredients are artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, beans, borage, pisciacane (dandelion) and similar vegetables. The Maremmana cattle is one of the two breeds used in the preparation of the florentine steak.

Notable residents


The eight current administrative divisions with their neighbourhoods:

Neighbourhoods (quartieri and frazioni) within ward
Circoscrizione 1
Gilberto Capanni Barbanella · Le Gemme · San Giuseppe · Tiro a Segno · Villaggio Azzurro · Verde Maremma · Zona Industriale · Rugginosa · Grosseto Airport · Casotto dei Pescatori
Circoscrizione 2
Concetta Relli Centro storico · Porta Vecchia · Porta Nuova · Alberino · Fornacione · Cittadella dello Studente · Sterpeto · Crespi · San Martino · Casalecci
Circoscrizione 3
Emanuel Cerciello Gorarella · Oliveto · Stadio · Casalone · Villaggio Kennedy · Villa Pizzetti · Principina Terra
Circoscrizione 4
Elena Picchiotti Pace · Cittadella · Sugherella · Europa · Villaggio Curiel · Commendone · Il Poggione
Circoscrizione 5
Marcello Barontini Alberese · Rispescia · Ottava Zona · Grancia · Valle Maggiore · Spergolaia
Circoscrizione 6
Luigino Brezzi Marina di Grosseto · Principina a Mare · Il Cristo · Casotto Venezia
Circoscrizione 7
Patrizia Balestri Braccagni · Montepescali · Acquisti
Circoscrizione 8
Nicola Falco Istia d'Ombrone · Batignano · Roselle · Nomadelfia · Le Stiacciole · Il Terzo



Main article: Alberese

Alberese, located 20 kilometres (12 mi) south-east of the capital, is the heart of the Natural Park of Maremma. The name is also extended to the surrounding rural areas which go from the first foothills of the hinterland hills to the sea through the northern slopes of the Uccellina Mountains.


Main article: Batignano

Of uncertain origins, Batignano developed in the Medieval period, around the castle which controlled the outlet of the road towards Siena on the plain of Grosseto and some lead and silver mines. It was a feud of the Aldobrandeschi and in 1213 belonged to Manto da Grosseto. In the 14th century, it then passed under the dominion of Siena, hosting many immigrants from Corsica, and so in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In 1738 it was reunited with the comune of Grosseto.


Main article: Braccagni

Once being simply an appendix of Montepescali, Braccagni is seen today more independently as it is believed to be the nodal point of the economy of the area. The railway station, the Aurelia, many activities which have developed in the last few years, new habitations, these have all created its new identity as a modern town, in continuous evolution.

Istia d'Ombrone

Main article: Istia d'Ombrone

Istia d'Ombrone is a town situated about 3 kilometres (2 mi) east of the capital. The center of Istia emerged as a fortified settlement along the valley of the river Ombrone and it was owned by the bishops of Roselle since 862.

Marina di Grosseto

Main article: Marina di Grosseto

Marina di Grosseto is a famous tourist destination located 12 kilometres (7 mi) from Grosseto; it is an important seaside resort in Maremma. Once a fishing village, it is known for its hilly hinterland, rich in macchia and wide beaches overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, with a vast pine forest that extends from Punta Ala to Alberese.


Main article: Montepescali

Montepescali is a small town of medieval origins. The site, from which the scenic panorama of the coastal strip and the Tuscan Archipelago up to Corsica can be seen, is also known as "Terrace or balcony of the Maremma".

Principina a Mare

Main article: Principina a Mare

Principina a Mare is a seaside resort. The center, sparsely populated land in winter, consists primarily of houses of holidaymakers, hotels, high class and a camp category average. However, the location is quite popular due to its proximity to the mouth of the river Ombrone and the Natural Park of Maremma.

Principina Terra

Main article: Principina Terra

The village of Principina Terra is located south-west of the capital city, almost halfway between the city center and the seaside resorts of Marina di Grosseto and Principina a Mare. The area surrounding the village was washed from the shores of ancient Lake Prile.


Main article: Rispescia

Rispescia is a modern residential area, located about 10 km (6 mi) south-east of the capital, near the Natural Park of Maremma and the frazione of Alberese.


Main article: Rusellae

Roselle, in Latin Rusellae, now a municipal frazione of Grosseto, was once the main city in the area. Of Etruscan origin, it was built on a hill that offered protection and commanded all the nearby valley. The extent of its dominion is not clear, but probably at its peak included most of the Vetulonia territory. The city's splendour ended in 294 BCE, when, according to Livy, the Roman Republic conquered it. After the end of the Roman Empire, in the 5th century, Roselle was still the most important centre of what is now southern Tuscany. Its gradual decline began in 1138, when the diocesan seat was moved to Grosseto.

Etruscan ruins had been discovered in Roselle, including cyclopean walls, 6 kilometres (4 mi) in circumference, and sulphur baths, which in the last century were restored for medicinal uses. There was formerly an amphitheatre.



The city is crossed by the Pisa-Livorno-Rome railway line connecting Genoa to the capital and it is the point of arrival and departure of the branch line single track Grosseto-Monte Antico-Siena, where it continues north to Empoli, Florence, and east to Chiusi.

Here is the list of railway stations in the city of Grosseto:


Local bus service in Grosseto is managed by Rama Mobilità. Intercity buses depart from the main bus station in Piazza Marconi. There are also several run bus services going from the city to Florence, Siena and other cities in Tuscany.


The city has a modern tourist dock opened in 2004 in the seaside resort of Marina di Grosseto, at the mouth of the Canal St. Rocco. For passenger traffic in the medium range, the port reference is Porto Santo Stefano (40 km), with ferry only for the island of Giglio and Giannutri.


Grosseto and the Maremma are served by the Baccarini Airport, located midway between the capital and Marina di Grosseto. The infrastructure is a military airport which is also used as a commercial airport by civilian charter flights and private aircraft.

With regard to domestic and international flights, the airports of reference are the Airport of Florence, Pisa and Fiumicino. All three airports are located about 150 kilometres (93 mi) from the capital of the Maremma.


Grosseto has enjoyed a long tradition in sports. Baseball and football are perhaps the most popular in Grosseto. However, other sports such as American football, cricket, horse racing and athletics are also widely practised.

The premier society of men's baseball in Grosseto is called Bbc Grosseto Orioles (also referred to by its sponsored name of Montepaschi). Grosseto participates in the highest level of play in Italy, Serie A1, and it won the national championship in 1986, 1989, 2004 and 2007. The team won the European Cup in 2005. Montedeipaschi Grosseto hosts his home games at Stadio Roberto Jannella.

The Unione Sportiva Grosseto Football Club was founded in 1912. It has participated in the National Championship of Soccer in Serie B (the second level of the Italian soccer leagues) since the 2007–2008 season. The football club U.S. Grosseto hosts its games at the Stadio Carlo Zecchini.

Other important teams are the Maremma Cricket Club (Serie A) and American Football Condor Grosseto (Serie B).

Horse racing is of considerable importance, with several races throughout the year that, in summer, often taking place at night. The sports facility where are played the various races is the hippodrome Casalone, located in the south of the city, at the beginning of the road that leads to Principina a Mare.

The city is also a major center for athletics: Stadio Carlo Zecchini has in fact hosted the European Junior Championships in 2001 and World Junior Championships in 2004.

Grosseto in 2006 was also the headquarters of the World Military Fencing Championships.


Grosseto has a Mediterranean Climate with very mild wet winters and very hot dry summers. On average there are 25 nights a year where the low reaches or dips below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) but there are also 41 days where the high is at or surpasses 30 °C (86 °F). There are 12 days of fog on an average year.

Climate data for Grosseto
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.0
Average high °C (°F) 12.4
Average low °C (°F) 2.7
Record low °C (°F) −13.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 51.2
Average precipitation days 7 6 6 8 6 4 2 3 5 7 9 7 70

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Grosseto is twinned with:

See also

Sources and references

  1. "Our twin cities- Cottbus". Retrieved 2013-06-24. External link in |publisher= (help)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

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