GETTING AROUND BY CAMPER
Spring is officially here, and with it nature’s awakening. Why not celebrate it with a nice trip? With a camper van, of course. Come on board and leave with us for Maremma. We will tour among little villages full of history and great landscapes. And sea lovers will be able to enjoy the sun on the beach and even dip their feet in the water. In Tuscany’s green Maremma fields, the summer season comes with festivals and spring time bank holidays.
If you feel like breathing fresh air and spending your day outdoors, surrounded by beautiful nature, then this spring load your bicycles or your trekking gear on the camper van and come with us to fabulous Maremma in Tuscany.
Maremma is a special microcosm that stretches between the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto.
In his Divine Comedy, Dante set its borders between "Cecina and Corneto" (Tarquinia).
A unique feature of Maremma is the variety of its landscapes: clear waters, long beaches or rugged rocks, mountain woods, lakes and valleys, green farmed hills and natural spas. A timeless place, rooted in ancient history and ideal for a camper holiday. Etrurians and Romans prospered here for centuries, leaving significant traces.
We recommend travelling south to north, starting from the town of Capalbio.
Capalbio by Camper
Maremma - Capalbio
Nestled at the top of a forested hill, Capalbio used to be an elite destination; here politicians, entrepreneurs and intellectuals came to escape the stress of metropolitan life. Today, Capalbio is probably less radical chic, though it still maintains all its charm and a pleasant atmosphere of nature and culture. Among the many cultural events, the best known is the yearly film festival ‘Capalbio Cinema’, held in July. The festival promotes short films from all over the world, with meetings, shows and reviews. The town is also famous for having hidden the famous bandit, Domenico Tiburzi, who became a folk hero in the mid-19th century, as an outlaw in defence of justice. The town boasts many beautiful panoramic spots, little lanes and medieval squares that in themselves are worthy of a visit. This little medieval town, surrounded by 15th century walls, will bring you back in time to the Renaissance, or the era when the Orsini and Aldobrandeschi families where the leading actors of the local political life.
The Tarot Garden
Maremma - The Tarot Garden
If you have your bicycles and feel like a healthy bike journey, you can aim towards the Tarot Garden, a not-too-strenuous distance from Capalbio, going through Borgo Carige and then back to Capalbio. A circular journey that will pass through the most typical Tuscan landscapes, made of olive groves, oak and holm oak woods. A beautiful hillside landscape that charms with every turn of the pedals. Leaving Capalbio behind you, proceed towards Pescia Fiorentina for circa 8 km, and here you will find the Tarot Garden, a magical place that you can visit on foot, and that is perfect if you are travelling with children. At the entrance, you will find 22 imposing sculptures in the shape of tarot cards. You will think you have entered the magical world of Alice in Wonderland, but you are actually visiting a private park that is unique thanks to the creative work of the celebrated French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, who made these sculptures with cement covered with thousands of coloured mosaic pieces in the 1970s.
Maremma - Uccellina Park
This is also the ideal season to visit the beautiful Regional Uccellina Park, where you can walk, ride horses or watch the shows of the ‘Butteri di Alberese’ festival.
Alberese is a small hamlet of the town of Grosseto, close to Mt. Argentario, at the heart of the Maremma Nature Park, which reaches the sea from the foot of the Uccellina mountains.
Sea lovers can enjoy the sun on the beach and maybe even have their first swim... After all, in Tuscany’s Maremma, summer arrives on the tail of many spring festivities and bank holidays; Alberese offers a number of interesting events, particularly in May. The ancient herdsmen, known as Butteri, whose job it was to tame the herds living in freedom around the countryside, are the leading actors of the yearly folk festival that starts on 1 May, and celebrates local wine and food traditions. Over the last 40 years, this festival has become one of the most popular among tourists and fans of Maremma. This week-long festival centres around the horse, with the marking of livestock and the taming of colts. The Butteri show their skills in marking wild horses, breaking in colts, and in the traditional Tournament of the Rose. The latter is the most spectacular event, in which the Butteri tame colts with ancients methods in front of the audience.
The Uccellina Park, with its surrounding natural beauty, flora and fauna, has remained unspoilt despite human presence, since the Maremma Nature Park ensures its conservation. Here, tourists can experience a range of adventures: horseback riding, trekking, birdwatching, areas full of history and so much more. A particular feature of this park are its numerous towers, between ten and fifteen metres tall, scattered around the area at a distance of less than three miles from one another; they were not defence towers. The Park lies within the municipalities of Grosseto, Magliano in Toscana and Orbetello.
Pedalling towards the sea
Maremma - Bocca d’Ombrone
Bicycle lovers can reach the sea via the panoramic Alberese - Marina di Alberese - Bocca d’Ombrone cycle lane: it is a paved route within the Maremma Nature Park. This flat path starts in Alberese, by the new Visitors Centre, and proceeds towards the north west, in parallel with the ancient Via Aurelia. Before reaching Spergolaia di Alberese, the cycle lane diverges from the ancient route and proceeds parallel to the modern road that reaches the sea from Spergolaia di Alberese. From here on, the cycle lane almost follows the road and then enters the long stretch along the pine trees of the Pineta Granducale. While the main road ends by the beach, a minor one reaches Bocca d’Ombrone. The road reaching the sea is a free road, while the other route that goes towards the mouth of the Ombrone river is part of the Itinerary A7 of the Maremma Nature Park, and it can only be accessed after purchasing a ticket. The road going from Alberese to the seaside is 10 kilometres long, while the part that reaches Bocca d’Ombrone is about 1.5 kilometres.
INFORMATION FOR CAMPER TRAVELLERS:
Alberese Visitors Centre and Nature Park, Via del Bersagliere 7/9, 58100 Alberese (GR), tel. 0564 407098, fax 0564 407278, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; the park is open every day, including holidays, from 8.30 am to 2 pm; email@example.com • Municipality of Grosseto: tel. 0564/407098
Staying with your camper
• parking your camper, on dirt road, opposite the offices of the Maremma Nature Park; cycle lane towards Marina di Alberese (7 km, no access to camper vans in the summer and on holidays), tel. 0564407098; GPS: 42° 40‘ 12’’ N 11° 6‘ 16’’ E
• Camping La Principina, Principina a Mare, (special deals available through CamperLife) tel. 056431530; GPS: 42° 42‘ 14’’ N 11° 0‘ 20’’ E;
• Area Oasi di Maremma, Marina di Grosseto, (special deals available through CamperLife) tel. 3389508714; GPS: 42° 43‘ 34’’ N 10° 59‘ 26’’ E;