12 Jan Grosseto
Grosseto is the capital of the Province of Grosseto and lies approximately 12 km from the sea, at the centre of an alluvial plain, on the Ombrone river. Grosseto became over the centuries an important center for its military and trade activities.
The origins of Grosseto can be searched to the 9th century; the castellum of Grosseto from 12th to 14th century has been powered to the Aldobrandeschi, then started in 1259 the Sienese domination with the construction of a tall keep or ‘mastio’ called cassero. After the definitive domination by Siena, Grosseto became an important stronghold with the four-sided walls built between 1337 and 1350, and in 1540 reinforcing structures — or “bastions“— were added.
The Medici and the Lorena
In 1559 Cosimo I de’ Medici projected new defenses for the city, that was an important warehouse for grain and salt. The domination of the Medici family lasted until it was substituted by the Lorena one. Under the Lorena family domination Grosseto flourished again, especially with Leopold II, who showed to care about the city with the first reclamation of the area and the defeat of malaria, which for centuries had plagued the entire Ombrone valley, and the conversion of the walkways along the walls in public gardens.
The historical center of Grosseto
The historical center has monuments of great interest. Masterpiece is the Cathedral, which was begun in 1294 by the senesi and finished only in the 15th century. To be admired, among other, the marvelous Madonna of the Graces of Matteo di Giovanni.
The Saint Francis Church has been built in 1289 by the Franciscan on the Benedictine monastery ruins, abandoned by the monks escaping from malaria. Behind its gothic façade hides a kiosk and a cross which passes the Altar designed by Duccio di Boninsegna.
The oldest Saint Peter Church in Corso Carducci is also very interesting. An unforgettable experience is the nice promenade along the walls. During the summer you can also reach out the fortress opened for cultural events.
Leopold II and Grosseto
Piazza Dante is the main square from the 15th century in Grosseto and hosts the Canapone monument, a sculpture dedicated to the Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine located in the centre of the square: a woman representing the afflicted Maremma and trampling on a grass-snake which symbolizes the malaria from which the Grand Duke saved the Maremma (the woman) and her children (the citizens).