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Historically a fishing village, Talamone stands in an imposing raised position overlooking the coast of Tuscany in western Italy. Although Talamone is best known as being an access town to the scenic Maremma Natural Park to the north of here, it has its own places of interest to discover when you visit.
The historic town is surrounded by medieval walls and dominated by a fortress built of gray stone, and Talamone also has a small harbour, a beach and coastal cliffs and several other attractive beaches can be found close by - hence it is now a popular summer destination.
Start your visit with a stroll around the harbour and in the maze of narrow streets that make up the centre of the traditional fishing village in Talamone.
The principal historic highlight in Talamone is the castle and its surroundings, which are also rich in Roman remains, and traces of an Etruscan temple. The ruins of the ancient city are on the 'Talamonaccio' to the east of the modern town and between the small hill called “Bengodi” and “Poggio Talamonaccio”, while close to the turn for the Aurelia Road towards Fonteblanda you can see the ruins of an ancient Roman villa.
The fortress stands over the town at the top of the hill and strategically located overlooking the sea. The walls of the fortress are square shape and their origins are believed to date to their building by the Counts of Aldobrandeschi, with the fortress itself being of Lombard origin.
It is known that from 1468 the castle was partially restored by Lorenzo di Pietro, called "Il Vecchietta" (1410-1480), a multi-talented Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, silversmith and engineer and a pupil of Lacopo della Quercia (1371-1438), the finest sculptor of the 15th century.
Close to here is the Talamone Roman villa, where various structures have been excavated such as cisterns and other parts of what would at one stage been among the grandest villas in the region.
Also worthy of a visit while you are here is the Museum of the Lagoon, created with the aim of introducing visitors to the lagoon of Orbetello, an unusual example of an ecosystem where marine and freshwater fishes cohabit. The museum includes sections devoted to the history of fishing, local traditions and crafts of ancient people through the exhibition of photos and traditional tools related to various types of fishing that took place in this territory.
Talamone Etruscan temple
The most important historic monument discovered in Talamone is the Etruscan temple, and in particular its gable, although this is now in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. It depicts an episode of the myth of the "Seven against Thebes." The Temple was built by the Etruscans in the second half of the fourth century BC in honour of their God "Tinia".
During restructuring which took place around 150 BC, the Romans added the relief depicting the war myth of the "Seven against Thebes," a myth which had been told in Etruria since the fifth century BC. The scene shows Oedipus between the dying sons Eteocles and Polynices, one of whom is helped by the mother. Above this group we see Kapaneus climbing the walls of Thebes between two Argive warriors. On the right there is a winged female figure with an upside down torch facing Amphiaraos heading on his chariot into the underworld.
Talamone and the Maremma Natural Park
Talamone is located in the Regional Park of Maremma, a special place for nature lovers and all outdoors sports, walking and physical and mental relaxation. The Maremma is a region of long beaches and pine woods next to a crystalline sea, and a very picturesque park to explore.
Even the Maremma cuisine is related to the environment, using local products such as fishes, mushrooms, chestnuts, barley, polenta, herbs, oil and honey. Of course we must not forget the excellent Maremma wines - it was here that the Etruscans taught much to the Romans about vine cultivation: Pliny and Virgil (70-19 BC) were convinced that the cultivation of vines in Italy was due to the Greeks and the Etruscans, and that the latter spread it throughout Italy.
See also history of Talamone
You can find more local travel ideas in the Tuscany guide.