The Maremma region is an extensive area of Italy bordering the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas. It comprises part of southwestern Tuscany - Maremma Livornese and Maremma Grossetana (the later in the province of Grosseto), and part of northern Lazio (in the province of Viterbo and Rome on the border of the region).
It was traditionally populated by the Butteri, cattle breeders who until recently used horses with a distinctive style of saddle. Once unhealthy because of its many marshes, Maremma was drained under the fascist regime and repopulated with people from other Italian regions, notably the Veneto.
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Endowed with significant natural and environmental resources, Maremma is today one of the best tourist destinations in Italy,[according to whom?] a region where ancient traditions have survived and Tuscan culture is preserved. It is being promoted as a destination for agritourism.
In the Maremma region various popular wines are produced,[which?] some of which have gained DOCG status.[which?]
Maremma Grossetana can be divided into 5 main areas, each with its own characteristics and attractions.
Alta Maremma (Upper Maremma) is the northern part of the Maremma region, right on the border with the Province Siena. This area is characterised by the many picturesque hilltop villages (Pitigliano, Roccastrada, Roccatederighi, Sassofortino, Monte Massi, Massa Marittima, Cinigiano, Campagnatico, Pari), which remind of the hilltop towns of the Siena area.
The heart of Maremma.Grosseto can be considered the capital of Maremma. The area around Grosseto and the coast, with Marina di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia and the small villages that lie in the plain between the city and the coast, represents the heart of the Tuscan Maremma.
The hills of the Upper Maremma. The hills of Maremma can be divided into three areas: the area del Tufo (tufo is a volcanic rock found in the area that has been used for thousands of years in construction), the Colline Metallifere (literally, "the hills that produce metals") and the internal hills on the border with the Siena region. This is the heart of the Etruscan Empire (many[who?] would debate that the heart of the Etruscan Empire was actually in the Maremma Laziale, in an area also known as the Tuscia, where Tarquinia was "the chief of the twelve cities of Etruria"Tarquinia).
On the shoreline of Maremma, sandy beaches alternate with rocky coastline. The long stretches of pine tree forests which border the beaches of the Maremma are a naturalistic treasure as well as the few areas where the lagoon and swamp ecosystems have survived urbanization, reclamation or simple draining, such as the nature reserve of the Diaccia Botrona near Castiglione della Pescaia.
The metalliferous hills: The Colline Metallifere (literally, the metalliferous hills or the hills which produce metals) have always been the industrious heart of Maremma and some places still point to times when the life on these hills was much harder. As their name says, the soil of these hills, which spread from the border with the province of Siena to the Gulf of Follonica, is rich in minerals and mines have been excavated for centuries in search of iron, copper, lead, zinc, pyrites and silver. The main town is Massa Marittima.