Roselle: walks in an archaeological site unknown to most. A dip into the past just 20 minutes from the sea of Castiglione della Pescaia. “A wilderness of rocks and thickets —…
Roselle: walks in an archaeological site unknown to most. A dip into the past just 20 minutes from the sea of Castiglione della Pescaia.
“A wilderness of rocks and thickets — the haunt of the fox and wild boar, of the serpent and lizard — visited by none but the herdsman or shepherd…” George Dennis, the 19th-century British diplomat and scholar, thus described the little town of Roselle while visiting the Maremma area.
Roselle is still a place of wild, timeless enchantment enriched by the historical interest of the nearby Archaeological Area (MiBAC). Managed by the Polo Museale della Toscana, the site is easy to reach, just a few kilometres from Grosseto along the state road to Siena.
The path winds through the park for around two kilometres revealing the remains of civilisations that have roamed these lands from Prehistoric times: the tours guided by experts of the area and the excursions available should be on the bucket list of any archaeological lover. The traces of settled civilisations date back to the 7th century BC: the hills of Roselle and Vetulonia dominated the valley from a strategic position, where the presence of the River Ombrone was an opportunity for trade with the Val d’Orcia and the hinterland of Etruria.
From its high position, Roselle has born witness to many important changes. Where the valley now extends out, once there were waters and lagoons: Lake Prile today is just a memory; subject to drainage works, merely a reflection of the waters remains in the memory of Roselle.
Yet there are many traces of an even more remote past: the main museum complex and the terrace walls that can be walked along are tangible signs of when the area was one of the most important Etruscan cities. Wandering along the top of these ancient constructions, our view extends over the countryside and the panorama: a gift for visitors who find themselves suddenly transported back in time and history, far from today’s frenetic world under a sky that seems to still belong to times gone by.
Colonised in Imperial times, the Romans left an important legacy to Roselle: in fact, the oldest thermal baths complex in the Maremma area can be found right here. But the Medieval period marked a moment of abandonment. The Diocese was moved to Grosseto, and Roselle was transformed, day by day, into the archaeological site that it is today.
At the end of your walk through time and nature, you can spend a pleasant evening in the nearby Cava di Roselle; this abandoned quarry is home to a beautiful garden that hosts parties and events – from the terrace you can enjoy a breath-taking view over the Maremma area.
Open daily following each season schedule. For information: 0564-402403 / +39 335-1450361
Cava di Roselle
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