Like most of Italy, Massa’s shops all shut down during the midday hours. This is the time to relax, eat, rest, and plan your evening. Even the animals take siesta here.
Massa Marittima has had it’s share of famous residents. It was the birthplace of the 4th Century Emperor Constantius Gallius, as well as of San Bernadino of Siena, who is commemorated in the town.
I stumbled upon Massa’s cemetery during my afternoon stroll.
I also came upon the public municipal library, housed in the ex-convento delle Clarisse. The building itself was beautiful, but even better was the surrounding countryside. I found a pathway leading around the city walls in this northern section of the town, but I didn’t take advantage of it, thinking I would save it for the following day. Alas, it rained!
The church of San Francesco is on the road leading to the upper part of the town.
I stayed in Massa Marittima for three days and nights. On the third day, the weather was not as pleasant as it had been, but this also made for interesting exploring. There was also a bike race coming through the town that day. It was part of an Italian reality television show about bikers and they were filming for the day in Massa. By noon, there were bicycles everywhere, and the piazza was crowded with technicians, etc.I decided to take the opportunity to visit the Museo d’Arte Sacra di S. Pietro all Orto. This is a lovely, small museum of sacred art in the upper part of the town. I literally had the place to myself.
Near to the museum was the Church of St. Augustine, with it’s lovely cloister, built in 1410. There was a temporary art exhibit going on in the cloister. It was photographs of the different paving stones in the city, which were then colored or treated by the students at the local high school. I found it very interesting.This is an example of the student’s work.
The exterior of the mountain that houses the mining museum is a park now, and I decided to explore it.
At the top of the hill is a monument to all of the victims of the Nazi regime.
One of the most memorable meals in Massa Marittima had to be at Taverna Del Vecchia Borgo. We ordered the Fiorentina alla brace – which is a HUGE steak, grilled over a wood fire a few feet away from your table. To say that it was delicious would be an understatement! And it was a great way to end a visit to this lovely town.
Next up: Piombino