One of the nice things about waking up in a small Italian town is that, by your second day, the locals start to recognize you, and while maybe not treating you as if you’ve lived there all of your life, they do greet you when you walk past. People that only the day before looked at you as a stranger, now smile and say: “Buon giorno!” You’ve spent time in their town, getting to know the place and its inhabitants, and it pays off in wonderful ways. This is part of the reason why I hate just visiting a town for an hour or so. To me, that is simply a tease! I want the bigger picture! I want to know a place and the people that bring life to it. And Massa is a wonderful place for this to happen. There is a rhythm to life here. And it’s one that hasn’t changed, in a very long time!
The entrance to our B&B was on Via Moncini, a lovely street that slopes uphill to the top of the town, lined with shops whose owners might be found sitting outside in the sunshine, on the benches in front of their establishments, talking with neighbors. Directly below the apartment that we occupied, there was a shop selling salamis, wine, cheese, and other delicious Tuscan delights.
The Residenza d’Epoca is the entrance-way, with the two flags over it.
Directly across the street from the apartment where we stayed, there was the Palazzo Comunale, Massa’s town hall. This is a very beautiful building, which now houses the municipal offices.
Nearby is Palazzo Pretorio, which houses the Museo Archeologico. While the museum is a small one, there are a few treasures inside of it, and it is worth visiting. A single ticket costs €5.00, while for €10.00, it is possible to buy a ticket that will get you admission to four other of the city’s attractions.
One thing that I didn’t want to miss, while in Massa, was a visit to the Museo della Miniera, or the Mining Museum. They only allow in a certain number of visitors at a time, as they are semi-guided tours (which I will explain later). So, having already made a reservation for later in the day, I still had some time to kill, and spent it exploring more of Massa Marittima’s lovely alleyways.
At the edge of the town, I stumbled upon a lovely circular garden. The views of the countryside from there were breathtaking, but what made it even more special was the fact that the town had wisely placed speakers in various locations around the garden, from which classical music played. It was such a peaceful and lovely experience!
From the park, there was a stairway that led to a walkway, along the town walls.
The Museo della Miniera is a museum that is great for the entire family. Children would find it interesting, as well as adults. Language is not an issue as each person is given a set of headphones, and a control. The guide then takes you inside of the old tunnels where the miners used to work, and the process is explained. You learn about the conditions that the miners worked in, what they did, the machinery that they used, etc. I am not a person who would normally find something like this interesting, but I found it fascinating and kind of fun, to be deep inside of a mountain like that. By the way, the entrance to this was included in the €10.00 ticket I had purchased, at the Museo Archeologico.
Next up: Part 2 of Day 2 in Massa Marittima!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Massa Marittima, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!