Casale Marittimo is located south of the Cecina river atop Poggio al Pruno, an interior hill that commands a panoramic view of the Tyrrhenian coast.
The sea, pine trees, and beaches are just about ten kilometers distant, and the Tuscan archipelago islands of Elba, Capraia, and Gorgona are easily seen. The historic center of medieval origin, which has remained largely intact till now, has architecturally significant aspects. The castle’s walls, a historic fortress to protect the shore and valley, are still visible.
Walking, horseback riding, cycling, and being in touch with nature are all possible in this medieval community nestled in the green of the Pisan hills. The number of foreigners in Casale is steadily growing. Casale, a paleo-Etruscan village, is home to major archaeological artifacts, notably the famed “tholos” tomb, which dates from the 6th century BC and features a cylindrical drum and central pillar (currently in the Archaeological Museum of Florence).
It was also a significant city during the Roman period, and it has resurrected the ruins of an important villa built during the Empire’s golden age. The castle’s ruins may still be seen from medieval Casale (particularly the walls that have been integrated into the urban framework) and the Palazzo Rocca. Casale depicts the traditional growth of a hamlet, which is formed around a dwelling rock and evolves in consecutive rings while taking into mind the walls. In actuality, remnants of two separate castles have been discovered, a “Casale Vecchio” and a “Casale Nuovo,” which corresponds to the contemporary Casale Marittimo and was possibly erected after the first was destroyed.
The capital of Pieve, Casale Nuovo, was a fief of the Della Gherardesca Counts until the 15th century when it fell under the control of Florence.
What to see in Casale Marittimo
The house was formerly part of the city walls and is positioned near the Clock Tower (the historic Civic Tower). The treasurer was a form of treasurer in charge of collecting taxes and was appointed directly by the feudal lord, hence it is one of the village’s oldest palaces.
The Canonical Palace
It is a historic building Inside, with permission from the parish priest, you may explore the “Roman chamber,” which has various Roman villa artifacts, including a mosaic floor. The structure, which stands in front of the Town Hall, was restored in 1940 using components from a Roman villa, with Roman capitals and jambs visible on the front.
Etruscan Necropolis of Casale Marittimo
The Etruscan Necropolis of Casa Nocera, with graves dating from the 7th and 6th centuries BC and elaborate burial artifacts associated with a wealthy and strong dominating caste, is of particular importance. The “tholos tomb,” which dates from the 5th century BC and was discovered by chance in 1896 in the village of “Poggiarella,” is a circular tomb with a diameter of 3.30 meters and a “dromos” (corridor) and “tholos” (false dome) covered by a mound of dirt. The remains of two ancient Roman villas were discovered in 1937 in the localities of La Pieve and Il Poggio, indicating the transition from the Etruscan to the Roman periods. According to a popular belief, there were two castles in the area, Casale Vecchio and Casale Nuovo, even if no archaeological finding leads to support this belief.
Castrum di Casale Marittimo
Casale Marittimo is located south of the Cecina river on a high hill known as Poggio al Pruno, from where you can get a panoramic view of the Tyrrhenian coast. Around the year 1000, reliable news of Casale began to circulate, at which time remnants of two unique castles were discovered: an earlier Casale Vecchio and a Casale Nuovo, which corresponded to the contemporary Casale Marittimo and was most likely erected as a result of its absence.
“Casale Nuovo” depicts the traditional growth of a hamlet constructed around a residential rock: successive rings of development in accordance with city walls as well as extra-wall urban design, articulated in an agglomeration that keeps the color and interesting imprint of the old. The ruins of what were once great fortresses erected by the Pisans to protect the seashore and the key Via Aurelia from the Volterra bishops may be found to the north and west. Due to the increased population, the town underwent some significant changes in the second half of the nineteenth century: in 1854, the south gate was demolished to make way for the Civic Tower with the clock, and in 1872, work on the new church began, which included the demolition of a portion of the boundary wall and the old town hall to make way for the new road. The original church was converted into a municipal building. The ruins of the castle, particularly the walls integrated into the urban framework and the Palazzo Rocca, may still be seen from medieval Casale.
History of Casale Marittimo
“...on the right hand, an offshoot of a hill arises, reaching towards the sea, and in the final back of which is the present Casale.” Casale Marittimo, in the province of Pisa, is located 214 meters above sea level. It contains several horizontal layers of the bench in the top part, intermingled with layers of bleached tuff… Casale’s factories are all formed of the bench, which has many heads of itself and is quarried in the neighborhood, in the stated site and lawn…”. During his travels in Tuscany in 1770, G. Torgiani Tozzetti penned this.
The Etruscan Necropolis of Casa Nocera, with tombs dating from the 7th century BC and opulent burial artifacts associated with a wealthy and powerful ruling caste, is of particular importance. The Tholos, dated from the 5th century BC, was discovered by chance in the previous century in the neighborhood of “Poggiarella,” which had already been robbed in ancient times. There are the ruins of two ancient Roman villas in the region, near the towns of La Pieve and Il Poggio, which testify to the transition from the Etruscan to the Roman periods. The medieval fortress, which belonged to the Della Gherardesca family, has been referenced in documents from 1004.
Casale, previously known as Casale nelle Maremme, changed its name to Casale Val di Cecina in 1862, and has been known as Casale Marittimo since 1900. In 1936, the population peaked at 1583 people; however, in the 1950s, emigration to the plains towns started, which were quickly growing and offered secure jobs, set hours, and less strenuous chores than those of the country sharecropper. The problem of land desertion was at its apex in the early 1960s, and the sharecropping regime had disintegrated. Young people, in particular, settled on the plains or went to the northern cities. The population had decreased to 837 people in 1971. Only the fact that many residents were rebuilding the hamlet’s dwellings with the money they made outside, presenting them with modern conveniences, lessened the risk of becoming “a community of elderly people.” Even the countryside has resumed being planted with grains, oil, and wine, products that define most of the Tuscan countryside, following the purchase of farms by non-residents (especially Swiss and Germans). The medieval town’s well-preserved look, as well as its surrounding landscape, led to a strong tourist impulse, which in fact became the town’s principal source of revenue. Casale Marittimo is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday and leisure destination.