Grosseto, in the Maremma area of Tuscany, dates back to the 7th-century B.C. Etruscans, the “first great people of Italy.”
Local attractions include remains of two important Etruscan cities, Roselle and Vetulonia. Massa Marittima (51 km north of Grosseto), Piazza Garibaldi, Il Duomo, Palazzo Pretorio and the fine Tuscan cuisine are not to be missed.
Not far from Il Duomo in Massa Marittima, look for the 13th-century Malleus Maleficarum mural, depicting a tree with 25 male genitalia hanging like fruit. Fertility symbol or witchcraft? You decide.
For more local color, visit the sculpture studio of Tondicarlo, visible from the main highway to Grosseto. In about an hour or so, talented resident sculptors Marco, Stefano or Adelpho will model you in clay for about 400 Euros. Legend has it that the building was once a thriving country restaurant where unusual fare was served, bringing to mind tales of hearty meat pies prepared by the infamous Nellie Lovett of Sweeney Todd fame.
Stay in a Tuscan-style room at Agrit. La Pulledraia Podere Montegrappa on Via Del Molinaccio, 10 in Grosseto for about 80 Euros per night, including breakfast. You can even bring a small pet.