Orbetello is another village of the Grosseto Maremma region. It is little more than 40 km from Grosseto and is positioned in the centre of the lagune bearing the same name. The Orbetello lagune is an important natural reserve created and administered by WWF: it is considered one of the most important wintering areas for many bird species, and was already a human settlement in the Estruscan period.
The Romans took control of the area in 280 bc and founded the town of Cosa that became the potical and admnistrative capital of the territory near Ansedonia, placed on the homonymous headland. Ansedonia is, in fact, a famous archeological site with important engineering works such as the “Tagliata Etrusca”, built in order to avoid the sanding of the ancient harbour, and the “Spacco della Regina”.
During the Middle Ages Orbetello belonged to the Aldobrandeschi and stayed under their domination until the beginning of the 14th century when it passed under the control of Orvieto. But the Orsini from Pittigliano claimed it as their property, therefore causing long wars that mined the town’s defense and made it fall into the hands of the Sienese who controlled it until the mid 16th century, when the whole area passed under the dominion of the Kingdom of Naples, thus becoming the capital of the “Stato dei Presidi”. Only at the beginning of the 19th century did it become part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Orbetello is divided into several hamlets:
– Albinia that developed in the 1950s with the land reform and was tragically in the news headlines on 12th November 2012 for the floods caused by the overflowing of the River Albegna.
– Fonteblanda, small touristic resort at the foot of Poggio Talamonaccio.
– Giannella, situated at the centre of the Giannella sand bar, with long sandy beaches, pinewoods and Medditaranean vegetation .
– Talamone, landing point for Garibaldi and his Mille in 1860 in order to take supplies during their expedition.
Other important places to visit are: Barca dei Grazi, Bengodi, Doganella, La Parrina, Pitorsino, Polverosa, Quattro Strade, Querciolaie, Saline Sadun and San Donato.