©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Southern Tuscany

This is an intriguing part of Tuscany, home to wild scenery and evocative reminders of Italy's Etruscan heritage. Usually referred to as the Maremma, its highlights include the intensely atmospheric Città del Tufo archaeological park, a network of Etruscan tombs and mysterious sunken roads known as vie cave in the countryside around the towns of Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano. Further north, more Etruscan heritage can be explored at the archaeological sites of Roselle and Vetulonia, and in the archaeological museum at one of Tuscany's most charming Renaissance–era hilltop towns, Massa Marittima.

An embarrassment of natural riches here means you can travel from sandy beaches to snowy mountains in just a few hours, passing wildlife-packed marshes and vine-covered slopes en route. The activities on offer are irresistible: swim, hike, horse ride and mountain bike by day before recharging over flavoursome Maremmese food and wine in secluded agriturismi (farm stay accommodation) by night.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southern Tuscany.