A short drive from our Tuscan loft, Massa Marittima stands undisturbed and inviting at the top of a hill, protected by tall city walls and a sense of nostalgia. Somewhat isolated, you’ll feel its historic appeal the moment you walk into the main square.
The Cathedral of San Cerbone is picture-perfect, poised at the top of a stack of ancient stone steps, overlooking the piazza like a giant painting. Animal figure-heads guard the entrance to ward off bad spirits and interior details dated from the 12th century charm its visitors into a state of awe.
Charming eateries can be found around every corner, though you’ll only find authentic Tuscan cuisine here – fewer pizza menus and more hearty, home-cooked dishes.
Gelato is ruined for me forever after discovering proper Stracciatella – creamy milk ice cream stuffed with giant chocolate pieces and spooned generously into huge waffle cones.
It’s easy to wander the meandering streets until sunset, stopping occasionally for landmarks and more gelato. Some landmarks are arguably more intruiging than others…
Although I guess that depends on your sense of humour…!