You can’t get around the Maremma without wheels. It’s as simple as that.
The territory is the largest in Tuscany. From the sea to Monte Amiata and back to the walls of Pitigliano are kilometres and kilometres of completely untouched and completely spectacular countryside, vast olive groves, tangled vineyards and thick forests.
When I first moved to the Maremma a couple of years back, the territory’s public transport was just starting to expand. Today you can navigate the Maremma as easily as you would navigate Florence, Pisa or Rome. All you need is a train or bus timetable.
The entire Maremma is serviced by RAMA buses. These big blue monstrosities connect Grosseto to Florence, Siena, Marina di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia, Alberese, Follonica, Scansano and Massa Marittima. It also covers Ortobello and all of Monte Argentario’s main towns.
Most cities have ample bus stops in their town centre. You can’t miss them. The big blue signs stand out like sore thumbs against the cobbled and colourful houses.
You have to buy your tickets before you board the bus. You can get them from tabbacherie, which are those shops with the big ‘T’ above their front door. They usually sell cigarettes, postcards and an assortment of other things. When you buy your ticket make sure it’s return and be sure to mention where you’re going. Tickets range from €2 to about €10 depending on how far you’re going.
Most shopkeepers speak English, but you can nick the phrase below if you want to ask for your bus ticket in Italian:
“Vorrei un biglietto dell’autobus andata e ritorno per (insert the name of your destination)”
Whatever you do, make sure you have the bus timetable before you start your journey. Buses keep to strict hours in the Maremma and you don’t want to end up stranded somewhere for the night!
Smaller yellow buses service the towns in between these big cities. So if you want to go to say, Saturnia from Manciano, you need to catch one of these. The same ticket rules apply and if you’re worried about which bus to catch, ask at your hotel or agriturismo and they’ll tell you what to do.
You can’t navigate much of the Maremma by train. There are simply no train stations anywhere near any of the inland towns or cities.
But if you want to get to Florence, Siena, Rome or Pisa for the day you can catch the train from Grosseto, which is a short distance from the city’s main piazza, Piazza Dante. The Rome-Pisa line also stops at Follonica, Albarese, and Ortobello.
You can buy train tickets online at Trenitalia or from the station and all train conductors speak English, in case you need directions.
To be honest, unless you’re going to Tuscany’s other major cities or Rome, the bus is your best bet. It’s cheaper and usually faster.