Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 23, 2015

A visit to Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima is a well preserved medieval town not far from the Tuscan coast south east of Livorno.There are lots of wonderful winding laneways and stone arches to explore. We wandered through on a lovely spring day.

Campiglia Marittima

I found a fine collection of doorways.

In the centre of town is the Palazzo Pretorio dating from the 13th century. The outside of the building is covered with 65 crests of the Capitani del Popolo.

The ruin of a castle sits at the top of the town. La Rocca was built between the 12th and 14th centuries, possibly on the site of an earlier castle or fort. Until the end of the 13th century the buildings were inhabited by the Della Gherardesca family who were responsible for turning a group of huts into a village.

Campiglia Marittima

There isn’t much left of the castle, but there are some excellent views from the top.

Campiglia Marittima

The Church of San Giovanni sits just outside the main group of houses in the town. It is surrounded by a graveyard in a lovely garden setting.

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima

The church stands on a bare platform…I have not seen a church like this anywhere else. It is quite stark, but there are some interesting statues and stone carvings.

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima

Around the church of San Giovanni are some strange symbols. On the ground in front of the church door is paved with what is undoubtedly a tombstone. This bears various inscriptions and a very curious central motif; an androgynous body which is male below the waist, female above. The figure seems to be holding a torch in its right hand, while supporting itself against a board.

Campiglia Marittima

The same figure, but more distinct is to be found on the house at number 4 Via B.Buozzi in the village. Here the figure seems to be holding a number 3 rather than a torch. The figure is a bit of a mystery…perhaps it was an early pizza shop and he/ she was ordering 3 pizzas.

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima is well worth a visit…see if you can work out what is the meaning of the figure.


  1. Beautiful!

    • Italy is full of these beautiful places…we are slowly working our way through them.

  2. Looks a great little place, thanks for the stroll!

    • It is always a delight to walk through these ancient streets.

  3. I love these narrow streets and old houses and sculptures and yes cats 🙂 Amazing place, you took me there through your photographs. Thank you, love, nia

    • There are always cats willing to pose for photos.

  4. What a great looking town. Great photos. I think I saw a wisteria

    • The wisteria was beautiful this spring.

  5. I wonder if that cat is a distant relative of Garibaldi’s – they look a bit similar.
    Lovely place & lovely photos!

    • They do look a bit similar.

  6. It does look a fascinating place to explore. I’m sure you must have returned more than once.

    • That was our first visit to Campiglia Marittima, but we have been to other towns in the area.

  7. What a gorgeous place, thanks for taking us on a tour.

    • It is a really interesting little town, I’m glad we went.

  8. Looks like a delightful town. We have not been there, but we will. Thank you for the tip, Deb.
    As for the strange figure, it represents Hermaphroditus, and it has been used quite a bit in Greco-Roman art, although you do not see many examples outside museums. Here is some interesting information

    • There are apparently several mysterious figures around the town, but we didn’t find the others.

  9. Very intriguing! Love the idea of #3 meaning she is ordering 3 pizzas at a pizza shop. Maybe…..:)

    • I wonder what significance of the 3 really is.

  10. This made me want to be there so badly…. note to my self “must make it to Italy next year”. Now just have to work on finding affordable accommodation!

    • There is lots of affordable accommodation if you stay in smaller villages.

  11. You seem to uncover gem after gem.

    • There is an endless supply of gems in Italy.

  12. Such stunning photos! My heart aches to visit Italy again.

    • Once Italy gets under you skin there is no escape.

  13. Ciao Debra. You always show me a side of Italy I don’t know about. 🙂 Thanks..! Stunning photos. Btw I noticed that you had subscribed to my BLOG and your subscription is very much active. Hope you are now getting emails from my blog as everything seems to be fine at my end now 🙂 thanks a lot again! love-ishita

  14. Those old walls manage to look so effortlessly lovely and timeless – they would have witnessed so much. I love the view through the open door to the world beyond – I’m sure Hermaphrodite would have ordered 3 pizzas if she could have!

  15. There are so many beautiful places and buildings to see in Italy. I once heard the whole country called an outdoor museum and that seems such an apt description.

  16. What a beautiful city Debra! So much to explore in Italy!

  17. The church is truly ancient by the look of it Deb. Simply but imposing. The green doors always make me smile. This place has a lovely feel – even just from your photos. Sounds like you liked it too.

  18. You have a great mind to find hidden gems. May I ask what camera you use? Cheers 🙂

    • I have had a few cameras. The current one is a Panasonic LUMIX.

      • Thanks Debra 🙂 Lovely shots!

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