Magliano in Toscana: San Giovan Battista Church
Meeting place in Magliano:
 the square in front of the Renaissance church San Giovan Battista 

Thanks god for the Vox Mundi festival! Who knows when I would have discovered Magliano in Toscana otherwise? Tuscany is such a treasure trove of beautiful villages and hilltop towns that even after 13 years in the region's South I still haven't seen it all. 

If you happen to be in Southern Tuscany in July or August make sure you time your visit to lovely Magliano during one of the evenings that the main square is taken over by the festival frenzy. The Vox Mundi concerts start at 9.45pm, but arrive early to have time to taste some of the Tuscan wines of the area. The tasting is included in the ticket price (10 to 12€) and musicians from every corner of the world keep getting people dancing on Magliano's piazza del Popolo. The organizers of Vox Mundi obviously knew that Magliano's town square would make for a perfect location for their world music festival. 

A dragon on the medival portals of Pieve di San Martino

Magliano is a 20 minute drive from the Tuscan coast and part of the  Maremma national park lies in the council's territory (the beautiful Cala del Forno). If you spent a hot summer day building beach huts in the park you'll need some dolce vita in the evening. Relax with a plate of pasta or a pizza at one of the outdoor tables of Magliano's many restaurants on the Corso (the main road inside the town walls). 

Vox Mundi Festival every year from June to August:

Colombian band "La Cumbia Chicarra" at The Vox Mundi festival in Magliano in Tuscany
La Cumbia Chicarra live at the Magliano Vox Mundi Festival 2012

What to do in Magliano: 
If you are in town during the day ask at the tourist office on piazza del Popolo for directions to see one of the oldest olive trees in the world. The 'Olivo delle Streghe' (the witches olive tree) has been growning in an olive grove just outside of Magliano's town center in the vicinity of the Santissima Annunziata church. The grove is home to several olive trees which are estimated to have been around for more than a thousand years. L'Olivo delle Streghe is the most ancient between them and its trunk has been estimated to be as old as 3000 years.

Take a walk on the restored part of Magliano's town wall and enjoy the beautiful view over the Maremma hills towards the sea. You'll be looking at the mountains of the Maremma National park and at the Monte Argentario peninsula. On clear days you'll be able to make out the isle of Monte Cristo and with a bit of luck the mountains of Corsica.  

Most of the findings of the Etruscan burial sites around Magliano are on display in the archaeological museums of Florence and Grosseto. However on the town's Corso a tiny archaeological museum still bears testimony to Magliano's Etruscan and Roman heritage.

After visiting Magliano drive on towards Sant'Andrea to find the ruin of the San Bruzio abbey. Not much of the church is left, but the place is enchanting. The architecture of San Bruzio is similar to the one of the San Rabano abbey in the Maremma National Park, which can be reached via one of the scenic trekking routes in the park (see national park walk number A1). 

Where to eat and sleep in Magliano? Check out the recommendations on this great Maremma Tuscany Blog.   

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