In its third year the Maremma Wine and Food Shire has changed approach and moved the fair from Braccagni into Grosseto's historic town center. Originally designed for trade, Maremma's wine and food fair is also a great place for any foodies hooked on Southern Tuscany's locally produces delicacies. Taste your way through sheep cheese from the Tuscan hills, organically produced wine, salami and prosciutto, saffron, pickled vegetables and fish egg (bottarga) from the coast. 

All of it in the lay-back center of one of Tuscany's lesser known cities. Grosseto may not be able to compete with Siena, Pisa or Florence when it comes to art and culture. But the city makes up for it with a car and tourist free town center, historic city walls, friendly inhabitants and noteworthy architectural details if you only care to look out for them. 

Church, cyclist and dog on Grosseto's shopping mile
Maoist China?
A Tuscan cyclist on Grosseto's main shopping road 

FRIDAY, 4.30 pm to 10 pm
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, 10.30 am to 10 pm
ENTRANCE for FREE, but you'll have to pay five Euro for your personal wine glass, to take along for the tastings at the different stalls. 

You'll be finding some of the region's bigger and better known players like Fattoria Le Pupille or Rocca di Frassinello (which is famous for its wine cellar designed by archistar Renzo Piano), but also smaller wineries and local farms that would be more difficult to spot on your own. As a lover of organic food, I'm especially happy about the seven participating farms and vineyards that dedicate their work to pesticide free agriculture. Have a taste at Basile (one of my favorite producers in the area - see interview here) and look out for CapalBIOfattoria, Pierini e Brugi, Paniole, Poggiopaoli, Podere Rparbella and Villa Patrizia for more organic wine and food. 

Once you're done with food and wine, have an espresso or digestive drink at one of Grosseto's many coffee-bars (and don't miss out on some people watching).

If you happen to visit on Saturday, check out Grosseto's archaeology museum (piazza Baccarini, 3), which will stay open till midnight for the national museum night on the 18th of May (entrance for free in the evening). The museum hosts Etruscan urns and Roman artifacts, and for the occasion of the wine and food fair an exhibition with photos from the Maremma. 

Coffee-shop in Grosseto, Tuscany
Caffè Portanova in Grosseto's historic town center

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