As ost of our explorations have been further into the hills, there was definitely room for a trip that used the other direction, toward the Mediterranean. Relatviely close to where we are staying, we found Massa Marittima, a lovely little town with some seriously climbing streets!
Upon entering Massa Marittima, we found ourselves in a lovely piazza with the main palazzo and the cathedral of San Cerbone, who was a bishop in this region during barbaric times (6th century C.E.) with the rather unpopular habit of saying mass at the break of dawn on Sunday rather than waiting for a respectable hour. This got him in trouble with Pope Vigilius, who recalled him to Rome. During his trip to Rome he performed several miracles, such as healing and taming wild geese by making the sign of the cross. In Rome, he woke Pope Vigilius up early stating that it was time for mass, as the angels were signing; Vigilius agreed that he heard heavenly voices too, and allowed Cerbone to perform mass at any time of his choosing after that.
The lower part of Massa Marittima is wonderful, but the best views are found by going up toward the Torre del Candeliere and taking in the view from atop this tower; the climb inside the tower is not for the faint of heart, but you are rewarded with a phenomenal view.
After working up an appetite, stop by il Gatto e la Volpe (the cat and the fox), in one of many alleys for a phenomenal meal. The Etruscan style rabbit was amazing and dessert was simply stunning.
After some further driving around and dipping toes in the Mediterranean by Follonica, we were looking for some gelato and wound up in Scarlino; this sleepy little town is the home of the Rocca Aldobrandesca, an old fortress built by the Aldobrandeschi family. Getting out of town was an adventure, as I got to go down some steep, narrow streets that were made for nothing much larger than our little Fiat 500.