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Per il cittadino
A marvelous walk just to get a significant evidence of a picture of the past: the visit of Casale Marittimo can be felt also as an “investigation”, patiently exploring and conquering the compactness of a charming urban center, with buildings mostly made of stone that follow, with concentric rings, the escalation of two medieval circles of walls. The walls and street furniture often show archeological signs of different eras, generating singular palimpsests of architecture and structures.
The entrance to the “Castle” is signified by the Clock tower, constructed in 1854 where previously stood the town gate. Right after, on the left, is the so-called Casa del Camarlingo (House of Camarlingo) (n°. 13 of Via del Castello), which was part of the walls and is surely one of the oldest buildings of the place.
On the right starts a circular route following exactly the walls, made of the external parts of the houses on the left. At the n°.19 of Via del Castello, above the entrance door, there is a small carved stone which according to tradition would represent a skull: it is said that this building was a prison.
After having passed an arch, built in 1838, on the right we reach the past St. Andrew Church, nominated for the first time in 1305, which almost at mid '800, having become insufficient for the community, was used as an elementary school and, since 1874, as City Hall. The door of the church is visible under the arch, where there is also the marble slab with the new measure units adopted after the unity of Italy.
In front of the City Hall there is the palace of Canonica: a delightful example of a fifteenth-century building of 1490 made with materials from the roman villa (e.g. capitals and jambs). Inside, with the priest’s permission, it is possible to visit the finds of the “roman room”: floor in white and black mosaic, fragments of colored stuccos and a small painting with Sileno.
After having left the circle of walls, we enter the new St. Andrew Church, built in 1872-74: above the portal there is a bas-relief of St. Andrew made by the local artist Alberto Sparapani. Inside: frescos, made by Stefano Ghezzani in 1987-88, with scenes of life of St. Andrew; baptismal font made from a Renaissance capital; a liturgical chair with arms resembling wild beast paws of classic style.
On the other side of the square, in front of the church there is the chapel of Madonna delle Grazie, constructed in 1712-16 by some volunteer inhabitants who did the work without pretending a compensation.
Now we are back in piazza del Popolo; on the East side there is the small St. Sebastian Church, built in 1775 and restored in 1937 with other materials of the roman villa. The two stone spheres, one embedded high on the right, the other placed on top of the ramp on the left, are probably covers or memorial stones of Etruscan graves.
From piazza del Popolo we finally reach the burgs, that is the quarters funded outside the walls of the “Castle” starting from the end of '500, along the route of the Fountain, with the characteristic lanes, ports, stairs and ditches.