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History

"On the right stands out a hill offshoot, extending to the sea, and its last ridge is the modern Casale". Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti, a traveler and learned man, at mid '700, was evidently affirming the tradition according to which two castles had existed: Casalvecchio, whose name has remained to indicate a hill on the South-East of the current village, and Casalnuovo, the present-day Casale Marittimo.

This area, rich in mineral waters, wild animals, salt, combined with a mild weather has in fact favored the human settlement even in remote times. 

Just on the hill of Casalvecchio, archeological excavations have found the remains of an Etruscan village dating back to the VII century B.C., and the buildings of a second settlement of the IV century B.C. The most extraordinary discovery has however been the necropolis of Casa Nocera, a set of graves, that had belonged 
to Etruscan warriors who dominated the place. 

Of the IV century B.C. is the tholos of Poggiarelle, a fantastic example of Etruscan funerary architecture, discovered in 1896. 
The Roman era has left a trace in the villa of Pieve; many of the materials found from its excavations have been reused in various buildings of the place, for example the lion paws that are now part of the throne in St. Andrew Church.

In 1551, Casale had 245 inhabitants and we know that a century later it had to strengthen its defenses to fight pirate raids. From the health point of view, the situation was quite critical as well, in fact in 1709 “it was proposed that it would be necessary to have a doctor at disposal, because of the insalubrious air, and the high number of people who often miserably die because of it”. Nevertheless, it seems that the situation rapidly improved: in 1742 Targioni Tozzetti described Casale as “the biggest and healthiest castle of all the marquisate. 

The reason of the healthiness is not ascribed just to the presence of a close fountain of clean water, but also to the fact that the place is situated on a high hill, very well windy”. In 1854, with a progressive reclamation of the coast swamp, the number of inhabitants had increased to 1070. Until 1862, called Casale nelle Maremme, from 1862 to 1899, the place took the name of Casale di Val di Cecina and only in 1900 it was named Casale Marittimo. 

In 1936 the number of inhabitants reached the maximum limit of 1583, but in the '50s people began to emigrate to the plains that were experiencing a rapid industrial development. In 1971 the number of inhabitants had decreased to 837 units, and, since then, the risk of abandonment has been overcome both with the “return” of many people and with the arrival of foreign tourists: just as it has happened in the nearby farms that have resumed the traditional cultivation of cereals, oil and wine aimed above all to attract tourism, presently the outstanding source of income for a quiet place, situated on a hill at 214 meters above the sea dominating a wide view of the Tyrrhenian coast. Sea, shores, pine forests are only 12 km away and the islands of the Tuscan archipelago are clearly visible.

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