Piombino’s historic center, partly protected by a beautiful defense wall, with sections of work by Leonardo da Vinci still visible, conserves traces from the medieval and Renaissance periods. Among the city’s most significant monuments, visitors will surely be interested in the Torrione, the Rivellino, and the Fonti di Marina, where ships once went to be restocked, and the beautiful 14th-century Casa delle Bifore. The churches are a wondrous treat as well, including the Cathedral of Sant’Antimo, the Chapel of the Cittadella and the Church of the Immacolata. Dating to the 1800s, the Palazzo Nuovo sits inside the Cittadella and its design boasts a contribution by Leonardo da Vinci. The Palazzo Nuovo is the former residence of Elisa Bonaparte, seat of the The Populonia Archaeological Museum and remains a principle exhibition site for the Parks of the Val di Cornia, which houses over 2,000 Pre-historic, Etruscan and Roman artefacts. Paved alleys lead to the city’s imposing Castle, home to the Museum of the Castle and Medieval Ceramics. This splendid building dates to the 1200s. Piazza Bovio is the largest coastal piazza in Europe, home to Palazzo Appiani, from which your gaze will brush the length of the coast and the islands of the Archipelago.
White, soft-sand beaches stretch along a bright, blue sea. The neighbouring pine forest, dense and shady, is filled with paths, apt for walking, cycling or horse-riding. San Vincenzo, recognised for many years as a European Union Blue Flag Beach, joins comfort and hospitality with breath-taking nature, a combination which makes it the perfect tourist destination.
Inhabited in ancient times, first by the Etruscans and then the Romans, nowadays San Vincenzo is a small, welcoming town offering the chance to try high-quality wines, as it is part of the Etruscan Coast Wine Road. Holiday-makers cannot miss the amazing natural space of the Parco di Rimigliano, as well as the medieval villages, the Etruscan ruins from nearby Baratti and Campiglia and the Venturina spas – all features which make San Vincenzo the ideal place to uncover the beauty of the Etruscan Coast.
Read the story of San Vincenzo on logo toscana ovunque bella San Vincenzo – The Sailor of San Vincenzo’s Story – Tuscany, Beautiful Everywhere San Vincenzo The Sailor of San Vincenzo’s Story Standing 7 metres tall, “The Sailor” is a bronze sculpture that overlooks the sea from the San Vincenzo harbour. This is its little story told by Giampaolo.Read the story
However, the sea is definitely the main attraction in San Vincenzo, framed by a spectacular golden, fine-sand beach, which stretches for miles and is home to beach resorts, as well as Punti Azzurri where visitors can take advantage of services and assistance. Along the coast there is the ancient San Vincenzo Tower, walls and lookout point, once used to defend the coast from pirates. The San Vincenzo tourist harbour, a former commercial port, today offers high-quality services for lovers of aquatic activities.
At the heart of Etruscan Coast, Castagneto Carducci attracts visitors for the beauty of its landscape and the variety of cultural and eno-gastronomic offerings. In Castagneto Carducci, history is alive in the medieval villages, where you can pass a pleasant afternoon basking in the top-quality hospitality offered by the numerous agriturismi, hotels and campsites in the area.
Once you’ve arrived, it’s impossible not to journey along the Wine Road, where, in the territory surrounding Castagneto Carducci, some of the most esteemed wines in the world are produced – such as Bolgheri and Sassicaia – not to mention the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil.
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The Bolgheri Fauna Oasis, evocative and exceptionally important, is also a must-visit.
Cultural, folk, and performance events liven up the peaceful tranquillity of this territory bordered by the waves and dominated by an enchanted medieval village on the hilltop, which developed around the Gherardesca Castle, built in about the year 1000. The town of Castagneto Carducci has paved streets, natural terraces that look out over the sea and the countryside, harmonious piazzas, historic artisan workshops and many characteristic trattorias.
Bibbona perfectly mixes the charm of medieval towns with that of its surrounding green forests and countryside. The town dates to the Villanovan era and was later inhabited by Etruscans.
Today, Bibbona vaunts a centuries-old fortress, once the residence of its ruling family.After strolling through town, head to the coast. Here, near Forte del 1700 (built to defend the area from pirate invasions) you’ll find one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Etruscan Coast: Marina di Bibbona. Its beaches, usually adorned with blue flags boasting Vele di Legambiente (the environmental association), are ideal for anyone looking to unwind immersed in nature. The long sandy beaches, shaped by golden dunes and mounds of Mediterranean scrub, flank crystal-clear waters and an enchanting pine forest. Wide stretches of free beach are dotted with bathing facilities, offering readily available nautical services, including a small beach area for canine friends. Don’t forget to try tasty, local fish dishes in one of the esteemed restaurants around the area.
The Macchia della Magona is a natural reserve that spans over 1600 hectares. Perfect year-round, it’s a top destination for a nature and sport-loving tourists. The Macchia is home to a variety of Mediterranean plants, including a biogenetic oasis. Choose between sixteen itineraries that unfold along 50 km of the area, perfect for exploring an environment teeming with wildlife. Among these itineraries, check out Nel cuore della Magona, a route accessible via foot, bike or horseback. Crossing valleys and trekking up hills, you’ll observe a large variety of tree species: deciduous, pine, broom, holm oak, evergreen shrub, maple, elm and other shrub species typical of the Mediterranean scrub. The Macchia della Magona is also home to many animal species: wild boars, roes, fallow deer, wild sheep, hares, foxes, porcupines, badgers, squirrels and martens roam the area, not to mention the many birds that stop here during migration, including woodcocks, wood pigeons and buzzards.
Cecina is an ancient area, with some local discoveries being traced back to the Neolithic period. The land, also inhabited during the Etruscan era, gets its name from the Etruscan Consul Albino Cecina. He ordered the construction of a villa whose ruins can still be seen today in San Vicenzino. Nowadays, Cecina is a small, lively town, where visitors can enjoy walking through the peaceful streets in the centre, which is a great place to meet friends and family.
Cecina is always remarked on for its closeness to the coast, an element which is shown in tomboli: long stretches of dunes covered with dense vegetation that go from the beach to further inland, and which represent a characteristic ecosystem created to defend the cultivated areas from sea winds. The Tomboli Biogenetic Nature Reserve in Cencina, which stretches for 15 kilometres, is covered in a thick and varied vegetation which changes as it reaches inland. On the beach, lilies and poppies bloom, in the lower scrubs, junipers are attached to the outer dunes and on the higher scrub, there are holly oaks, and regular and maritime pines. Various animal species also find refuge here: wild rabbits, foxes, weasels, porcupines, roe deer and badgers. Among the bird species seen here, there are turtledoves, green peaks, hoopoes and wood pigeons, who nest here for long periods of time. The area of Cecina is also part of the prestigious Etruscan Coast Wine Road and is a hub of quality wine production.
Trails and paths through the greenery lead to fascinating reminders of the past, such as the washing troughs at Poggetti fountain and the windmill. Little towns are full of history and tradition and are surrounded by woods of cork, chestnut and Mediterranean scrub. Paths and trails follow through the countryside, reaching as far as Livorno. Castelnuovo was originally an ancient Roman military stronghold. A small castle dating from the 13th century and a lovely 7th century church are located in its medieval quarter.
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Gabbro, often depicted in the paintings of Silvestro Lega, an artist of the Macchiaioli school, dates back to Etruscan-Roman times and has some interesting sites. In addition to the 18th century church, which houses paintings from the 15th century, there are some lovely manor houses and, along a path at the edge of the woods, a votive shrine and fountain dating back to the 17th century. The view from the 19th century village of Nibbiaia, where terraces look out over green countryside and woods, stretches as far as the sea.
One of the most iconic images of Livorno is the Terrazza Mascagni, a quasi-infinite structure with a stunning view over the sea. But Livorno is more than just a beach town—it’s a busy port city and has been since the second half of the 16th century, when the powers-that-were decided to transform this fishermen’s village, built around the Tower of Matilda of Tuscany, into one of Europe’s main ports—largely for the military and commercial purposes of the Medici. While it’s now well-known all throughout the Mediterranean, the port developed over time thanks to contributions from various cultures—the “Nations of Livorno”, one might call them. You can still find traces of these “Nations” in the city’s houses of worship, cemeteries, archives and gastronomic traditions.
Skimmed as it is by the sea—which, through various canals, ripples into the oldest neighborhoods of the city—Livorno has the unique charm of a Tuscan city with a Mediterranean vibe. Its history, culture, flaming sunsets, clear, scented air, nautical sports and food traditions all circle back to the sea. Europe’s very first beachfront bathing establishments appeared here in the 19th century, and along with those came the very idea of a “nautical” vacation.