Set in the countryside of Tuscany, just a few miles from the sea of the Etruscan coast, Bolgheri in Italy is a historic medieval village amidst olive groves and vineyards. Bolgheri has extremely ancient origins, but its recent development is linked to the history of Della Gherardesca Counts. At the beginning of the XVIII century, the family did a big push for farming, began the reclamation of the swampland, and built an aqueduct.
Where is Bolgheri Italy
Bolgheri is very easy to reach. On the map of Tuscany, Bolgheri is located roughly in the center but along the coast. You need to look south of Pisa, which is about 40 miles away. Florence is about 80 miles away and you can reach it in just less than 2 hours. The other famous city of Siena is about 60 miles away from Bolgheri. If you have a car I highly recommend driving between these two places. You will drive along a panoramic road that crosses breathtaking landscapes of the Tuscan countryside, passing through the town of Volterra.
Coming from Pisa Airport, get the motorway, direction south to Rome. You need approximately one hour of driving. Get off the exit of La California, turn right and go straight for another three miles to reach San Guido. Then turn right and follow the iconic cypress avenue for another three miles.
Davanti San Guido – The Poem by Giosuè Carducci recited by Gino Cervi
You reach Bolgheri driving along the famous Viale dei Cipressi: a seven km/three miles stretch of road that connects the old Via Aurelia to the village. It is a suggestive linear road flanked by two rows of centuries-old cypress trees.
It owes its fame to the nineteenth-century Italian poet Giosuè Carducci and his poem Davanti San Guido, literally “In front of San Guido”:
I cipressi che a Bolgheri alti e schietti van da San Guido in duplice filar. The cypress trees stand straight and true from Bolgheri to San Guido in double rows.
Things to do in Bolgheri Italy
Bolgheri is the ideal spot to spend half a day on the Tuscan hills, but I strongly recommend you take more time to enjoy the atmosphere.
The Oratory of San Guido
Before heading to Bolgheri, I suggest a stop at the beginning of cypress avenue to get some pictures of the Oratorio di San Guido and of the small obelisk, placed there in 1908 by Giuseppe della Gherardesca to commemorate the famed poet Giosuè Carducci, Nobel Prize for literature in 1906.
Then reach the old building that hosts the Centro Diocesano di Spiritualità di San Guido (Diocesan Spiritual Center) and enjoy a nice walk around.
Potter around the burg
The Castle of Bolgheri, with its red bricks, is the only gate to enter the village. Hamlet is really enchanting and quiet. In the ancient historical center, the old houses are made of bricks and show geranium pots in their windows. The narrow paths host tiny artisan workshops, small restaurants, taverns, and gardens.
Enjoy a pleasant walk through the village, take a look at the old church of Saints Giacomo and Cristoforo; visit the tiny monumental cemetery of Nonna Lucia, the old grandmother of the poet Carducci.
Enjoy the quiet atmosphere
Bolgheri is so small that is a perfect place to relax. You don’t have to walk for miles to discover it. So one of the best things to do is rest somewhere on the terrace with a sea view along Largo Nonna Lucia. The only effort required is to choose between coffee, ice cream, or a glass of wine. A good idea is to visit Bolgheri in the late afternoon so you can catch a lovely sunset from the terrace.
Try the traditional Tuscan snack called Merenda. There are a few small shops and bars where you can order a panino with homemade Tuscan bread stuffed with ham and cheese. Of course, accompanied by a glass of Bolgheri DOC red wine.
Do the shopping
Buy local food specialties in one of the little shops in the village. You have plenty of choices: bread, pasta, bottles of wine, different kind of cheese, homemade sauces to prepare delicious dishes of pasta or bruschetta, cold cuts, and sweets such as Cantuccini.
Once in Bolgheri, the homeland of some of the world’s finest wines, a visit to a winery with tasting is a must. So, take a visit to a wine estate along the scenic wine road called Bolgherese.
Around Bolgheri, there are dozens of different wineries, and looking for the one that suits your needs may be difficult. Some of them for example organize only exclusive expensive tours. Moreover, not all of them runs visit every day. Especially on weekends, it is not easy to find an open cellar. To better plan your trip around Tuscany, a useful option may be booking a wine tasting in advance. Here is the link to reserve your visit
Did you know that in Bolgheri Italy…
- The Bolgheri region is very well known worldwide for its awarded red wines. It is the home of the original Super Tuscan wines as Sassicaia and Ornellaia, but also of many other flavored, precious, and fine DOC Bolgheri’s Reds.
- Every year the first weekend of September Bolgheri Jazz takes place along the old alleys of the hamlet. This is a special opportunity to listen to good music and drink a glass of extraordinary red.