The Etruscan Coast of Tuscany, in Italian Costa degli Etruschi, is the long narrow coastline that goes from Livorno, the biggest city, and port of the area, to Piombino, a small town set on a promontory in front of the Elba Island.
The Etruscan Coast of Tuscany is my birthland and today I am so happy to talk about this land not so very known but rich in history, full of nature and of things to do.
Sunset on Bolgheri, along the Cypress Avenue
Why you should visit the Etruscan Coast of Tuscany
The Etruscan Coast takes its name from the ancient Etruscans. They lived this area since the eight century BC, during the Iron Age. Today we find rest of this ancient civilization especially in the Gulf of Baratti and in the village of Populonia.
Populonia was the unique Etruscan town in the history to be built on the seacoast. The economy of the region was rich and intense thanks to the trade of minerals, handiworks and agriculture products all over the Mediterranean Sea.
Largo Nonna Lucia in Bolgheri
Villages as Castiglioncello, Bibbona, Bolgheri, Castagneto Carducci, Populonia, Suvereto and Campiglia Marittima, are small gems that deserve a visit. Many foreigners, especially from Switzerland and Austria, felt in love with this land that decided to buy suggestive old farmhouses as their summer residence.
Live the sea
Sunset on the rocks
The Etruscan coast has different sceneries. Many coastal towns received the blue flag as award for the quality of tourist services and for the cleanliness of the water. You find rocks from Livorno to Castiglioncello, then gold sandy beaches untill the gulf of Baratti. Here, the sand is surprisingly reddish due to the iron residuals of the extracting activities during the Etruscans Era. Another distinctive beach is the white beach in Vada. We have got Caribbean behind the corner. (read more about the beaches of the Etruscan Coast here).
From the port of Livorno, Rosignano and Piombino you can even sail to the beautiful islands of the Tuscan archipelago as the Elba (the biggest of them) and Capraia or the prison islands of Gorgona and Pianosa.
Cacciucco alla Livornese and Castagnaccio, typical food of the Etruscan Coast
Super Tuscan Wines
The Famous Sassicaia Wine
Bolgheri and its surroundings are one of the best regions in the whole world where to produce wine. The famous Sassicaia DOC and Ornellaia Super Tuscan are made here.
The archaeological park of Baratti and Populonia is one of the most important Etruscan sites. You have to visit the necropolis and the tiny hamlet of Populonia Alta, and the Archeomining Park in Campiglia Marittima.
Nature and parks
Bibbona rolling hills
Nature is the essence of the Etruscan Coast of Tuscany. Pinewoods, forests and rolling hills are rich in colors and aromas. Parks and natural oasis, full of flora and fauna to admire, cover more than 20% of the territory.
Sport and outdoor activities
You have many opportunities on the Etruscan Coast. Surf, kite surf, wind surf, horse riding and fishing. On the inland there are lots of itineraries for bike and hiking lovers in the beautiful pinewoods or forests.
If you wish to rest in hot waters, you can enjoy the thermal lake in Venturina and Sassetta. They are private establishments.
View of San Gimignano – Photo Credits: Luca Biancani
Last but not least, in a short drive distance from Etruscan Coast of Tuscany there are many things to do and see, including some of the most famous attractions. In my opinion it is the perfect base to explore the region: you can enjoy the beaches and the Mediterranean see and you have the opportunity to reach in less than one hour the hamlets of Volterra, San Gimignano or the Square of Miracles in Pisa. In an hour you reach Lucca or Siena.