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Costa degli Etruschi, photo by BARBARA BENCIVENNI

The Etruscan Coast is a long narrow stretch of coastline along Tuscany’s coast that goes from Livorno to Piombino and includes parts of four internal city areas: CollesalvettiSassettaSuvereto and Campiglia Marittima.

The name of this beautiful coastal area is tied to the presence of the Etruscan civilization that inhabited this area from the start of the 9th century BC (way before the Romans), as so many archeological sites demonstrate today. At the Archeological Park of Baratti and Populonia, in the Gulf of Baratti between San Vincenzo and Piombino, you can nowadays visit one of the most important sites, including a large necropolis, in this area left by the ancient Etruscans. The Etruscan Coast also includes the archeological and natural areas of the Parks of the Val di Cornia, to which the Archeological Park of Baratti and Populonia as well as the Coastal Parks of Rimigliano amd of the Sterpaia are part of.

The coastline of the ancient Etruscans should be considered in terms of the intensity of nature and colours in which it is immersed and not only of the pretty and welcoming little towns it conserves. Ideally one should start from Livorno, a liberal town unlike any other in Tuscany, and proceed down the Aurelia road, admiring the green of the sea breaking against the rocks of Calafuria, a sight which constitutes food for thought as well as fresh air for the lungs. After rocks, reefs and sand, beneath Castiglioncello, the brilliant green gives way first to thick pine-forest, so inviting during the summer months, and then, further away from the sea, an impenetrable thicket of vegetation.

The sense of total freedom and lack of pressure from everyday life is evident here, regardless of whether you choose dark sands or the finer white, whether you prefer beaches with facilities or just vast expanses without a soul for miles. Perhaps a journey ‘in the shade’ is what you need, either on foot or on horseback, in the pine-forests stretching from Vada down to San Vincenzo, taking time to admire the “tall and neat” rows of cypresses made famous by Carducci.

Photo Credits: Barbara Bencivenni

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