A Seven-Day Trip along The Coast of Tuscany
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011, 8:36 am
The coast of Tuscany offers plenty of nature locations, towns and cities rich of art and folklore. Discover it traveling along the seashore choosing to stay in Tuscany apartments or hotels and realize that the landscape is never dull and keeps on varying while moving south to north. You will depart from the wide and long sandy beaches near the Argentario ending your tour near the northern part of Tuscany in Versilia, the last stretch of coast before Cinque Terre in Liguria.
Day 1 and 2
From Orbetello to Talamone
Start your visit in Orbetello. The town has always been a fishing center that grew on the difficult stretch of land that separates the lagoon of Orbetello in two parts and was joined to Monte Argentario during the 19th century through a dike. The town passed through many powerful hands until the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century. You can still see many evident traces of their dominion, such as Fort Guzman. However, the Cathedral is a 14th century building preserving its original Romanesque façade. While here, enjoy the beauty of Mount Argentario and its coastline. Other towns that you should visit are Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole, and Talamone. In order to visit this area without haste you should dedicate to it a full two days.
From Marina di Grosseto to Populonia
Start moving north and drive along the coastal roads that pass by Marina di Grosseto, Castione della Pescaia, Puntala, and Follonica to arrive to the Etruscan town of Populonia. What used to be one of the most important Etruscan cities, now appears as a medieval village on the promontory overlooking the picturesque gulf of Baratti. The Roman empire conquered the town to the Etruscans, and it flourished as one of the main ports of the region. You can still see many remains of the ancient Acropolis on the top of the hill on which the town rests. The Acropolis was discovered during the beginning of the 20th century. Here you will find many tombs of various kinds from a period spanning over five centuries from the 7th to the 2nd century BC.
Your fourth day visiting the coast of Tuscany should be dedicated to the Elba Island. From Populonia go to Piombino and take a 45 minutes ferry ride to Portoferraio. Dedicate a full day to this wonderful Mediterranean island that sports enchanting seashores, beaches, and rich flora and fauna. The island has been an important iron source for centuries and therefore has many developed town centers that exude history and provide for extremely delightful places to visit. You should not miss a visit to Portoferraio, Porto Azzurro, Capoliveri, and Rio Marina. The beaches you should go to are Le Ghiaie and Procchio among the most important ones. If you are able to, rent a floatable to reach the most private and beautiful beaches, otherwise inaccessible. Take the ferry to the mainland in the evening or wait until early next morning.
From San Vincenzo to Livorno
Your fifth day tour will continue along the coast through San Vincenzo, Donoratico, Bibbona, Marina di Cecina and Vada. Stop by the beach of Vada and Rosignano to admire the sparkling white of its sands and the crystal clear waters. The whiteness is a peculiar trait given by shells that the sea has rendered to powder. Enjoy a few hours on this stretch of coast prior to continuing your visit to Castiglioncello and its Pasquini Castle, Quercianella and Calafuria, until you reach the city of Livorno. The latter is an important maritime center that developed imposing its influence over sea trades until it became the port of de Medici family. Mostly fortified during the 16th century, the old fortress or Fortezza Vecchia was built in 1534 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. You should visit the city aquarium which has been completely restructured in recent times.
Day 6 and 7
From Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi
Proceed towards Viareggio in the heart of Versilia. In this area you will be spending the last two days of your tour. In the surroundings you have Torre del Lago Puccini, Lido di Camaiore, Marina di Pietrasanta and the splendid Forte dei Marmi. Viareggio is famous for its carnival, but also offers plenty to experience during the summertime thanks to its world renowned seaside resorts. A relatively recent development, Viareggio started to be inhabited in the 12th century and remained a fisherman’s post for centuries. Drive north to Forte dei Marmi, which takes its name from its 18th century fortress still standing in the heart of town and the marble that used to be carried from the Apuan Alps and loaded on the ships mooring here. The striking characteristic of this land, indeed, is its perpetual suspension between the imposing mountains on one side and the expanding infinite of the open sea on the other. It is sometimes amusing to find a ski rental equipment shop besides a swimsuit and surfing gear retailer.
By the end of your Tuscan coastline tour you will realize the amazing variety of landscapes, cultural heritages, and culinary traditions that can be held within just a few hundred kilometers, and will want to return for more. All along your sojourn you should stay in Tuscany apartments, which provide for an inexpensive, yet very confortable accommodation giving you total autonomy.
Guest post by Matt, Tuscany expert
Matt has been living in Tuscany apartments for the past five years and loves to travel around the region discovering small towns, villages, hamlets, and talking to local people and learning about the small differences that arise even within short distances in Tuscany. He travels around with his motorbike taking pictures of the splendid Tuscan countryside,
occasionally renting villas in Tuscany with his friends and family for a holiday. He will be happy to help you plan your next travel to Tuscany.
About 2121 days ago