This is the reference point for tourism on the coast of Tuscany; here you will find the typical scents and beauties of the region, famous worldwide.
The area is particularly popular throughout the year for nature walks and tours thanks to the Mediterranean climate which is mitigated by the sea. Some of the most beautiful natural areas, oases and protected parks in Italy are on the Etruscan Coast: the Tomboli di Cecina, 15 km of thick vegetation where so many species of plants and animals co-exist to form a unique ecosystem, the Oasis of Bolgheri and the Coastal Park of Rimigliano stand out.
A crystal-clear sea bathes the white beaches of Vada and Castiglioncello; sand and cliffs, behind which are vast shady relaxing pine forests, alternate along the coast.
Large cultivated fields, mainly vineyards, open up where the coastal area finishes; the Wine Trail extends into the hinterland area. This area boasts a long tradition of tasty food and wine; some bottles of red are renowned and appreciated at international level: just think of the DOC wines of Bolgheri, Montescudaio and Val di Cornia
The typical produce of the area can be purchased and tasted in the same villages where it is produced. The historic towns, many of Etruscan origin, spread over the area provide charming glimpses of the gentle cultivated hills up to the blue sea.
If you travel through the coast and into the hinterland, you may chance upon historical finds from the Etruscan era; the various towns have an Etruscan museum which displays the objects, weapons and ceramics found its area. This is not counting the necropolises, more or less vast, left to witness the passage of this ancient people, still partly mysterious, which merged with the Romans.
Sea, Beaches, Cliffs
The heart of the area is the sea. The Tyrrhenian Sea which borders the coast takes on a splendid turquoise colour; it displays unique shows in the light of dawn and at sunset; it makes the climate mild and the air healthy. The sensation of wellbeing, provided by the influence of the sea and the quality of the local cuisine, and the sense of relaxation, provided by the splendid views of the natural area, which you breathe on the Etruscan Coast, have no equals in Tuscany.
The beach has also been awarded the Blue Flag for this year, signifying the high quality of the water and the surrounding area.
You can relax on the sandy white beaches at San Vincenzo and Vada and in the Gulf of Baratti; the colour becomes darker in the Cecina, Bibbona and Castagneto Carducci areas. Pebbles and cliffs alternate with sand in certain areas of Baratti, Castiglioncello, Livorno and Quercianella.
Even the rocky beaches have their charm: secluded small inlets and bays can be found and these are accessible to everyone by means of natural paths amongst the vegetation.
Hospitality on the Etruscan Coast has been guaranteed by generations of hotel-keepers and restaurant owners, holiday farms and bathing establishments scattered along the coastline.
Livorno, Quercianella, Castiglioncello, Vada, Marina di Cecina, Marina di Bibbona, Donoratico, San Vincenzo and Baratti are the most renowned and popular tourist destinations on the coast.
All the holiday facilities are in complete harmony with the surrounding natural environment, offering a holiday filled with physical and spiritual wellbeing and relaxation for the whole family, adults and children.
The summer period in every locality is filled with folklore events and entertainment such as fairs, small craft and antique markets, art shows, theatrical shows and open-air cinema. All tastes, for the older and the younger, will be satisfied and entertainment is guaranteed
Parks, Nature Oases, Protected areas
Although the Etruscan Coast extends into a densely populated area, 20% of its area is covered by natural parks, oases and protected areas. The green areas are kept unspoilt due to the intervention of the local administrations, citizens and tourists. It is important to respect the delicate natural environment and the ecosystems that host it to maintain the charming atmosphere of the area.
Oasis of Bolgheri: barely a stone’s throw from the sea, it is a damp marshy area. It was the first animal sanctuary area to be set up in Italy; the marshes are populated by lots of species of migratory birds whilst there are deer, fallow deer and falcons in the pine forests.
Oasis of Orti-Battagone: herons, pink flamingos and storks are the animals than can be spotted in this marshy area of brackish waters, near Piombino.
Parco della Magona: near Bibbona, it is another typical biogenetic forest, as is the Tomboli di Cecina. There are many species of plants and animals there which live in perfect harmony with each other following a fragile and delicate natural ecosystem. It is easy to chance upon fallow deer, deer, mouflons and squirrels along the nature trails running inside it.
Parco di Rimigliano: this is a coastal park with thick vegetation that lies in the area of the Municipality of San Vincenzo; one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast is found here.
The Etruscan Coast is an area full of history; there are small stone towns whose origins are lost in time. Bolgheri, the beauty of which is also mentioned by Carducci in one of his poems, Suvereto, Campiglia, Castagneto, Bibbona, Rosignano, Sassetta and Populonia are only some of the more charming villages in the area.
They are characterised by narrow stone-paved alleys, small churches of mediaeval or earlier origin, shops and craftsman’s workshops of times past. There are also castles and fortifications on the hills and on the coastline, some of which have been reduced to ruins and are half hidden by the vegetation, but are no less enchanting because of this. There are also historical finds from the Etruscan/Roman era and mediaeval and renaissance works of art.