Tuscany is also the sea, because the whole coast that goes from Massa Carrara to Ansedonia hides dream beaches and enchanting places to discover, as well as an incredible story! Yes, all of Italy contains history and culture, and also a beautiful sea, but only a few other regions can boast the high quality of the beaches and the Tuscan sea.
The story starts from the ancient Etruscans, an ancient people who lived in an area called Etruria which corresponds to Tuscany, part of Umbria and northern Lazio, some colonies went further north, also touching Liguria and towards the east touching the area Po valley of Romagna and Lombardy, but the central point of their people lived in Tuscany from the eighth century BC.
The Etruscans were then incorporated by the Roman civilization, which was influenced by them in a fundamental way, many of the Roman discoveries come from the Etruscans and many of the current things too, such as for example the organization of the City-State, the Etruscans recognized themselves in a federation of 12 peoples who were born since the time of the Tyrrhenian King who arrived in Italy from Turkey after a devastating epidemic, so the legend goes.
Many of the Etruscan settlements are still visible today, fascinating and full of history, and trying to organize well, it can be nice to take a tour to discover the Etruscans and connect it to a nice dip in a beautiful beach.
So let’s see some itineraries that are right for us.
The sea and the Etruscans
Let’s start from the province of Livorno, because it is here that the majority of Etruscan finds and sites are concentrated.
Let’s start from Livorno city, a beautiful seaside town with its old fortress that is definitely worth a visit, which is located near the port and still plays a great hub of activity for the city, with even significant events during the summer period.
Livorno enjoys a protected area that goes from Collesalvetti (behind Livorno) and goes up to Rosignano, (south of the city) and thanks to this park it is full of trekking itineraries proposed by farmhouses present on the outskirts of the city.
We cannot forget our passion for Tuscan food, here we eat and the cacciucco is born, a dish that was considered poor in antiquity, fish being the main food of the city and because at the base there are the scraps of fish used for other dishes more sophisticated.
Today it is one of the most famous dishes of Italian cuisine, and consists of a kind of soup with toasted bread in gravy and fish slices of various types. Look for it and try it!
Moving south, taking the state road and enjoying the spectacle of the cliffs of Calafuria with the Cala del Leone, an enchanting place, we find Castiglioncello, it is here that at the beginning of the 1900s about 300 Etruscan tombs that belonged to a necropolis were brought to light, tombs with funerary which today are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Castiglioncello.
The kits are in terracotta, bronze and iron and are personal ornaments, mirrors and even marble.
In Castiglioncello the Pasquini Castle is worthy of note, a neo-Medieval structure where famous kermesses and events are held throughout the year.
But if you like history, the Tower of Castiglioncello is definitely worth seeing, an outpost built by the Medici to have a lookout point as far south as possible.
Between here and the gulf of Baratti, an incredibly fascinating place, there are a series of very nice villages to visit, such as Rosignano Marittimo with its medieval castle, here we could make a trip inland and arrive at the Roman Theater and the Etruscan Acropolis of Volterra, one of the most contaminated towns by the Etruscan and Roman people there is.
Volterra has a very ancient history, it was already inhabited in the early Iron Age, as are the great Villanovan necropolises of Ripaie and Guerruccia.
To visit the numerous ancient churches, the Cathedral, of course the Roman Theater and the Etruscan Necropolis and the walls which are of Etruscan origin.
Returning to the coast we go further and further south where we meet Cecina where, in the sumptuous Villa Guerrazze, there is an Archaeological Museum with various treasures to admire, and Marina di Bibbona.
Still in the hinterland, in a few kilometers we can return to a fabulous village which has a few hundred inhabitants and which maintains its medieval characteristics, Bolgheri, famous for the poem In front of San Guido written by Giosuè Carducci, Nobel Prize for literature in 1906 and for the long avenue surrounded by cypresses, protagonists of Carducci’s poetry. In this village we can find at least seven types of wines, made by wineries in the area, these wines are fine and famous and range from Cabernet Sauvignon to Perlot.
But let’s go back to our Etruscan ancestors!
Here we are, a little further south we arrive at the most important place concerning the Etruscans and beyond, we also arrive at one of the most beautiful gulfs of the whole Carving peninsula, the Gulf of Baratti.
It must be said that we are still in the province of Livorno and that the journey from the city center to this famous gulf takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Here we are in the Populonia Archaeological Park, one of the main sites in Tuscany, the Populonia park includes three necropolises called “San Cerbone”, “Casone” and “Le Grotte”.
Via del Ferro is located on the San Cerbone site, an experimental laboratory to illustrate the ancient techniques of working with iron.
One of the most fascinating places is the Tomb of the carts found in the early 1920s and used around the 7th century BC. inside there are three small rooms and takes its name from the bronze wheels of a buggy or cart found inside, an ivory horn covered with gold was also found inside, hence the hypothesis that the tomb was of a Warrior King.
Many of the objects found in the Populonia area are exhibited at the Museum of the Territory of Populonia in Piombino; while the wheels of the chariot of the funeral equipment of the Tomba dei Carri are conserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Florence.
Now we need a nice bath though.. and where if not in the Buca delle Fate?
There is little to say about this cove, the images speak for us, have a good swim!