Cipressi, Bolgheri, Val di Cornia
Val di Cornia map

Val di Cornia

This incredible area is a haven for nature lovers

Writing about the Val di Cornia is a simple way to pay homage to this area that gives so much to those who live here; an area that leaves a part of itself with those who visit, even if for a short time. Defining its borders is not easy, given the strong influence of the surrounding areas. However, from a strictly geographical point of view, the valley is bordered to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea; to the east by the Gerfalco mountains; to the north it is bordered by the city of San Vincenzo (even if Castagneto Carducci’s landscape and history tie it to the central Cornia valley); and to the south it is bordered by the hills that separate Livorno and Grosseto.

Thanks to its fertile plains, sweet hills and the presence of the sea, the Val di Cornia has often been defined as “Tuscany’s Garden”. The area, which is found inside the larger Maremma Pisana, takes its name from the river that crosses it: the Cornia. The river originates in the Gerfalco mountains, passes through Leccia where it is enriched by other sources, passes from the Suvereto plain into the Campiglia territory then into Piombino where it reaches the see through the Bocca di Cornia.

The entire area is characterized by its historic “stability”. With the exception of the large land reclamation in the marsh area, the region has not undergone massive transformations over time. Though variations are natural over time, it is virtually the same as when our ancestors looked upon it.

The area is covered by woods made up of oaks, beech, linden and olive trees which provide the ideal environment for the many animal species we find within (wild boars, goats, porcupines, badgers, squirrels and dormice). The area is rich in social history, due to the fact that it has seen the presence of Etruscans and Romans, the Barbarian invasions, the birth of the Church and the Feudal System and so on. Each civilization left its mark, not only in great works like the Etruscan necropolises in Baratti and Populonia and the Rocca di San Silvestro in Campiglia Marittima, but also in the ancient walls of the characteristic villages houses, and the tight, dark streets that still reflect the ancient urban plan.

Cover image credit: Konrad Jagodziński