On the Etruscan Coast, across from the Isle of Elba, the parks of Val di Cornia tell the millennia-old story of a landscape where the ruins of the Etruscan city of Populonia and its evidence of metalworking intertwine with majestic coastland and Mediterranean scrub.
The historical-geographical heritage of Val di Cornia makes it a valid educational tool for children on a day out with the school or the family. The parks are true outdoor laboratories in which you can take and touch history with your hands. Moreover, they offer resting places and picnic areas, ample parking and well-equipped beaches: basic requirements for the youngest.
Situated behind Campiglia Marittima and the Piombino promontory, the San Silvestro Archaeological Mines Park covers an area of around 450 hectares. The routes for visitors twist and turn between museums, mineral galleries, paths of historical, archaeological, geological or natural interest, all dominated by the view of the medieval town of Rocco San Silvestro.
This park tells the story of Populonia, an Etruscan city on the sea. In a landscape of extraordinary beauty you can visit the necropolis, dug into the rock of the Baratti bay, and the acropolis, encircled by a ring of defensive walls. Ancient routes take you to the old industrial quarters and to the monastery of San Quirico.
Located in the middle of the historic centre of Piombino and founded as the natural conclusion to a visit of Parco di Baratti and Populonia, the Populonia Archaeological Museum will take you on a journey through five thousand years of this area's history. Original displays of the rich Etruscan and Roman archaeological heritage, reconstructions of rooms and landscapes, video installations and audioguides allow you to dive into the past of the ancient city of Populonia. You must see one of the world's most unique masterpieces, a silver wine jar from the sea of Baratti.
In the castle complex that stands at the historic centre of Piombino, this new and fascinating museum presents an original way to trace the history of the town between the 13th and 14th centuries, with no small thanks to modern display technology.
The incredible discovery of a formidable collection of medieval ceramic vases has allowed us piece together their whole life cycle, their production and their usage, either in the kitchen or on the medieval table. Models, graphic reconstructions and multimedia installations make the visit all the more stimulating.
Situated in a panoramic position on the highest hill of Campiglia and circled by heavily fortified walls, Rocca di Campaglia represents a vital historical link between the town of Campiglia and the San Silvestro Archaeological Mines Park, where the medieval rock of the same name stands.
Having finished our visit to the museums we can linger in Campiglia's historic centre, taking in this evocative medieval town.
For information on the museums and parks of Val di Cornia: parchivaldicornia.it