Livorno and the Etruscan Coast: the perfect destination for a “Maggio Divino”

“Maggio divino” means “divine May” in English, which is a virtual container that aims to collect and combine tourism and the food & wine events of the Etruscan Coast, including the islands of the Tuscan archipelago, from April until the beginning of summer. In order to promote these events, the Wine and Oil Road of the Etruscan Coast (Strada del Vino e dell'Olio Costa degli Etruschi) with the Chamber of Commerce of Livorno organized a blog tour with some local bloggers and we had the opportunity to take part in it.
The Etruscan Coast
The Etruscan Coast
The Etruscan Coast is an ancient land, rich in tradition and culture, set among rolling hills, ancient villages with romantic charm and the sea, one of the most beautiful in Italy. The Etruscan Coast is the stretch of coastline that goes from Livorno to Piombino as well as being the area chosen by the ancient Etruscan people to exploit the huge mining and agricultural resources. A trip in the Etruscan Coast combines history, art, nature, ancient traditions, good food and some of the best wines in the world, so we decided to share our itinerary with you. Enjoy!
Livorno - La Venezia
Livorno - La Venezia
Day 1 Livorno Our blog tour started here, in the heart of the neighbourhood called La Venezia, in the shadow of the statue that everyone calls the “quattro Mori” (four Moors), but it would be more correct to call it Ferdinando I de 'Medici, who became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1587. He wanted to give a real impetus to the creation of the new city of Livorno, destined to become the main harbour on the sea for the traffic of the Grand Duchy. Therefore, he enacted the “Livornine Laws”, a series of legislative measures aimed at increasing the number of inhabitants of Livorno and ensure the economic development of the city. All populations had free access to the city and thus Livorno soon not only became populated, but it was also formed as a mix of cultures that made it one of the most multicultural cities in Italy.
Four Moors
Four Moors
Continue the visit to the Old Fortress and the Venice neighborhood, maybe you can take a boat to get a different perspective between the channels that here are called “fossi”. After the tour of Venice neighborhood, I recommend a visit to the Central Market, so great that the inhabitants of Livorno call it the Louvre! Read more about Livorno.
La Venezia
La Venezia
Castiglioncello Castiglioncello dominates the small promontory of the latest offshoot of the mountains behind Livorno. It is a tourist destination of great international prestige characterized by red cliffs overlooking the sea, sheltered bays, coves and beaches washed by crystal clear water. Behind the seaside there is a pinewood, which has inspired artists, writers and poets included the Macchiaioli painters.
Castello Pasquini
Castello Pasquini
The Castello Pasquini situated in the pinewood annually hosts cultural events, dance festivals, philosophical and literary awards, and international conferences. Read more about Castiglioncello.
Castiglioncello
Castiglioncello
Day 2 Bolgheri, San Guido and the avenue of cypress trees From the town of Castagneto Carducci extends the famous avenue of cypress trees, a 5 km road that connects the Oratory of San Guido to the old town of Bolgheri. It is a long, straight road lined by two rows of very thick cypress trees (someone counted them: 2540!). The fame of this cypress tree-lined road is due to the famous poem “Davanti San Guido” by the poet Giosuè Carducci, who lived here for a long time: "The cypresses which, in Bolgheri, rise tall and straight run from San Guido in a double line…".
San Guido and the Avenue of Cypresses
San Guido and the Avenue of Cypresses
Cars are not allowed inside the hamlet of Bolgheri, so I recommend you park in the car parks located a few meters from the main gate and not along the road as it is not allowed. At the entrance of the village there is a red-brick castle. Inside, the alleys are paved, the ancient stone buildings adorned with geraniums; there are craft shops, wine bars, taverns and restaurants offering typical products and wines. Castagneto Carducci Castagneto Carducci takes its name from the family of the famous Italian poet Giosuè and it is a hamlet perched on a hillside at around 10 kilometres from the sea (Marina di Castagneto is just 15 minutes far by car). The small village is a nice centre with many panoramic points. You can visit the home of Giosuè Carducci (and see the rooms where the poet lived) and a museum with an archive of poems and documents related to him. At the beginning of Via Marconi there is the Palazzo Comunale in a dominant position near the Carducci archive. Continuing to climb through the streets of the village you will come across to the Church of San Lorenzo and the Castle of Castagneto. Despite several renovations over the centuries, these two buildings are the original nucleus of the city. The nearby Church of the S.S. Crucifix is interesting due to the wooden crucifix preserved inside, which dates to the 15th century.
Carducci house in Castagneto
Carducci house in Castagneto
Day 3 Piombino Piombino is best known as the city where you catch the ferry to Elba Island, but there is much more to see and do here, making it well worth a visit. Its historic centre with the beautiful Piazza Bovio overlooking the sea make Piombino very inviting and Elba Island seems so close that you could almost touch it. Narrow paved streets lead up to an imposing castle - the original part of which dates to the 13th century, which also houses interesting finds.
Piombino
Piombino
Maggio Divino Official Website Read also: - The Etruscan Coast – Exploring hill towns and cities on Tuscany Arts - 10 coastal towns in the province of Livorno Photo Credits: Serena Puosi - Tuscany Social Media Team