Piombino, the ancient port of Falesia, is situated on the coast opposite the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is a town of many faces, and the surrounding area includes places and sites of great interest. The heart of the old town itself preserves the particularly attractive natural terrace, Piazza Bovio, overlooking the sea and offering a panorama of rare beauty.
Then there is the picturesque old harbour with its lively daily fish market run by local fishermen. The paved streets that ascend from the sea to the centre are lined with typical restaurants, wine bars and osterie (more informal type of restaurant) serving traditional fish dishes and the area’s wines. There are many traditional dishes on offer: salt cod with potatoes, the local fish stew called cacciucco, octopus, squid, mussels, the latter preferably cooked al guazzetto (lightly stewed) or stuffed with a variety of local herbs and flavours.
A stroll through the streets of this “little Paris”, as it was called after Elisa Bonaparte’s rule, will gradually reveal the ancient origins of the town. In the oldest part of town many well-preserved buildings bear witness to the historical importance of Piombino in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance. Of particular note is the Torrione (tower), the Rivellino (a triangular defence structure), the numerous churches situated within the town walls, the Palazzo Nuovo, and the 16th-century castle built by order of Cesare Borgia to defend the town. An annual food and wine event called Agosto con gustotakes place in August during which folklore and local cuisine are combined with the best Val di Cornia DOC wines.