Pedalling the Etruscan Coast

Enjoy the beautiful Tuscan sea

The stretch of coastline from Livorno to Piombino is known as the Etruscan Coast, the area chosen by the ancient Etruscan people to exploit the stretch of coastline from Livorno to Piombino. Known for its noteworthy agricultural and mineral resources, this area hosts incredible natural settings and hidden medieval villages where time seems to have reached a standstill. History, art, nature, ancient traditions, good food and some of the best winesin the world are just a few of the things that make it worth a visit.

From the wonderful pine-woods of Cecina to the little harbor in San Vincenzo, you can enjoy  the area's gentle rolling hills and its rural views, where you’ll spot vineyards, olive groves, and the clear, blue sea. South of San Vincenzo, you can visit Cornia Valley Parks, while villages such as Casale Marittimo, Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci, Suvereto are medieval jewels waiting to be discovered. The beautiful Wine Road, called “Costa degli Etruschi,” spotlights local wine producers and gives a unique identity to some of the best wines in the world offering visitors a chance to visit cellars and vineyards.

The Etruscan Coast offers idealspaces, roads and settings for bicycle riding in Italy. It is a bike-friendly place where everyone—from families with children and cycling tourists to amateur and professional riders—can find everything a cyclist could possibly hope for when setting off on a ride. Experience beautiful Tuscan sceneries, interesting visits and quiet roads, enjoying the favorable climate all year round. And while you’re at it, don’t miss trying some of Tuscany's traditional specialties.

Situated in the heart of the Etruscan Coast, Bolghieri is not far from Bibbona. The town is famous for its Viale dei Cipressi (Cypresses) which gained everlasting fame thanks to the poem "Davanti a San Guido" by Giosuè Carducci, who lived here from 1838 to 1848. Its views of cultivated fields and the typical colors of the Tuscan countryside will surely leave you enchanted. Once you reach the end of the Viale, you’ll get to the village through a single arched door, which gives you an idea of the old village’s atmosphere. In front, you’ll find a castle in red brick, which creates a contrast of colors with the green of the olive trees and the cypresses surrounding it. Here, everything has managed to keep its original feel and you can’t help but sense that time has stopped its usual rush. The historical center also seems to have kept its old original, urban structure.

The della Gherardesca family is Italy’s oldest family today, and their castle at Castagneto, built in the year 1000, is still inhabited by the family's descendants. The present-day name of Castagneto Carducci was given to the ancient fief in 1907, in honor of the poet Giosuè Carducci who stayed there as a teenager and who always remained bound to it. For this reason, locals decided to change its name from Castagneto Marittimo to Castagneto Carducci.
Controlled by the Castle of the della Gherardesca Counts, Castagneto Carducci has all the charm of a medieval Tuscan village. The streets were planned as concentric rings starting from the castle, which was originally surrounded by walls. Today, only a section of the walls remains, facing the sea. In Via Carducci, you’ll find the house where the poet lived from 1848 to 1849; it currently hosts "Centro Carducciano". Your visit to Castagneto cannot end without a walk to Piazzale Belvedere, located in a scenic position, where you can view the countryside as it stretches toward the sea.

This town is a medieval village whose origins date back to before the year 1000. Situated on the hills overlooking the Etruscan Coast, it is full of the art and history that characterizes the green valley of the Cornia River. The town boasts enchanting architectural harmony and its ancient walls enclose paved streets lined with stone houses, historical buildings, impressive churches, and shadowy cloisters.

The region is full of agricultural companies, oil mills, wineries, and farm-holiday resorts where you can try local products and traditional dishes. A pentagonal wall characterized by eight towers encloses Suvereto's historic center. The Rocca, a castle garrison used in ancient times, stands on the hill dominating the town. The Palazzo Comunale or City Hall dates back to 1200. It’s one of the most beautiful examples of civic architecture in Italy and an authentic symbol of the town's autonomy.

Famous for its parks, which tell a thousand-year-old story which begins with the Etruscan people and bears witness to centuries of mining. Visitors are sure to enjoy its splendid coastal and hilly environments. Its park network includes two archaeological parks, nature parks, three museums and a Center for Documentation. It lies within five municipalities at the extreme southern end of the province of Livorno, opposite the Island of Elba.