Photo ©VardaHB

The Etruscan Coast: from top to bottom

A perfect cycling route

The itinerary can be completed in a single stage by cyclists in good physical condition, with the return journey by train on the Piombino – Follonica – Cecina line.

Point of departure: Livorno
Point of arrival: Piombino
Distance: 143km
Total climb: 1,356 m
Road surface: asphalt
Difficulty: challenging
 

Starting from Livorno, go south on the Old Aurelia road past Calafuria and the Romito Tower (10km) as far as Quercianella, and then along the coast to Castiglioncello (19.5km). You then go through Rosignano Solvay, and once out of the town take the cycle path running alongside the Aurelia (SS1). After about 2.1km, turn right at the traffic lights onto a small road which follows the coast with various access points to the local beaches. Go through Vada (27.5km) and the Mazzanta area (camp sites). After the bridge over the Cecina River, you come to Cecina Mare (35km). From here, you head back inland, and go through Cecina (about 2km) to the roundabout near the hospital (39.5km) and follow the signs for Montescudaio. Go under the Aurelia (SS1) bypass and ride along on the flat for about 3km as far as the roundabout, and turn right onto the SP28 uphill to Montescudaio (242 MASL), a distance of about 5km, and Guardistallo, which requires a final spurt for about 2.5km. At Casale Marittimo (54km), continue on for Bibbona (58km), where you go left towards Bolgheri along 5km of marked rises and descents (63.6km). Continue downhill along the cypress avenue (about 1.8km) to the left turn for Castagneto Carducci. After 9km, turn left at the T-junction at San Giusto towards Castagneto Carducci (77.3km). From here, ride towards Sassetta (86.7km), and then on to Suvereto (96km) along a spectacularly scenic road. Go downhill towards Monteverdi-Monterotondo for about 3km; leave the SP398 which turns left here and carry straight towards Massa Marittima on the “Montioni” (SP19). At the fork after the bridge over the River Cornia turn right onto the “San Lorenzo - Banditelle” road (SP22). Go through San Lorenzo, past the Petra winery (Cantina Petra) and the Casalappi farm (Fattoria di Casalappi). A short descent and a sharp bend to the left at the 4.5km mark on the SP22; at the intersection after the bend, go straight on for 2km to a crossroads where you go left and follow the high voltage lines. At the next T-junction, turn right onto SP21 towards Cafaggio (112km). Bear left here and carry straight on to Venturina. At the T-junction on the Old Aurelia road (SP39) go right and then left after 700m for Baratti on the “Caldarelle” (SP23). After 2.7km you reach a roundabout where you keep straight on as far as the “Principessa” (SP23) (124km). Turn left and then immediately right, taking the road for Baratti and Populonia. To reach Piombino (143km), go back onto the “Principessa” (SP23, going through Fiorentina and Gagno).

Notes: The itinerary can be completed in a single stage by cyclists in good physical condition, with the return journey by train on the Piombino – Campiglia - Livorno line. cycling tourists can complete the route in 2 or 3 stages. Much of the second part of the itinerary passes inland and offers possible detours towards Marina di Bibbona, Marina di Donoratico and San Vincenzo.

Possible detours:
1) As there is very heavy traffic on first stage from Livorno to Quercianella, it can be done by train. Alternatively, you can go inland through the Livorno hills via Gabbro, Castelnuovo Misericordia and Rosignano Marittimo and rejoin the itinerary at Vada.
2) The last part of the itinerary, between Baratti and Piombino, goes through an industrial area on the outskirts of Piombino. if you are using a hybrid bike or an mtb, we recommend taking the dirt road that runs from Reciso (Populonia) across the Piombino headland to Salivoli (7km) in a series of rises and descents and uphill spurts, then downhill.

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Cycling