Our journey through the green and blue of the Etruscan Coast begins in Castagneto Carducci, a medieval village whose name is a tribute to one of the most important poets of the 19th century, Giosuè Carducci, who spent part of his life here. Arranged around the castle that once belonged to the Della Gherardesca family, the small village is a weave of paved alleys and little workshops, scenic terraces that jut out toward the sea and typical Italian restaurants offering the best of the illustrious local wine production.
In the historic centre, in addition to Palazzo Pretorio and the Church of San Lorenzo, you can visit Carducci’s former home, which today houses a museum dedicated to his life and work. You should also wander a little outside the centre, where you’ll be immersed in the Mediterranean scrub that surrounds the town. With the sea in the background, the lush and rolling hills are dotted with cypress trees that begin to bend toward the top, just like those flanking the famous cypress-lined avenue. From the parking lot in viale Pascoli, follow via di Sassetta toward the east, then take via di Bagnoli on the right and, to the left, via Nemorese.
The last road will lead you to the entrance to the hiking trail known as Antica, or ancient, via Campigliese, which takes you to the town of Poggio Tizzone, walking through forests of evergreens and small shrubs. Along the way, you can catch glimpses of open spaces where coal kilns where once located: in this area, there used to be a bustling industry tied to the exploitation of local wood for producing coal.
The ex-shelter used by coalmen in Poggio Tizzone is preceded by a fireproof lookout, located 430 metres up on a breath-taking balcony boasting a view of the Etruscan Coast. After a brief and restorative break, follow the ancient via Campigliese until you reach Capo di Monte, at 522 metres, from where you can begin the descent toward Piano dei Brizzi. Taking trail 1, you’ll come to the La Fiora crossroads, after which you can return to town by following trail n. 2.