LIVORNO, the MAREMMA REGION and the ISLANDS OF THE TUSCAN ARCHIPELAGO

 

Livorno and its wonders, between land and sea: the Maremma region near Livorno, the Etruscan Coast and the Islands of the Tuscan Archipelago

 

 

Sunny Tuscany & Italy offers a wide range of suggestions for holidays, stays and group tours in the wonderful province of Livorno.  Between sea and untainted nature, natural parks, picturesque medieval villages, ancient Etruscan remains, pleasant coastal resorts and the charm of wild islands where time seems to stand still.

 

 

Birthplace of the great composer Pietro Mascagni and the famous artist Amedeo Modigliani, Livorno is above all a city on the water. A welcoming maritime city, with its important port, its characteristic Lungomare (seafront), the panoramic Mascagni Terrace overlooking the sea, the famous aquarium and the picturesque quartiere Venezia (the Venice district characterized by a sequence of little canals and bridges resembling Venice). And don’t forget to try the typical dish of Livorno, which of course features fish as the hero of the dish. The famous “Cacciucco” is a “Livorno-style” fish soup famous all over the world, offered in typical restaurants and trattorias along the seafront or in the old center.

 

 

The green Maremma region, in southern Tuscany, is the wild heart of Tuscany. Land of Etruscans, Tuscan cowboys, great wines and strong flavors. This region will enchant and seduce you with its uncontaminated landscapes, historical and archeological testimonies, medieval Etruscan villages, vineyards, woods, sand beaches and a wonderful blue sea. The so-called Maremma Livornese (the part of the Maremma region which is in the province of Livorno) is the northernmost area of the entire Maremma region, also named High Maremma, extending from the peek of Castiglioncello to the valley of the Cornia river. On this strip of land, some attractive towns rise like saphires between the hills along the periphery and the coastal zone, known as ‘’Etruscan Coast’’. The area is renowned for its excellent wines, especially in the surroundings of Bolgheri (a beautiful village close to the sea). You should also visit the picturesque hilltop villages of Castagneto Carducci, Sassetta, Suvereto and Campiglia Marittima, one of the most beautiful historic towns in the whole area. A few kilometers from Campiglia Marittima is the Venturina spa resort. With the natural spring of Calidario it offers health and beauty treatments for mental well-being. Nature lovers and walkers can find parks, protected areas, nature reserves and wildlife refuges of incredible charm, such as the Oasi of Bolgheri (declared a protected area by the WWF).

 

 

The entire coastline of the Maremma Livornese, extending for more than 90 km from Livorno to the promontory of Piombino, is called Etruscan Coast because of the presence of numerous evidence related to this ancient civilization found mainly in the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia (the area between the Gulf of Baratti and Piombino). The Etruscan Coast is generally low and characterized by golden sand, as in the seaside resorts of Marina di Bibbona, Cecina, Marina di Castagneto, San Vincenzo and Donoratico. The only exception are the beaches between Rosignano Solvay and Vada, where you can find the famous "white beaches" with sand as white as snow. For those who love cliffs and diving, the ideal destination is the quaint town of Castiglioncello, the "jem of the Tyrrhenian Sea", located on a small bluff overlooking the sea.

 

 

According to legend, when the Venus of the Tyrrhenian Sea emerged from the waters of the sea to hug the horizon, she let seven pearls slip from the necklace adorning her white neck. The pearls fell into the sea turning into the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Elba, Giglio, Giannutri, Capraia, Pianosa, Montecristo and Gorgona. Montecristo Island is inaccessible, because it’s a State Natural Reserve, while Pianosa and Gorgona Islands, ex-prison islands, can only be visited with admitted environmental guides. The other 4 islands of the archipelago are accessible and can be visited without any restrictions: Elba, Giglio, Capraia and Giannutri islands await their visitors for both long trips or for short day trips. Why wait to discover golden beaches, cliffs, ancient villages, colors and fantastic flavors… from a corner of Tuscany that is otherworldly!

 



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