Apart from the main town of Collesalvetti – originally an ancient Roman settlement, then a medieval fief and busy agricultural village – there are numerous villages with historic monuments in this area of Etruscan-Roman origin, where traces of prehistoric times can also be found.
Farm holidays are well organised and offer a warm welcome; specialities based on game, cured meats, cheeses and locally produced vegetables can be enjoyed on the farms and in local restaurants.
Quality wines and olive oil are produced along this part of the Costa degli Etruschi crossed by the Wine Route.
For years, events celebrating open-air life and sport have been held in this area, chosen for its natural environment and the opportunities it provides for enjoying country pursuits.
Its closeness to the sea and the art cities makes Collesalvetti a good base for holidays full of variety.
Nugola, Vicarello, Guasticce, Castell’Anselmo, Stagno, Parrana San Giusto, Colognole and Paranna San Martino are typical Tuscan villages where reminders of the past live on and nature is still unspoilt.
Set in the countryside or crowning hilltops, but always surrounded by greenery, the villages around Collesalvetti are full of pleasant surprises.
Fascinating natural itineraries lead to ancient abbeys, churches, springs and old mills.
Near the village of Parrana lies the Sambuca, a church and hermitage dating back to 1200s. Built by Augustinian monks and enlarged by Jesuits, it was once a haven for hermits, wayfarers and pilgrims and is a monument of great in-terest and fascination. It can be reached by a footpath through the greenery of a valley.
The Colognole Aqueduct, built between 1700 and 1800, is of considerable architectural interest. For 20 km, it crosses a beautiful part of the area, providing a fascinating historical and natural itinerary through woods and Mediterranean scrub where streams and torrents flow through arches and cisterns.
The village church at Colognole houses a seventeenth-century organ of great artistic value.
Numerous farms offering holiday accommodation are scattered over the lovely countryside typical of this part of the Costa degli Etruschi.
Farms and country houses in the hills, countryside and woods are often part of large estates, are furnished in typical Tuscan style, and offer a warm welcome and complete relaxation in close touch with nature. Awarded the Regione Toscana “wheat ears” award, they provide quality service and interesting opportunities for excursions and sport.
Delicious dishes based on natural products, accompanied by the fine wines produced in the area, are on offer on the holiday farms, in local restaurants and at specially organised fests.
Game, fresh pasta, home-baked cakes, cheeses and vegetable dishes are part of this area’s gastronomic tradition, and are well complimented by the flavoursome locally produced olive oil.
TEXTS AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF "COSTA DEGLI ETRUSCHI" TOURIST AGENCY