Fascinating reminders of the Etruscans are preserved in the Baratti-Populonia Archaeological Park.
Piombino, which was governed for a time by Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Bonaparte, was an important centre in medieval and renaissance times, and old traditions survive side by side with today’s dynamic, efficient town.
The setting is splendid kilometres of coastline with sparkling sea, nature reserves and productive countryside crossed by the Costa degli Etruschi Wine Route, home to Val di Cornia DOC wines.
All kinds of water sports can be enjoyed here, and the countryside is full of trails for hiking, biking and horse riding.
Local dishes made with fish or products from the countryside are full of aroma and flavour.
Hotels, campsites and holiday farms offer a warm welcome and lavish hospitality all year round.
THE OLD TOWN
Known in ancient times as the port of Falesia, Piombino later became a seigniory and principality at the time of the Appianis, and at the beginning of the 19th century was governed by Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Bonaparte.
The town holds many historical and artistic reminders of its medieval and renaissance past. Churches, the Keep and the Rivellino are some of the monuments to be found in the old town, protected by magnificent city walls.
The 19th century Palazzo Nuovo, situated inside a fortified stronghold designed with the help of Leonardo da Vinci, houses a museum containing over 2,000 prehistoric, Etruscan and Roman finds from the Val di Cornia parks system.
Narrow paved streets lead up to an imposing castle - the original part dates back to the 13th century – which also houses interesting finds. The view from Piazza Bovio overlooking the sea stretches all along the coast and as far as the islands of the archipelago. Ancient squares and streets running down to the sea are lined with picturesque restaurants offering excellent fish dishes.
TEXTS AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF "COSTA DEGLI ETRUSCHI" TOURIST AGENCY