The Mediterranean Sea

The choice of where to go to the beach in the Val di Cornia is vast, all along the coast there are kilometres and kilometres of public beaches. Most of these are sandy but there are also rocky sections as well. You will find several beaches where dogs are welcome and these are signed, on the rest of the beaches dogs aren’t officially welcomed but apart from the high season of July and August smaller breeds are generally tolerated.

San Vincenzo

San Vincenzo is a tourist location dedicated to the summer months that has plenty of beach establishments complete with restaurants, cafes, lounges and chairs for rent, showers and bathrooms etc. Within the city limits there is also a Dog Beach where canines of all types are free to enjoy the beach along with their owners. The sand on the beaches of San Vincenzo is granular and slightly greyish in colour, the sunsets from here are spectacular.


The Park of Rimigliano

This long stretch of beach extends alongside the road known locally as “The Princess”, named after the English Princess Margaret for whom the road was constructed in honour of her visit at the turn of the last century. Access to these beaches are via several signed entry points that will bring you through a typical Mediterranean wood of low trees, pines and dunes in just a few minutes on foot. The light coloured sand of this immense stretch of beach is very popular but being of such length it is possible to find ample space even in the high season. In the shaded wood just behind the dunes there are numerous picnic areas as well as a few cafes that offer food. The beach is entirely public however and there are no bathing establishments.


The Gulf of Baratti

Heading south from the Rimigliano beach you will arrive at the stupendous Gulf of Baratti. The particular beauty of this gulf and its beach not only regards the sea, the small port of sailing boats or the restaurants and cafes, rather it’s for the incredible pine trees that grow just behind the beach. These majestic trees have been shaped and sculpted by years and years of wind, there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else. The sand too is unique, it’s dark and full of iron, including small bits of slag left over from the fusion of ore that was done by the Etruscans, now rounded and smoothed by thousands of years of weathering by the sea. In fact, there is an extensive archaeological park only five minutes on foot from the beach that includes many Etruscan burial sites.



One cannot go to Baratti without venturing up to Populonia. In antiquity Populonia was one of the twelve Dodecapoli, centres that comprised the most important cities of Etruria, virtual city-states governed by a Lucumone. Traces of this glorious history are still visible today in the small hamlet that remains, a tiny fraction of what was once a large city and port with upwards of twenty thousand inhabitants. Situated on top of a promontory that dominates the Gulf of Baratti, Populonia soars above the surrounding Mediterranean with views in all directions. In ancient times the city was known as “Fufluna”, named for the Etruscan god of inebriation, later it went by the name of “Pupluna” and then Populonia. Of all the major Etruscan towns it was the only one on the coast. The ancient acropolis can be found in the point that today is between the Poggio del Castello and the Poggio del Telegrafo, towards the south-west point of the Gulf of Baratti. Near what remains of the town of Populonia it’s still possible to see the ancient Etruscan walls as well as what remains of buildings from the Roman epoch. The medieval walls of Populonia are still intact and quite beautiful, as is the castle that was built in the first half of the 15th century as a defence against pirates. Within the walls there are numerous shops and restaurants as well a private museum that contains Etruscan and Roman artefacts found in and around the town and from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea below. Before leaving Populonia and the Gulf of Baratti a visit to the Archaeological Park with its numerous Etruscan graves and Roman ruins, both near the beach and up above close to Populonia, is highly recommended. There is also an impressive Archaeological Museum with many artefacts from the area in the nearby city of Piombino.


The Sterpaia

Heading south from Piombino you will find the Natural Park of the Sterpaia. Along this stretch of coastline there is one long beach that extends all the way to the city of Follonica. The beaches here have a lovely soft, fine sand of a clear light brown colour. Because the depth of the water increases so gradually over many meters this is a great beach for families with small children. There are also several bathing establishments with cafes and restaurants.


Torre Mozza

The beach of the Torre Mozza, an old lookout tower right at waters edge, is the southern point of the long extension of beaches that begins with the Sterpaia. Between these two points there are several other beaches; Mortelliccio, Carbonifera; Perelli and Carlappiano. To accommodate all the people that come from near and far there are many parking lots close to the beaches. Both the cities of San Vincenzo and Piombino received the Blue Flag of Quality for their beaches and seaside parks as well as the services that take care of these facilities since the summer of 2014.

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