Beyond the beach

Campiglia Marittima, historic village streets

There is so much more to discover here in San Vincenzo beside our beautiful beaches. The region’s illustrious history unfolds with each archeological site and town you visit, while the local wineries and restaurants make it a mecca for foodies and wine-lovers from across the world. 

Medieval villages

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Bolgheri

Wine is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Bolgheri and with good reason: its many prestigious wineries earned the town a worldwide fame, one bottle at a time. Wine isn’t the only reason why this small town is famous, however. Giosuè Carducci, an eminent 19th-century poet, grew up here and dedicated a poem to the cypress avenue leading to the village, which is still studied in most Italian schools. In his honor, there is now a statue of the poet’s beloved Grandmother Lucia in the main piazza, as she was buried in the town’s cemetery.

Distances from Santa Cecilia
19 km

Where to park

There are two parking lots: the first one is on the right, just before reaching the twon’s gate, and the second one is in a field at the foot of Bolgheri. Both are a 5-minute walk away from the main street, and they are both metered during the summer.

Where to eat

 Enoteca Tognoni, for a wine tasting, lunch, or dinner or just to buy some of the best local wine bottles. On the Bolgherese road, which connects Bolgheri to Castagneto Carducci, there are three restaurants you can stop at for a delicious dinner: Osteria Magona, Osteria Caccia al Piano, and Osteria del Tasso.

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Campiglia Marittima

Visiting Campiglia is like turning back in tim: narrow alleys, houses with tiny doors and windows, walls made of stone and of course the main piazza where to gather with the neighbors. In August the streets of the village are filled with jugglers, fire-eaters, fairies and magic shows for the Apritiborgo festival. Here, the Rocca di Campiglia, is an ancient fortification that dominates the town, where the dongione building, an ancient cistern and a crenelated wall with a mullioned window still stand and enjoy a magnificent view of Piombino and beyond. In the most modern part of town, there’s the Pieve di San Giovanni, a small church on a panoramic plain. All around the town there’s the Val di Cornia nature reserve, crisscrossed by hiking trails. Not far from the village, the Rocca di San Silvestro is home to an open-air museum where you can visit old mines as well as an archeological site. And whe hunger strikes, stop at Il Gelato di Chiara, to try unique ice cream flavors made with seasonal produce, 100% local. 

Distances from Santa Cecilia
10 km

Where to park

You can park along the road or in the underground parking lot below the Rocca. Remember to always check if, in summer, some parking lots are metered.

Where to eat

To enjoy excellent seafood and vegetarian courses, you can go to Il Canovaccio. Mamanonmama. In the town of Venturina Terme, you’ll find Carnaby Street instead, for pizza, (gluten-free available), as well as a varied menu with meat and fish dishes. 

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Castagneto Carducci

It owes its name to the famous poet Giosuè Carducci, who spent here his childhood. This medieval town developed around the castle of the Della Gherardesca family, which dates back to the year 1000 a.D. and is located on the highest point of the hill. The castle is still a private residence, but some rooms can be toured if you book a visit in advance. Although small, Castagneto abounds with attractions, starting with the home where Giosuè Carducci grew up. The Town Hall is imposing, set on top of a majestic stairway, while the Chruch of the S.S. Crocifisso, is still a pilgrimage destination today, thanks to its magnificent wooden cross from the 15th century. Nearby, there’s another religious site, the 13th- century Church of San Lorenzo, with its bell tower built with the remains of the castle of Donoratico. Don’t forget to walk up to Piazzale Belvedere Eugenio Curiel, where the view opens up to the islands of the archipelago. There are many artisan shops where you can get a keepsake to bring home, like Peperita’s chili peppers, which are famous all over the world among spice-lovers. 

Distances from Santa Cecilia
13 km

Where to park

You can park along the main road that leads to Castagneto and in the parking lot on Viale Giovanni Pascoli, near the sports grounds. Please remember that in Summer you might park there only for an hour at a time, or you might need to pay to park there, so do not leave before checking to avoid costly fines. 

Where to eat

Il Vecchio Frantoio, a restaurant and pizzeria with a panoramic terrace. At Gastronorcineria San Martino you’ll find quality meats. Da Ciro for a Neapolitan pizza or at La Cesarina for a hearty lunch or dinner with a sea view. 

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Piombino

Not everybody knows that Piombino, known for its ferry docks, is well worth a visit. Restaurants and shops open all year round are joined by markets and live music in summer. Piazza Bovio is simply iconic, thanks to its shape that juts out into the sea, almost reaching Elba Island. The Town Hall is located inside the ancient Palazzo dei Priori, built in the 15th century. Next to it stands the Clock Tower, dating back to 1598.  

Climb up the street, to reach the Castle, a cubic fortification once used to defend the town from attacks by sea. 

At the Archaeological Museum, you can find the remains of the archaeological park of Baratti e Populonia, alongside artifacts from the prehistoric to the classical era.  

Distances from Santa Cecilia
30 km

Where to park

There are many paid parking spaces along the road towards Piombino or in the parking lot in via Emilio Salgari.

Where to eat

Try the amazing fried octopus of Mamma Carla, a family-run trattoria, or book at Taverna dei Buoncompagni if you’re after a more refined ambiance. 

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Sassetta

Surrounded by nature, on a hilltop, this small village of hunters and loggers, still lives off its ancient traditions, passed one from one generation to another. The town has a bigger central piazza overlooking the Castle of Sassetta, once owned by feudal lords Orlandi della Sassetta. Legend has it that young Giovanni Orlandi was killed by a sulfur-spitting snake and that was why the animal features in the family crest. Next to the castle, there’s the town with its alleys lined by statues made of local red marble. The sights are wonderful: the woods, green in spring and summer, turn red and orange in autumn and winter. In November, don’t miss the Chestnut Festival, while all year round you can visit the Museum of the Woods in the Nature Reserve of Poggio Neri and the Garden of Sculptures in the foothills of the village, created by sculptor Guido Messer and his wife Ruth Marta. And if you’re looking to relax, stop at the  nearby hot springs at La Cerreta farm.

Distances from Santa Cecilia
20 km

Where to park

Shortly before reaching Sassetta there is a parking lot near a gas station, or there are roadside parking lots near the square at the entrance to the village. Check if you need to pay before leaving the car to avoid hefty fines, especially in Summer. 

Where to eat

Il Castagno is an excellent choice if you like game meat.

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Suvereto

The town’s stone walls hold many treasures  the Town Hall with its clock tower built at the beginning of the 13th century, the Loggia dei Giudici, the 16th-century Crocifisso church, with a 15th-century wooden statue, and the cloister of the Saint Francis monastery, built in 1280. The Rocca Aldobrandesca is a fortification dating back to the 10th century which is well worth a visit. 

This small, but vibrant village, hosts several events and festivals all year round: in November and December there’s the Boar Festival, on New Year’s Eve a great celebration with Calici di Stelle, in September the town turns into a retro fairground. Through the alleys, you’ll find restaurants and artisan shops, such as Diego Daddi who works leather. Just outside the town walls stands the Pieve di San Giusto, dated 923 -924 a.d. If you cherish quiet and peace, stop by the Giardino dei Semplici, where herbal teas, liqueurs, and syrups are produced.  

Distances from Santa Cecilia
19 km

Where to park

 Just outside the town walls, you’ll find two large parking lots where you can leave the car, just check that they’re not metered in summer.

Where to eat

Two fantastic restaurants are worthy a mention: I’ciocio and Dal Cacini

 

Wine Museum in Donoratico

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MuSem

This Wine Museum showcases how wine has been produced over time in this area, with commentary by Prof. Scienza and displays created by set designers from Rome’s film studios. The last part of the tour is a virtual lesson on how to taste wine, which you can then put into practice at the tasting they offer at the end of your visit. 

Distances from Santa Cecilia
8 km

Where to park

Free parking space by the museum entrance.

Where to eat

Osteria San Michele or Trattoria Aurelia, which Tuscan specialties and grilled meat.

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