We’re taking a tour around Italy’s seaside borghi (historic villages) this summer, destinations where you can enjoy leisurely days at the beach followed by explorations of the art, history and food of the area. Last week we explored some of Calabria’s seaside villages, this week we’re heading to beautiful Tuscany, which is not normally thought of as a summer spot, and yet, it boasts pretty stretches of coastline, beaches and seaside resorts.
Forte dei Marmi
If you love some glitz with your beach vacation, visit Forte dei Marmi, a small town that attracts tourists from all over Europe, thanks to its beautiful beach, its elegant villas surrounded by a pine forest, and the impressive view over the Apuan Alps.
A charming hamlet lapped by beautiful waters, Giglio Porto is located on Giglio Island, off the coast of Tuscany, in the province of Grosseto, one of seven islands part of Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Don’t miss the Tower del Saraceno, built in the Middle Ages and restructured by Cosimo I de’ Medici in the late 16th century.
Already inhabited in Etruscan times, Castiglioncello stands on a promontory overlooking the Ligurian Sea, surrounded by a pine forest, with cliffs, sheltered bays, sandy beaches, and coves. The Medici had a watch tower built here in the 17th century.
On the stretch of coast known as ‘Costa degli Etruschi’ (Etruscans’ Coast), south of Livorno, San Vincenzo has a long sandy beach and is considered one of Tuscany’s cleanest beach resorts.
Also on the Etruscan coast, Campiglia Marittima lies on a hill overlooking the sea and the countryside. It features a medieval castle, Pieve di San Giovanni, which is a splendid example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture. The historic center is still enclosed by walls.
Porto Santo Stefano
Colorful Porto Santo Stefano is a pretty seaside village popular for summer holiday since the time of Imperial Rome. Located in southern Tuscany in the heart of Maremma, it is a fishing village and popular for sailing.
On Elba island, the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago, Portoferraio was founded by Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1548. Many of its buildings are positioned on the slopes of a tiny hill bordered on three sides by the sea.
An ancient Etruscan port, Piombino is good base for exploring the beautiful islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. The Rivellino, the main gate built in 1447, is the oldest monument in town, which also features a castle built under Cosimo I de’ Medici.
Porto Ercole is located on the eastern side of the Monte Argentario promontory, near Porto Santo Stefano, both part of the Costa d’Argento (Silver Coast). It is a small village with beautiful sea views, beaches and ancient fortresses, famous for sailing.