Buca delle Fate Baratti

The Via dei Cavalleggeri. Trekking along the cavalry way to beautiful coves

On the hillside, between the sky and the sea, a trek along the most beautiful inlets of the Piombino promontory, between Cala Moresca and Populonia.


In the extreme south of the province of Livorno the coast becomes mountainous and plunges straight into the sea, offering unique and unrepeatable land- and sea-scapes. This promontory, covered in the intense green tones of the Mediterranean maquis and dotted with colour during the spring flowering, lies in the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea north of the town of Piombino. A coastal oasis of nature and history that has its roots in the Etruscan era, it is also the starting point of the old “Via dei Cavalleggeri” leading to the city of Livorno. The route winds along the hillside overlooking the sea and dates back to the 16th century A.D., when it was planned as a corridor linking the fortified posts guarding the coastline, as part of the strategic defences commissioned by the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici.

Trekking Via dei Cavalleggeri

The Via dei Cavalleggeri derives its name from the cavalrymen-sentinels who kept watch along the route as part of a special military unit that patrolled the coast to defend against attacks from the sea by corsairs, limit smuggling and block the way of infected sailors, thereby preventing the spread of diseases on land. The history linked to the track, which today is an excursion route, dates back even further than the days of the Grand Dukes. Scattered along the route there are several open-air archaeological sites exploring remains from the Etruscan age, including numerous tombs, and intercepting one of the largest and most significant of the Etruscan and Roman cities, Populonia, by the famous Gulf of Baratti.

It goes without saying that the Via dei Cavalleggeri crosses areas of great biodiversity, the habitat of many wild species and where the bare cliffs overlooking the sea alternate with Mediterranean maquis and verdant holm oak woods. The rich vegetation leads to breathtaking views over the cliffs, the sea and the Tuscan archipelago, especially the island of Elba.

Buca delle Fate Baratti

More precisely, the ring itinerary starts from the car park of the lovely inlet, Cala Moresca, in Salivoli and winds along the coast touching the most beautiful coves of the Piombino promontory, including Buca delle Fate. The return is along the footpaths through the shaded woods of holm oaks and leading back to the starting point at the end of a day’s hike of average difficulty, given the distance rather than any technical difficulties. Alternatively, you can walk in the opposite direction starting from the car park in Populonia.

There are many itineraries throughout the Promontory and Etruscan Coast, which can be discovered thanks to an interactive map system.

Route details:

Distance: 18 km.

Uphill altitude difference: 595 metres.

Degree of difficulty: Average


To find out more:

Itineraries of the area on WebApp

Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia

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