Parco archeologico di Baratti e Populonia



Between the slopes of the promontory of Piombino and the Golfo di Baratti lives the history of the great people of Tuscany: the Etruscans. One of their cities, Populonia, is the only one built directly by the sea and, surrounded by a truly unique natural landscape, is a place of great fascination. Here, between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, the main iron making centre of the Mediterranean developed the processing of the iron ore, hematite, of which the nearby island of Elba had an abundant supply.

The Archaeological Park extends from the crystalline sea of the Golfo di Baratti, overlooked by the tombs of the warrior princes, to the Mediterranean maquis which houses the tombs carved into the rock and up to the Acropolis overlooking the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Visiting this area is an almost mystical experience of emotions and imagination coming together where time seems to have stopped and the voices of our ancestors seem to whisper in the sea breeze.

Parco archeologico di Baratti e Populonia Necropoli delle Grotte

The area, which is one of the Val di Cornia Parks, includes a substantial part of the Etruscan and Roman town of Populonia and is divided into two visiting areas that show the transformation of the landscape and the city over the centuries. In the lower part, you can see the two necropolises of the Etruscan phase, the limestone quarries and the industrial districts, where the hematite ore from the deposits of the island of Elba was worked to obtain iron ingots. Visiting the acropolis of Populonia begins in the upper part, with the temples, buildings, mosaics and streets of the Roman phase, the remains of the huts of the first Etruscan settlement and the walls that surrounded the city on the sea facing side.

Parco archeologico di baratti e populonia Acropoli

Not only Etruscan tumuli and Roman temples; the park is also the perfect destination for lovers of outdoor pursuits and trekking. A variety of routes follow the ancient paths and lead through the Mediterranean maquis woodland to the Promontory of Piombino, with wonderful views of the open sea and the Island of Elba. Walking in nature and history, the variety of vegetation can be admired; from the shrubs of the rocky coast to the woods of holm oaks and clearings colonised by herbaceous plants which, in spring, adorn the hillsides with their colourful blooms.

Visits to the archaeological area can be undertaken independently or with an expert guide to experience the journey through the history of this wonderful area. During the summer season, the park is also open in the evening with theatrical and theme tours, shows and other events that transform the visit into an evocative experience. To avoid queuing at the ticket office, tours can be booked and purchased online