In the green of the Mediterranean maquis
The Etruscan Coast is the ideal destination for nature lovers, from the crystal-clear sea to the thick vegetation with its scents of pine, juniper, myrtle and mastic. A territory where thick Mediterranean maquis alternates with spaces shaped by man over time, in a harmonious geometry of cultivated fields stretching towards the hinterland. Here, between centuries-old trees and the undergrowth, small villages overlook wide landscapes where time appears to expand towards the horizon on the sea. The soul of nature, which triumphs on the promontory extending towards the Island of Elba just inland from the coast line, is tinged with changing shades of green: woods, parks, oases, reserves and countryside rich in colour, ancient olive groves and essential vines.
Taking one of the many paths leading inland, you follow in the centuries-old footsteps of woodcutters, charcoal burners, poachers and shepherds. Within a context of high environmental value, there is an extensive network of trails that lovers of green tourism can now explore on foot, horseback or by mountain bike. There are many outdoor activities for those who simply want to relax: long walks in the pine forests overlooking the sea where you can practice yoga or break for lunch in one of the picnic areas and you can visit one of the nature reserves or oases, where you can discover the typical plants of the Mediterranean maquis or enjoy bird watching. Nature is the primary essence of this multifaceted landscape, from the coast to the impressive hills and many natural areas, these are the ideal settings for an outdoor holiday in harmony with the environment and at the pace that best suits the individual.
Protected areas, oases and reserves
In the northernmost part of the Etruscan Coast, in the hinterland of Rosignano towards the Pisa hills, the LIPU (Italian Bird Protection League) Lago di Santa Luce Nature Reserve, chosen by numerous species of waterfowl in transit along their migratory routes, is an oasis of peace and biodiversity and welcomes lovers of nature and bird watching.
The stretch of coast that leads from Rosignano Solvay towards Marina di Bibbona is protected by a strip of Mediterranean vegetation of great natural interest, the Tomboli di Cecina Nature Reserve; with one of the most beautiful pine forests in Italy, it is perfect for long walks and sports activities. Just inland, behind the town of Bibbona, is the Macchia della Magona, where trekking and cycling lovers can find a series of paths leading into this densely wooded area.
Rimigliano Park is a protected coastal area that extends between San Vincenzo and Piombino along the sandy coastline protected by a shady forest of holm oaks and domestic pines. Its habitat and climate sheltered from the winds favour the reproduction of the splendid Caretta Caretta turtles.
There are two WWF Oases in the area, the Padule di Bolgheri Wildlife Refuge in the Municipality of Castagneto Carducci and the Orti-Bottagone Padule Nature Reserve in the Municipality of Piombino. Within extremely delicate habitats, visitors on a journey into the animal and plant world can admire dozens of species of water birds.
The Parks of the Val di Cornia
In the southern part of the Etruscan Coast, the Val di Cornia Parks offer multiple experiences in contact with nature, history and archaeology. The parks form an integrated system for enhancing cultural, environmental and tourism use. The history dating back to the Etruscan civilisation can today be experienced through guided tours, experimental and environmental archaeology laboratories, trekking routes, events and much more. There are 2 Archaeological Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 4 Museums, 1 Documentation Centre, in the area of five municipalities in the extreme south of the province of Livorno, facing the island of Elba.
Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia (Piombino)
Archaeological-Mining Park of San Silvestro (Campiglia Marittima)
Parco Naturale di Montioni – Montioni Wildlife Reserve (Suvereto, Piombino, Campiglia Marittima)
Parco Forestale di Poggio Neri – Forest Park of Poggio Neri (Sassetta)
Parco Costiero della Sterpaia – Sterpaia Coastal Park (Piombino)
Archaeological Museum of the Territory of Populonia (Piombino)
Castle and Medieval Ceramics Museum (Piombino)
Rocca Aldobrandesca Museum (Suvereto)
Doll Museum (Suvereto)
Villa Lanzi Documentation Centre (Campiglia Marittima)