The Terrain

The Costa degli Etruschi

Where the land meets the sea, I am the Etruscan Coast. A part of Tuscany lying amid golden beaches and green hills dotted with ancient villages with their winding lanes. My seascape, with its spectacular waters populated by flora and fauna, are waiting to be explored below the surface. Along the coast, turtles come from far and wide to lay their eggs and sportsmen meet to surf the waves or sail in the company of whales and dolphins.

My perfect outline is shaped by dunes and sandy isthmuses and marked by cliffs and headlands, sheltered bays, coves and ports. To inspire the imagination, thick pine forests along the coast merge with the green of the Mediterranean maquis, in a journey flanking cultivated fields, rows of vines, centuries-old olive trees and cypresses.

Small, medieval villages nestle inland. Enclosed by walls, in stone-paved alleys and squares, time stands still, marked only by the sound of footsteps, the toll of bells or the bustle around the little shops offering traditional wares.

Born under the sign of wellbeing, the therapeutic properties of my thermal spring waters have been recognised for centuries, first by the Etruscans and later by the Romans. Immersed in untainted nature, amidst steam, heat and silent landscapes, I offer body and spirit moments of relaxation.

In the 9th century BC, the Etruscan civilisation chose me for their only coastal city, Populonia, and I jealously guard its traces in an open-air museum: from the acropolis, to the temples, to the lower city, to the port, every step is a journey into the memory of this great people. In addition to history, I have a wealth of art and culture. I have seen the birth of and nurtured the great talent of musicians like Mascagni and painters like Modigliani, as well as the recognition of the Macchiaioli movement.

My culinary art reflects my character: decisive, genuine, creative. I use simple products between tradition and innovation. I offer sea flavours, with dishes such as cacciucco, briao tuna or bonito and earthy flavours, with game such as wild boar in dolce forte or stewed venison. Of the many sensory paths leading to my soul, one is truly divine: the 150 km Strada del Vino e dell’Olio Costa degli Etruschi, through high quality olive groves and vineyards, including Bolgheri, home to the world-renowned Sassicaia.

Encounters with local people leave their mark on the minds of those who visit, discover and experience me through the stories of the elderly near a fountain, in the peeling frescoes of the rupestrian churches, in the scent of freshly baked bread, in the rosemary and sage in the gardens, in the silver of the olive trees and in the gold of the crops that colour the countryside and in the red of the grapes that are transformed into delicious nectars. Colours, scents and flavours of the past blend with the present on a journey through the soul, to be kept forever in the heart.