One of the most favourite seaside locations for accommodations in Tuscany, is the Costa degli Etruschi, the Etruscan Coast.
Costa degli Etruschi means a succession of splendid resorts which stretches from Livorno to Piombino including Castiglioncello, Quercianella, Rosignano, Vada, Cecina, Bibbona, Marina di Castagneto and San Vincenzo. Along the coastline or in the surroundings of the villages, just a few km from the sea, one can find many holiday homes on the Costa degli Etruschi. The people living in this area, thanks to the tourism development, have in fact renovated their old houses, conferring a historical and striking touch on the region, above all increasing the number of typical Tuscan apartments.
The crystal clear sea of this region, shading from emerald green to deepest blue for over 90 uninterrupted kilometres, has been awarded with the European Union's Blue Flag.
Beaches of pale sand, like those at San Vincenzo and Baratti, alternate with the darker sands of Marina di Castagneto, Bibbona and Cecina, and wind-sculpted rocky shores.
Well-equipped marinas provide plenty of opportunities for yachting. The Costa degli Etruschi comprises parks, protected areas, nature oasis and fauna reserves, where nature is not a simple setting but the very essence of the land, rich in colours and scents. Worth a mention are the Bolgheri Oasis, the first WWF wildlife refuge in Italy, the Magona Park, the Livorno Hills Park, the Orti-Bottagone WWF nature reserve and the Sterpaia and Montioni nature parks.
Such natural background perfectly matches with the Etruscan settlements of the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia or the San Silvestro Archaeo-mineral Park at Venturina, a real open-air museum where organized routes allow visitors to follow the various stages of metalworking in Etruscan and medieval times.
History lives on in the medieval towns and villages of Bolgheri, Populonia, Castagneto Carducci, Bibbona, Suvereto and Campiglia Marittima, small gems set among green hills and woods, a stone's throw from the sea.
Livorno, the main city of the Costa degli Etruschi, was designed in the 16th century by the Medici as an "ideal town" and still preserves remnants of its past, such as the historical "Venice" quarter, the Fortresses, and the navigable surrounding canals.
The gastronomic specialities of the Costa degli Etruschi are known all over the world for their richness and variety.
Fish is the main ingredient of hundreds of delicious recipes, the famous cacciucco (fish stew), the black rice with squid ink, just to mention a few.
Inland, dishes feature meat, such as beef from the prized "Chianina" breed.
The excellent olive oil plays here a main role, together with the great, rightly world-renowned wines Sassicaia and Ornellaia.