A corner of Mediterranean paradise in the middle of the Etruscan Coast.
The Gulf of Baratti
A crescent emerging from Piombino, that separates the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas
In the southern part of this stretch of land known as the Etruscan Coast , we find the enchanting Gulf of Baratti: starting from the cape of Piombino, it extends northwards to form an inlet that has been used since ancient times as a safe harbour and landing point for the exchange of goods.
The Gulf of Baratti in history
A unique landing point from the sea, this inlet became the point where the ancient city of Populonia and nearby towns were established and flourished. In the time when the Etruscans dominated these lands, these very settlements were the era’s biggest producers of mined materials. For centuries the production and processing of iron was the crown jewel and principal source of livelihood for the indigenous peoples, so much so that this even characterised and shaped the local territory. This is where the beach in the Gulf gets its distinctive amber colour – as the dross from the processing of the iron slowly mixed with the sand over time.
Inland from the Gulf of Baratti
This beautiful inlet is surrounded by a dense pine forest featuring the typical vegetation of the Mediterranean maquis and hundreds of maritime pines, whose nooks and crannies jealously conceal the magnificent necropolies of Populonia. Amazing historical artefacts offer a testimony to the ancient customs of a people who are now long gone but live on before our very eyes thanks to beautifully conserved ornaments and tombs.
There are other wonderful places to delight one’s stays: firstly, the small port of Baratti, that is now used to dock small boats, but which soon reveals indelible traces of the far grander port it once was to anyone that dives into its waters. Continuing along the headland of Piombino, we reach the wonderful Buca delle Fate., a cove carved into the rock that is a source of enchanting legends lost in the mists of time.
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