The Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia
Populonia was an ancient Etruscan settlement, originally named Fufluna or Pupluna, and was the only city built on the coast. It was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan Dodecapolis, the main city-states within Etruria which were governed by a Lucumo.
It owed its splendour to its advantageous geographical location which, as far back as the Bronze Age, made it an important crossroads for trade in the central Tyrrhenian and a magnet for the fusion of influences from the rest of the Mediterranean.
In the sixth century BC it enjoyed its period of greatest prosperity boasting many thousands of inhabitants, an acropolis, a necropolis, and several port and industrial localities situated near the marina.
Perfect for a cultural holiday in an unspoiled natural environment stretching from the forest to the sea and within easy reach of tourist facilities and beaches, the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia – located between the slopes of the Piombino promontory and the Gulf of Baratti – offers two touring routes that enable visitors to understand how the landscape has evolved over the centuries.
The lower route takes in the two necropoleis, the quarries and the industrial localities of the Etruscan era, while the upper route offers the possibility to visit the acropolis, with the remains of huts dating from the first Etruscan settlement, and then to ascend to the peak of the promontory for spectacular views of the ancient city walls, the northern coastline, and the island of Elba.
The wooded coast of the promontory turns towards the archipelago, the dark outlines of which have, since ancient times, provided the stage for a sublime landscape fusing earth and water.
Continuing further you can admire the buildings, mosaics and streets of Populonia’s Roman era. An easy route, embellished by breathtaking panoramic views, allows travellers to visit the Acropolis independently, admiring the remains of important Roman temples that once overlooked a large square in the heart of the city.