American in Italy, expat, italy, life, nature, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

Why you should visit the Gulf of Baratti, Tuscany

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Ah, the art of the ponte – or ‘bridge’ which in Italian refers to taking an extra day off to make a long weekend, a not-so-uncommon occurence in the world of work in Italy. This past June, I had just the opportunity to partake in this most wonderous of Italian traditions during the Festa di San Giovannia Florentine holiday that falls on June 24th. Since I had that Monday off, me and the Frenchy {my very creative nickname for the guy in my life} headed to the Gulf of Baratti, between the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian Seas near Piombino in Tuscany for a few days of rest and relaxation.

This was my first time to this area of Tuscany {besides to take the ferry-boat to Elba} and wow, who knew what I was missing! This coastline is absolutely dreamy. Beautiful nature and pristine beaches, you could say I was pretty impressed. Also because this area is also home to the ancient town of Populonia – a very important Etruscan settlement {dating back to around 900 B.C}  whose remains can be seen at The Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia.

We stayed at a really cute apartment rental, touristic village close to the beach called Poggio all’Agnello which has self-catered apartments (with air-con) for really decent prices. Complete with a restaurant, bar, a rather large pool – it was a great place to call home for a few days even if I had to laugh when they gave us the TV remote control when we checked in. I guess it’s just as important as the keys, eh?

The fact that my phone was having trouble picking up any kind of internet connection actually worked out in my favor because it meant that I truly had to just relax. Which for someone working in the world of social media, doesn’t often get the opportunity to do.

The first night we ate at this very pretty restaurant on the beach {I sadly can’t remember the name} but it was very romantic and slightly mafia-like. Of course when at the beach in Italy – you must order the famous ‘frittura di pesce‘ which of course this hungry girl had to try and can I just say, wow?

 

If that isn’t fried art, I don’t know what is. After that and a bottle of Rose wine, I was pretty much on cloud nine and a half – not to mention that was the night of the famed ‘supermoon’. Seriously for this girl, there is no better way to start off a vacation than a really great meal. The next day we of course headed to the beach {see pics above} to burn ourselves into a Mediterranean crisp. Well not really, I tried to cover myself with as much sunscreen as I could since I wouldn’t like to resemble a wrinkly banana at 29 y/o.

 

The good thing about this area was that while you don’t have to pay to go to the beach like many private bathing clubs on Viareggio and the Italian Riviera, you have the option of renting a lounge chair & umbrella which we did one of the days we were there. I was pretty impressed with how clean the water was and was more than content to frolic in the water like a five-year old, I stopped short of building a sand castle but only because I was tired ;-).

Another reason to love the beach culture in this area of Tuscany are the awesome beach bars. The seaside that I used to frequent was much more family oriented and lacked nighttime activities that weren’t of the ‘creepy carnival’ variety. Here you can wander into the forest and find a bohemian beach bar serving up fresh mojitos and live music while all sorts of people lounge in hammocks or picnic tables. Seriously cool.

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The two places we found, both had ‘Nano’ in their names. One was so much into the woods that we nearly got lost while the other was near the beach at San Vicenzo and had really awesome tagliere {meat and cheese boards} and a great spritz, which is my drink this summer along with a Moscow Mule.

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Needless to say it was a pretty awesome few days that I won’t soon forget. The Gulf of Baratti is now one of my top spots in Tuscany for a beach getaway and I can’t wait to go back, especially for that mojito at Nano Verde.

We drove to Baratti which is obviously the easiest way to get there {takes about an hour and 45 minutes}, but you can take the train to San Vicenzo and then a bus to Piombino.

You can also see Baratti included as my summer tip in the latest issue of The Florentine among other great tips on staying cool this summer. 🙂

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6 Comment

  1. cottagedreams
    16.07.2013 at 10:42

    wow! that looks great…we just got back from Bali and while that is a great beach holiday, the hawkers drive you crazy…we left the main sites and found a quiet villa and a quieter beach but I am thinking my next trip to Italy must include this funky place!!

    1. ggnitaly84
      16.07.2013 at 10:54

      I have always wanted to visit Bali, it seems a bit liek a magical dream. Tuscany is full of great {blue flag} beaches and this is a pretty recent find for me.:-)

  2. Nina Sgriccia
    16.07.2013 at 13:59

    Love this beach. Looks much more casual that the usual ones with lines of lounges and umbrellas. So, can you really order a Moscow Mule in Italy? My summer favorite! Thanks for your interesting and informative articles!
    Nina in Michigan

    1. ggnitaly84
      16.07.2013 at 15:17

      I like that at this beach you at least have the option. We got an umbrella and chairs one of the two days we went to the beach and it ended up just being 10 euros a person for the whole day which was nice and at least this way I wasn’t burnt to a crisp. As for Moscow Mule’s you can find them in Italy, not everywhere but a great cocktail bar usually has it! (not always in the copper cup though ).

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