Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Why you should visit the Etruscan coast

03.07.2012 No Comments

The Tuscany coastline is often referred to as the “Etruscan coast”  – named for its inhabitants that date back from before the birth of Christ. I have personally spent a lot of time here from when I used to come with my ex-boyfriend and his family who  had a small beach house in the small town in Mazzanta (near Cecina) where we would go several times each year for a much-needed escape from the heat/crowds of Florence, and to gorge on some fantastic seafood.

Where exactly is it?

The Coast of the Etruscans is located in the Province of Livorno and extends over 80 kilometers of sandy beaches, sand dunes, rocks and cliffs beginning from the capital city of Livorno and finishing at the city of Piombino (the port from which you can take a ferry to the islands of Elba or Corsica).

Many of the beaches along this route are blue-flag winners and I love to to hop around and visit different areas since they tend to vary wildly from rocky to sand beaches, windy to calm water.  There’s something for everyone but keep in mind that it helps to have a car and the patience to sit in the sometimes dreaded Fi-Pi-Li traffic.

I am a big fan of the beaches Marina di Bibbona, Mulino a Fuoco and “California“. For a great list of Tuscan spiagge and how to get there by train – check out my list on Italy Magazine.  Also for those who have dogs, here is a list of dog beaches in Italy (Even Fido needs to cool off in this heat).

Welcome to the “spiaggia bianca” or white beach of Vada, fun to look at but probably best avoided since it’s located close to a soap factory…

Note* Many beaches are private bathing establishments where locals rent umbrellas and chairs for the summer season (at high prices) but you can also frequent the many free public beaches in the Mazzanta/Vada area and bring your own umbrella, towels and an inner tube. I am especially partial to those shaped like a doughnut, always and ever the Americana. 

This time we visited the beautiful Castiglioncello, a beautiful pearl of a town that was the height of Italian society during the 50’s and 60’s. The Pasquini Castle overlooks the coast and is surrounded by a beautiful park offering various shady areas to take refuge from the heat.

Keep in mind that August is the month when most Italians vacation (think ferragosto), and the seaside swells with locals and visitors from North Europe during all summer months.

Prices are high, beaches are crowded yet there is general liveliness radiating from the seaside that I really love. Not to mention witnessing entire families in matching velcro sandals (very 1999) and strange “camp-ground” music.

We try to go more during June, July and September but anytime I can get away from work, we will head on over. Also it’s worth noting that the coast is not just about going to the beach, the countryside itself is stunning – imagine fields of sunflowers and rolling hilltops.

During the summer there are normally sagras (food-festivals) and open-air markets open well into the night. Apparently Italian kids have no bedtime, I have been awake at 3am and seen kids running around but that’s ok because nap time during the hottest hours of the day is pretty much mandatory.

From what I have seen, seaside life runs by its own set of rules.

Of course, being the gluttons we are, we had to go out to eat at least once and enjoy some local specialties.

I tend to go for the spaghetti alle vongole verace  (clams) and cozze alla livornese (mussels in a delicious red-sauce) along with a portion of “frittura di pesce” (fried fish).

When I first moved to Italy eating the octopus tentacles kind of freaked me out but now me and t-man actually fight over them. Naturally, that wasn’t enough for me and after dinner I wandered down to the outdoor market to grab a crepe filled with honey & raisins. Simply Delectable

If that hasn’t yet convinced you to get on the latest train or lazzi blue bus to the seaside and order a spritz or glass or rose, you may need to get your head checked. Kidding aside, please bring adequate sunscreen – I saw way too many over-cooked Italians (in white speedos of course) for my liking. I personally prefer to not look the color of “terracotta” but that’s just me. Nothing compares to watching the sunset on the beach with your toes curled in the sand. Perhaps,  you may even forget that you have to work on Monday, a girl can always try.


Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' flat white and laughs with the girls.

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  • Avatar
    Lisa 03.07.2012 at 11:03

    Well that’s inspired me!
    What fantastic sunflowers and that food looks mouthwateringly good! I’m sold!
    Thank you! – lovely blog 🙂


    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 03.07.2012 at 11:40

      Thanks for the kind words! I absolutely love it there… Its the only time I can truly “get away” 🙂

  • Avatar
    Debra Kolkka 03.07.2012 at 12:30

    We have just touched on this area. It looks really interesting. I have only been back from Italy for less than a week and I am already planning my next trip.

  • Avatar
    Amy 04.07.2012 at 9:07

    Have been coming to Baratti for 20 some years and never tire of this area. there ia so much to see and the scenery is the best tuscanybhas to offer..

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi There!

    Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who has called Florence, Italy home for the past 13 years and now you'll find me between Firenze and Zug, Switzerland. Besides the blog, I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. You might have seen my articles in Lonely Planet and a feature on my blog in Forbes. This space is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling, eating and living in Europe with tips for weekend trips. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!


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