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Medieval Villages - A jump in the past

The MEDIEVAL VILLAGES, set on the hills and rich in a thousand-year history, paved tiny streets, small churches, towered palaces, parishes and castles that bring an ancient time back to life.

At their feet…the sea, the soul of the Etruscan Coast lives in the history of this land, in its landscapes, colours the sunsets and fills the air with its fragrant scent.

The sea is alive and vital, populated by a rare flora and fauna. Its beaches enter the pinewoods and the groves of linden trees and tamarisks, whose perfumes spread and blend with the salty taste of the sea. The Mediterranean “macchia” with its characteristic tomboli that move further to the shore almost merging with the crystal sea.



The village is hemmed in by the ruins of its ancient perimeter fence; trace of its medieval past are still evident both in flagging and rustic houses.

The perimeter fence shows the antique towers, among them the “Guardiola” tower from which it is possible to enjoy the gorgeous panorama on the Cecina Valley.

Montescudaio is part of the and features its own DOC which includes the municipalities of the Cecina Valley except of Volterra. In 1968 starts  the Wine Festival (first weekend of October) and in 1977 the wine obtains the DOC with two varieties: a red one with Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Malvasia etc… and a white one with Trebbiano, Malvasia and Vermentino that can be produced also as Vin Santo, Secco (=dry), Semisecco (=demi-sec) or Dolce (=sweet).

More than this Montescudaio is also City of Bread, the typical Tuscan bread, not salty and baked in wood stoves.


In the first years of the XX Century were discovered some graves dated 3000-2000 b.C. (Eneolithic Age) containing axes, copper daggers and arrowheads which demonstrate how the land was already populated during prehistoric times. The rests are stored in the Guarnacci Museum, in Volterra.

The toponym Guardistallo is attested for the first time in 1144 and comes from the Germanic words “warda” (guard) and “stall” (site) with the possible meaning of “place of guard”.

The strategic position, between the sea and the green hills, makes Guardistallo an ideal place for a holiday of relax on the seaside or for a full immersion in the beautiful countryside.

The land is particularly appreciated for olive oil which the Sagra della Crogiantina is dedicated to and where you can taste the olive oil on bread. Guardistallo is also the city of the thousand Crèches, set up all around the ancient village during Christmas holidays.


Casale rises on the top of a hill that dominates the Valley of Cecina. The sea is only 12km far and from the coast the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are clearly visible. Around the village, and between it and the sea, a rich tilled countryside produces cereals, olive oil, honey and a fine wine: the DOC Montescudaio.

The village is part of the Wine Road Coast of the Etruscans, that narrates a land characterized by Etrurian and Roman rests, medieval villages, wooded hills, cultivated fields, landscapes that marry the green of the vegetation with the blue of the sea, and by a huge offer of natural and savoury typical foods.

In the nearby recent excavations brought to the light the rests of an Etrurian site dated VII Century b.C. and the necropolis of Casa Nocera, a burial complex made for the warrior princes.

In Casale, born around the year 1000, the old town is almost undamaged and this can be noticed thanks to stone buildings, the Castel and the circular structure of the perimeter fences.



Set on a hill that dominates the sea and the haven of Livorno, is one of the most famous places of Tuscany due to its Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna of the Grace.

It is said that a cripple shepherd, around the year 1345, founded a miraculous picture that asked him to lead it on the mount of Montenero. Once he heard this voice and he reached the top of the mountain the cripple found himself healed. Since then that picture of the Madonna never stopped to be source of devotion and faith; the Sanctuary is a destination for pilgrimage and visits for a great number of people. A wonderful panorama on the surrounding lands is just breathtaking. The rock of Meloria, memorable for the betrayal of the Count Ugolino(1284) and for the Battle between Genova and Pisa, the Valley of Livorno and Pisa. Southern the Island Elba, the Corsica and Sardinia: beautiful sunsets.

According to the ancient legends the name “Montenero” is due to its site, bristle with dark vegetation.


Suspended between the White Beaches, the cliffs cut by the wind, the medieval burgs, bays, creeks and hills of Mediterranean Macchia, <>Castiglioncello is the pearl of the Etruscan Coast, an enchanted place rediscovered during the centuries, even after the Etrurians, by Romans, nobles from Florence in the Middle-Ages, poets like D’Annunzio and great movie directors and actors.

The 50’s and 60’s saw Castiglioncello as the main character in foreground during the renovation of social life and customs in Italy; important movies of our history were born here.

Castiglioncello is now more than before art, culture and show business, the Festival of Castiglioncello
lasts for the whole year.

The Coast of Etruscans, Castiglioncello, a place, a space where life can still allow itself to proceed slower than
anywhere else.

Castelnuovo Gabbro Nibbiaia

Small villages rich in tradition and history with overlook on cork woods, chestnut forests and the Mediterranean Macchia from where you can find small paths that lead through the countryside to Livorno and the sea.

Castelnuovo ancient Roman military stronghold, provides a small Castle of the XIII Century and an evocative church of the seventeenth-century.

Gabbro>, often portrayed in the works of the Painter Silvestro Lega (Macchiaioli),
traces its line back to the Etrurian-Roman times and has monuments of great interest. Apart from the church, where you can find paintings of the ‘400, you should see the nice Manor Villas and, along the path at the border of the wood, a shrine and an ancient fountain of 1600.

From the small city of Nibbiaia you can admire an enchanting panorama on the sea, countryside and woods.

Rosignano Marittimo

On a beautiful green hill, this historical village is characterized by a Castle built around the year 1100 and fortified during the first half of 1500. Evocative and well preserved are the great towers, the wonderful cistern and the church dedicated to S. Ilario.

Along the small paved streets and in the squares of the Castle you will find a “Living Crèche” at Christmas times. The view that you can enjoy from the < Park of Poggetti, in the shadow of the Maritime Pines and Mediterranean Macchia,runs along the Coast, from Castiglioncello to the Gulf of Baratti.Nature trails and lanes in the green make you discover suggestive traces of the past like the washhouse at Fonte of Poggetti and the WindMill. Along the village interesting events rich in history and folklore take place, like those dealing with wine and food and all the typical products of the region.



Surrounded by a natural environment of rare beauty, Bibbona has the charm of the ancient medieval village immersed in the deep green of woods and countryside and preserves the architectonical structure of the fortress.

In the historical centre much of our interest goes to the Pieve of S. Ilario (XI Century) a nice parish in the unusual form of a trapezium.

The story narrates that Bibbona was one of the strongest castles of Maremma, encircled with towered perimeter fences and defended by a deep moat. This is how it appears, with its small streets and the typical implant of the Middle-Age.

Bibbona is a privileged place for a cycling holiday both in mountain bike or city bike. Here is where was born and lives the champion Paolo Bettini and where the “Gran Fondo Costa degli Etruschi” takes place.


Immortal thanks to the poem of Giosuè Carducci “Davanti a San Guido” : <I cipressi che a Bolgheri alti e schietti van da San Guido in duplice filar…> this ancient village emanates a unique allure.

Just two steps far from the see, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, the village, with its flawless architectural balance, is characterized by a red brick castle, stone buildings and paved streets from where you can enjoy beautiful golden sunsets.

Artisan shops, wine shops (enoteche), osterie and noted restaurants offer typical products of the gastronomic tradition of this land, accompanied by the gorgeous wines of the DOC Bolgheri.


This ancient village on a beautiful hill develops around the Castle of  Gherardesca (1000) . The burg is paved and has natural terraces with view on the sea and the countryside, and nice squares. In the town hall you can find the Museum of Giosuè Carducci.

Between Castagneto and its Marina there’s Donoratico, lively locality rich in commercial and artisan activities, noted for the construction of pleasure crafts and boats. The ruins of the Donoratico Tower dominate a large part of the Tyrrhenian littoral; surrounded by the remains of the two perimeter fences that were enclosing it, the tower is what remains of theCastle Della Gherardesca, built by the Count Donoratico.


Sassetta, tiny and nice historical burg of the Etruscan Coast and ancient medieval castle, preserves traces of its past like the Palace of the Family Ramirez from Montalvo.

In the green of the forests, rich in trekking itineraries and paths organized for beautiful promenades by bike or by horse, there are farms that propose their typical products, tasty and genuine dishes accompanied with great wines of the Coast of Etruscans that characterize the local eno-gastronomy promoted during the festivals of autumn.

The village is one of the most important producers of “Radica”, the wood necessary for the realization of pipes.


Beautiful medieval village, whose origins are set before the year 1000. The village encloses, inside the ancient perimeter fences, small paved streets, stone houses, historical building, evocative churches and shady cloisters.

In order to keep the ancient tradition of Suvereto, the works of the woods, the countryside and the artisan are still very important: coalmen, cork artisans, carpenters, blacksmiths, chair menders and bakers; this rich tradition of artisan work expresses itself especially in the manufacturing of iron and woods.

A perimeter fence, in form of a pentagon spaced out by 8 donjons, hedges the gorgeous old town of Suvereto. The stronghold (the “Rocca”), in the past garrison house of the castle, rises on the hill that dominates the village.


Campiglia is one of the most lovely historic burgs of the Coast of Etruscans.

In this land of age-old traditions, in the heart of the Cornia valley, you can find suggestive proofs of civilizations like Etrurians, Romans and the Middle Ages. .The Fusing Ovens of the Fucinaia valley (VII-VIII century b.C) and the Archeo-Mining park of San Silvestro, splendid open air museum, narrate the fascinating history of metal manufacturing during the Etrurians and the following centuries.

The Wine Road Coast of Etruscans snakes through the olive trees, the vineyards and the Mediterranean Macchia, cradle of the fine DOC Val di Cornia, where you can find farms producing an excellent local extra virgin olive oil and savoury typical products.

The historic centre lies inside the perimeter fence. In the nearby the Mining Park of San Silvestro extends for more than 45 kmq on the hills between Campiglia and San Vincenzo. The fortified burg was built during the X Century under the government of the Gherardesca Counts.


In Baratti and Populonia we find very important traces of Etrurians and Romans. In the Archaeological Park (80 hectares of extension) history and archaeology live in a beautiful and uncontaminated landscape.

The burg of Populonia, surrounded by perimeter fences built to protect from pirates and dominated by the stronghold (first half of the XV Century) is characterized by paved narrow streets, small shops and a private museum of Etruscan and Roman finds discovered in the area and in the sea.

Leaning out towards the sea, on a promontory in front of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, rich in history and protected natural environments, Piombino is one of the places you should discover the charm and beauty.


Inhabited in age-old time, later Etruscan and roman settlement, today San Vincenzo is a modern and efficient city.

The coastal Tower is the most ancient building of San Vincenzo, was built from Pisa in 1307; for centuries it has been the sentinel of a maritime frontier that had to be protected against the Saracens incursions. Near the Tower took place the struggling battle between Pisa and Florence on 17th August 1505; the result ratified the definitive terrestrial supremacy of Florence on this land.

The Tower of San Vincenzo is base of the new counsel room of the town hall, the tourist information office and multimedia show floors.

San Carlo (in the municipality of San Vincenzo) whose origins go back to the Palaeolithic period, is base of important mineral deposits. One of the most particular attractions of San Carlo are the “Buche Carsiche” , shafts and natural caves formed in the Mesozoic period, used in the past also for mining.



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Hotel Marinetta
Via dei Cavalleggeri Nord 3,
57020 Marina di Bibbona (Livorno), Italy

Latitude: 43.24659
Longitude: 10.53009

Tel: +39.0586 600598
Fax: +39.0586.600186
E-mail: booking@hotelmarinetta.it
Via dei Cavalleggeri 2,
57020 Marina di Bibbona (LI), Italy
VAT 00429100498
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