Populonia, Bolgheri & Montenero
Ancient Etruscan settlement, opened for tourists, the only one located along the coast. Along with Volterra it has been one of the major centres of the Etruscan mining and metallurgic industry.
After gaining political independence, in the V century B.C. Populonia was very strong: Tito Livio (a historian from the Roman period) tells us that in 205 B.C. it supplied Scipione L’Africano with the steel that was necessary for the African Expedition during the 2nd Punic War (219 B.C. – 202 B.C.). In the Medicean period Populonia became a fortress, that still we can admire and walk through.
Renown for being inspiration to famous Italian poet, Giosuè Carducci that moved here in 1839, Bolgheri’s history dates further back in the middle ages when the lord of the lands of Maremma, Gherardo della Gherardesca built it in the strategic position around the Rocca di Gherardo della Gherardesca.
Its fabulous position attracted Florence’s attention and interest and was besieged by it in 1369.
Main interests: Castello di Bolgheri located at the end of the famous “Viale dei Cipressi” (Cypress Boulevard) that unwinds for 4,7 KMs for a total of 2434 cypress trees!
Montenero is located on a hill dominating the sea and the Port of Livorno. It’s fame is due to the renown Sanctuary devoted to “Madonna delle Grazie” (Holy Mother of Mercy). A story tells about a cripple shepherd finding a miraculous image that “asks” him to be taken on the Montenero hill. After hearing the voice, the shepherd did what had been asked and once he reached the top of the hill he found himself healed. Since then (1345), that image has been a source of devotion for many.