Not only great for the quite soft beaches, but is nestled under Populonia, a spectacular promontory about 70 km south of Livorno; it`s shielded from the sea and calm. With calm seas, on the other hand, Populonia has dozens of tiny inlets that can only be reached by boat. It`s a sun-worshiper`s paradise, and also a diver`s -- you may even find something Etruscan under the waves, because Baratti is where the Etruscans smelted the iron ore they mined on Elba, and their transport ships did occasionally sink.
The tombs of the necropolis of Populonia are located close to the gulf of Baratti, and the powerful cities of Roselle and Vetulonia once overlooked Lake Prile. The ancient Etruscan cities, and the finds and remains scattered around the region are now being safeguarded bu such schemes as the Prco Archeologico-Naturalistico Baratti-Populonia and, in the province of Grosseto, the Parco della Civiltà Etrusca, comprising five separate archaeological areas.
Many of the seaside resorts, from Castiglioncello to the border with Lazio - including San Vincenzo, Follonica, and Gulf of Baratti - are shaded by large umbrella pines. These pinewoods, often planted to replace the original coastal forests of holm oaks and other trees, are part of a landscape that was formed at least two centuries ago by human intervention.
They are now a familiar feature of the Tuscan coast and constitute a natural environment worthy of special protection, not only because they are the habitat of a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the dense Mediterranean undergrowth, but also because they are notable tourist attraction, offering opportunities for delightful walks and cycle rides, or simply shade for bathers on hot sunny days.