Of Roman origins, Castiglione della Pescaia might correspond to ancient “Salebru”, the centre cited by Roman itinerary sources. The medieval village developed around the castle on top of the hill, while the modern part developed along the coast. In the 10th century it underwent Pisa's domination, and it was in that period that the first big scarp-based tower was built on the hill top. It is nowadays is a famous and exciting bathing centre on the coast near Grosseto.
The most ancient discoveries about the settlement dating back to the Roman Republic consist of a series of buildings in an area called the Paduline. It used to be swamp areas that started to be drained from the Medici government, during the 16th century, when it became part of the Tuscany Grand Duchy. The walls which used to encircle the city are from the 15th century, when it has been related to the king of Naples and after that passed to the domain of Siena, which has lost all its territories after the long war against Florence, which created the modern despotic State ruled by the Medici family.
At Castiglione della Pescaia, sunk under water but very near the coast, there are rocky sandstone reefs which run parallel to the coast and contain the remnants of ancient iron-processing. In fact, the abundance of the iron scoriae is due to the enormous excavation of iron ore at Elba Island, which dates back from the Punic wars period. These sandstones (San Vincenzo sandstones) are examples of rocks containing documents of human industry literally “in the rock”.
But not only the old and important history makes Castiglione della Pescaia a popular area. The charming old fishermen’s harbor has become a delightful beach town where to spend a great evening, eat well in the many delicious restaurants, and make some shopping too. The beaches are considered some of the best in Tuscany, clean, with the European Blue Flag, well preserved and fully equipped with many establishments for all comfort you can imagine. Along the coast, a pine-wood offers a relieving shadow for the bike’s path.
Among the best beaches you have: “Riva del Sole” - a long sequence of beaches combining private establishments with free-access beaches; “Rocchette”, a charming beach at the extreme North point of the area with a combination of sand and local rocks; and “Punta Ala”, the next edge after Rocchette which encloses the small gulf between Piombino and the Elba Island.
Driving only a few Kilometers to the South there are two more exciting beaches: “Marina di Grosseto” and “Principina a Mare”, with their sandy beaches, limpid water and many equipments where to enjoy it comfortably.
Located in the so called Etruscan coast, there are also many cultural activities close by, making Castiglione della Pescaia an interesting point not only on summer. The main Archaeological Parks are: “Roselle” – it preserves an incredible Etruscan city ruins and Roman ruins including a theater; “Ventulonia” – another ancient Etruscan site near the city; “Populonia” – a gorgeous fortress which preserves a whole Etruscan “Acropolis” below a medieval tower built on the top of the pre-historic site, overlooking the sea. Read more about the Val di Cornia Parks.
For those who look for adventures in contact with nature, it is impossible to miss the “Uccellina” mountains inside the Maremma National Park. Many activities can be organized in the Park, like trekking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
For more information visit Castiglione della Pescaia Official Website.
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