We began our mammoth day a little earlier than usual, so we could fit in all three towns.  The route we took was largely wooded, and so wasn’t as photo-friendly as others.  On our way to Suvereto, though, we tantilisingly passed by Canneto and Monteverdi Marittimo; two other towns on my ‘list’.  However, we couldn’t be detracted from our main objective, and so parked in one of Suvereto’s free areas close to midday. 

I know nothing really of the history of any of these places, save that the first two are topped with fortress ruins, and the last was an old Etruscan area – possibly the main necropolis.  There are tombs dotted about, but we didn’t go to the archaelogical park – we’ll definitely go on a return visit.  So, with that in mind, there won’t be too much narrative, so sit back, scroll and enjoy the pretty.

There are lots of photos in this post!

It turns out Suvereto was bigger than I’d thought.   The exact same thing happened in Campiglia Marittima – the explorable area looked small, but ended up being huge, thanks to the higgledy-piggledy nature of the streets there.  The latter was very impressive: every turn we made induced an “ooh” or “ahh” out of us.  We also had lunch in Campigla Marittima in Ristorante La Tavernetta, and it was a tale of two portion sizes.  Niamh’s was correct (ravioli with ragu), mine was way too big (little gnocchi in a leek and gorgonzola sauce.  I really liked mine at first, but it just got too ‘samey’ halfway through.

The town was gorgeous, though – although it seems to be residential-heavy – only a couple of streets were devoted to shops and eateries.  Every few footsteps brought a new arched stairways, nicely-decorated homes, squiggledy staircases… definitely worth a visit (as is Suvereto, which has more amenities to offer the tourist).

We took so many photos of Campigla Marittima, it was silly.

On to Populonia, which offers a cul-de-sac with an old walled hamlet (less than half the size of Monteriggioni), a marina and a fab looking beach.  In addition, there’s a hidden rocky beach that locals use a lot, and an Etruscan archaeological park, rife with tombs.  First we visited the town.

It’s a nice place, with a couple of artsy-craftsy places and a few restaurants.  We didn’t spend too long here, and so wound our way back down to the marina area.  It has a small beach nearby, and is pretty enough.  In the distance, there’s a much larger beach, with additional facilities.  We visited that too, but briefly – being the only fully-dressed people on a beach full of half-naked people tends to make one feel a little uncomfortable – especially when you’re taking photos!

So now it’s a toss-up between this beach (which is in lovely surroundings), versus Marina di Cecina (which is closer, and has more amenities, but isn’t nearly so pretty).  There are others in the area aswell – Castiglioncello (not too much further than Marina di Cecina, is lovely, has amenities, but requires climbing a lot of steps, and is rather small), and Rosignano Solvay, which offers nice white beaches and amenities, but I’ve never been to.  Of course, possible the queen of beach resorts is Viareggio – where the beaches are overrun, but there are amenities galore… Viaraggio also holds one of the biggest Mardi Gras festivals in Europe, which surprised the heck out of me when I read it.  Plus we’re about 90 minutes from it.

Anyway – back to the photos.

We were dog-tired when we got home, and so just chilled until it was time to go out to dinner in Ristorante Etruria.  It really is a well-decorated place!  The staff and food are good here too.  I had ravioli smothered in a cinta senese (Sienese pork) ragu, followed by grilled swordfish and fries.  Niamh had mussles and some amazing wild boar chops.  They were chargrilled, and tasted wonderfully.  I had serious food envy.  We were too stuffed to have dessert, or even the free limoncelli or grappe they offered us.  Rather than let us go home empty handed, they gave us a half-bottle of Chianti.  We have three of these now!

Nothing was done for the rest of the night.

I got up and walked around the walls again this morning, but this time clockwise.  I worked myself up into another sweaty mess!  There were some lovely cloudscapes on offer, though.

No travel plans today – I might head out and visit a couple of Volterran attractions I haven’t documented here.

A domani!

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