Populonia or Populonia Alta (Etruscan: Fufluna or Pupluna; Latin:Populonia) today is a frazione of the comune of Piombino.
Populonia is especially noteworthy for its Etruscan remains, including one of the main necropolis in Italy, discovered by Isidoro Falchi.
Populonia, a long history, peaceful, and cliff top vistas over the sea: a corner of paradise in the heart of the Maremma. You are bound to be captivated by the charm and tranquil air that Populonia exudes from the moment you arrive.
An amazing panoramic road, with views over the Gulf of Baratti and the village itself, links Populonia to the sea, whilst the village’s main road is lined with small, artisan’s shops selling typical products, a restaurant and of course a bar with outside seating where you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
The magnificent Gulf of Baratti has a small tourist harbour, a wonderful black and silver beach (ferrous sand) dunes covered with myrtle and juniper bushes, a century-old pine wood and an Etruscan necropolis.
All this and more is waiting to be discovered in Baratti – restaurants specializing in fish or local cuisine, a beach with bars and all you need for a day’s swimming and sunbathing, the possibility to organise boat trips, scuba diving or sailing lessons, a green play area with benches and public WCs, as well as the chance to visit the archaeological parks.
It is only a 15 minute walk down the age-old road known as the “Romanella” from Populonia to the Gulf of Baratti, but during the summer months, Piombino Town Council run a shuttle bus that departs from the car park just beyond the castle walls.
CASTELLO DI POPULONIA
The element that dominates the complex is still the mighty tower with a rectangular plan that was the primitive medieval keep. The Torrione is built with stones do not perfectly squared with the exception of the corners and is provided with a high scarp, and ends with large merlons, three on the short sides four on the long ones, with double slope, both towards the inside and towards the external form rare to find in the castles Toscani although widespread in those Scaligeri. Around the tower there is the city wall, built in the fifteenth century, with a walkway to the outside protected by a wall interrupted by vertical slits.
GOLFO DI BARATTI
A long sand beach with centuries-old pine trees lying behind it. In the northern part of the gulf the foreshore is quite deep, but this slowly diminishes coming towards the moorings for pleasure craft under the rocky promontory. A peculiarity of the sand in the central and final part of the gulf is that it has taken on a dark brown colour due to the presence of residues from the Etruscan iron-working in the adjoining archaeological area. There is a small bathing establishment with bar, but the greater part is free beach.
BUCA DELLE FATE
Buca delle Fate is a pebble rocky beach which has a peculiar geological structure. Still pristine, it does not offer any facility. It is set in a lovely panoramic spot, at the ent of the promontory of Populonia, below a high rocky coast rich in maquis vegetation. Its strikingly transparent water allow the sight on a beautiful seabed. How to get there: by water or on foot, starting from the “reciso” parking lot on the road to Populonia Alta.
This is a beach on the northern side of the Gulf of Baratti. It may be reached by sea and from the via della Principessa, or by using a pathway along the coast.
MUSEO ETRUSCO DI POPULONIA - COLLEZIONE GASPARRI
The museum, located in a building in the historic center, was opened to the public in 1959, exposing the collection of Curzio Desideri. Subsequently the exhibition was enriched of the finds excavated in the necropolis of Poggio delle Granate and the Necropolis of Baratti.
Funerary objects are exposed, among which include findings of clay ceramics, pottery Corinthian, Etrusco-Corinthian and greek-eastern Attic vases of the classical era, Etruscan pottery, Etruscan red figures and overpainted. Some finds are the result of underwater recoveries.
The Museum and the Castle of Populonia, are currently managed by the Periplo Turism and Culture. Info 0565 1828030
CAPPELLA DI SAN CERBONE
The chapel of San Cerbone is a sacred building is located in the village of Baratti , in the town of Piombino .
It stands in the first place of burial of the holy bishop of Populonia . The chapel is a single room , with a vestibule and a small bell tower , probably built in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century on the site of an older building , which probably come from two interesting fragments of decorated slabs . The first representing a cross within circles and two animals facing , inserted in the bell tower , the other , with a branch of grapes , on the façade , referring to the eighth and ninth century.