PARCO ARCHEOLOGICO DI BARATTI E POPULONIA
Stretching over 80 hectares between the slopes of the promontory of Piombino and the Gulf of Baratti, it is presented as a real open-air museum, glittering with ferrous slag which show the impressiveness of the industrial Etruscan village. The Park includes a significant part of the ancient town of Populonia, a unique Etruscan settlement built directly on the sea, with its necropolises, the calcarenite quarries and the industrial working quarters for iron coming from the hematite deposits on the Island of Elba. The park is spread over various areas of visit which enable the visitor to appreciate the transformation of the scenery over the centuries.
The wooded coast of the promontory overlooks the archipelago: since days of old the dark silhouettes of the islands including Elba and Corsica have constituted the picturesque scenes of a landscape of land and water. Indeed, up until the modern reclamations, the plain extending to the internal of the promontory of Piombino was a series of lakes and lagunas, rich with fish and swamp vegetation.
This was the landscape of the 8th-9th Century B.C., when important houses were built on the Acropolis to accommodate the most ancient aristocracies of Populonia. From these houses there remains faint and picturesque traces on the summit of the acropolis, not distant from the monumental structures of another Populonia, the Roman one which around the 2nd Century B.C. built important temples, thermal spas and sanctuaries right in the heart of the city. A network of itineraries joins up the city of the houses and temples to the industrial city and the necropolises which lie on the first hills surrounding the inlet. As in ancient times, the routes follow the original roads, crossing the woods and the Mediterranean scrub and opening up to unexpected views alternating over the Gulf of Baratti or the open sea and the Island of Elba.
One of these routes leads to another landscape, that of Medieval times. Among the woods of the promontory, the remains of the Benedictine monastery of San Quirico tell of a lost city and a renewed interest for the natural resources and minerals of the region.
PARCO ARCHEOMINERARIO DI SAN SILVESTRO
Situated behind Campiglia Marittima and the promontory of Piombino, it covers 450 hectares, and it contains unique examples of the mining and metallurgical cycle, from the Etruscan era to the present day. The routes for visiting encompass museums, mining tunnels, a Medieval village of miners and foundrymen founded around one thousand years ago (Rocca San Silvestro) and paths of historical, archaeological, geological and naturalistic interest. The Museum of Archaeology and Minerals, located in the Ticket Office building, houses an exhibition of useful minerals and rocks of the Campigliese and the display of some exhibits found during the digs of Rocca San Silvestro. From here the visit to the Park begins: an expert guide accompanies visitors in the Temperino Mine, to the discovery of the evolution of the techniques used for prospecting and extraction of minerals, and the beauty and charm of the underground world. Coming out of the Mine, there is a climb towards the area of the Earl Shaft, where the storyboards of the Museums of the Mining Machinery and the Miners tell the visitor of the last decades of the mining history, up until the mining crisis in 1976. The stories of the miners, captured on a video screened in the Morteo, the former canteen, introduce the visit of the Lanzi-Temperino Tunnel, where aboard a train, the journey of the minerals is retraced, from the mine of the Temperino Valley to the production installations of the Lanzi Valley. The train emerges at the mouth of a limestone quarry, a sign of the first re-conversion of the mining activities and opened by the Mining Company of Campiglia when the closure of the copper and lead mines was inevitable. Alighting from the train, the visitors overlook the installations which, made for the flotation of minerals, were re-converted into installations for the crushing of the limestone. The remains of Rocca San Silvestro, which stand majestically on the background of this valley, represent the heart of the Park.
PARCO COSTIERO DELLA STERPAIA
Here we have a rare and highly-prized humid forest, which was typical of the landscape of the ancient coast of the Maremma. Miraculously surviving deforestation, it was reclaimed by the municipal authority after the unauthorised lotting of the 1970s.
A magical place where the visitor can wander among centuries-old oaks in the company of the small animals that live there, finally reaching the sandy dunes and the sea itself.
The Park stretches along the Livornese Tyrrhenian coast, in the wide gulf between Piombino and Follonica. It occupies an area of about 296 hectares of the territory of the municipal district of Piombino, and is made up of:
17 hectares of beach along 10 Km of coast
124 hectares of dunes and dune hinterland
155 hectares of woodland and areas deforested for cultivation
The coast of the park is presented with a slight crescent shape, relatively deep and gently sloping towards the sea, with fine white sand bound by a narrow dune. Its profile is marked by various towers, whose presence has specific historical reasons. The roads leading to the access of the park and the beaches start from the so-called “geodetic” linking Piombino and Riotorto; an articulated system of car parks enables controlled access to many beaches of the coast.
PARCO COSTIERO DI RIMIGLIANO
A strip of luxuriant green landscape, overlooking the sea, where the Mediterranean vegetation is particularly varied in constituent species, form and colour.
The park extends over beaches and dunes where the bush has been shaped by sea breezes, and on to the shady forest dominated by holm oak and by maritime pine with their characteristic parasol-shaped tops.
The Coastal Park of Rimigliano occupies the most southerly part of the Livorno Municipality territory of San Vincenzo, on the border with the Municipalities of Piombino and Campiglia Marittima.
It covers around 650 hectares between the sea and the Rome-Genoa railway line, and is spilt lengthways from north-west to south-east by the provincial road the Principessa (SP 23), connecting San Vincenzo to Piombino. The road divides the park into 2 areas: on one part (sea side) the wooded coastal strip with its system of dunes and the beach, on the other more extended section of the park, including the farming areas, the former lake area of Rimigliano, the varied wood with prevalently oak species which replaces the preceding pines.
The protected coastal area covers an area of about 150 hectares, along about 6 kilometres of coast of depth varying from 200 to 500 mtrs.
The park enjoys extremely favourable climactic conditions: the presence of the hilly range of Monte Calvi, to the east, protects the coast from the fresh continental winds, whilst the Promontory of Piombino, to the south and the Island of Elba to the west, reduces the strength of the maritime winds. The hot summer is eased by the constant presence of sea breezes.
The beach, characterized by a system of protective dunes, is equipped with showers and public toilets positioned at specific points; it offers the opportunity for a bathing experience completely surrounded by nature, with the vista ranging from the vegetation of the promontory of Piombino, the tangle of shrubs sand-beaten by the wind which hits the beach, and the unmistakable light blue silhouette of the Tuscan archipelago of islands on the horizon.
PARCO NATURALE DI MONTIONI
Covering 7000 hectares between the Valley of Cornia and Pecora, in the range of hills between Massa Marittima and Superato. These hills, of a medium height, are covered by woods, especially Holm-Oak, and represent a landscape of vegetation closely tied to the work of man, in particular to the production of coal and timber.
In the heart of the park, man has left his mark in the remains of the alum quarries and the Napoleonic mining village which was founded by Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, Napoleon's sister.
Also of great interest is the wildlife of the park, for the notable number of hoofed animals running free in the area: wild boar, fallow deer and roe deer.
Within the Park, covering two provinces, occupying the territory of the two bordering provinces, Livorno and Grosseto, there are two natural state reserves: the Marsiliana (440hectares) and Poggio Tre Cancelli (100 hectares).
PARCO FORESTALE DI POGGIO NERI
The Poggio Neri park consists of an extensive hill forest dominated by holm oak and chestnut, and offers many opportunities for open air leisure activities like trekking, excursions on horseback, mushroom picking, chestnut gathering, hunting and bicycle excursions.
To promote the rediscovery of this fascinating area, the park has created well-signed trails for hiking, horse-riding and cycling.
There are rest areas equipped for picnics, and ancient springs have been made accessible for drinking purposes.
The difficult life of the charcoal burners can be experienced through a faithful reconstruction set up near an abandoned chestnut drying barn (The Museum of the Wood).
In addition, a trail has been prepared for use by the disabled to give everyone access to this natural resource.