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Maremma drive to Massa Marittima

  • Follonica is a cheap-and-cheerful summer resort, often dubbed the Miami of Tuscany. That said, it makes a handy base for visiting the hilly hinterland, including Massa Marittima, the loveliest town in the area. A thirty-minute drive north-east deposits you close to Massa’s spectacular Piazza Garibaldi, one of the finest squares in Tuscany.  Medieval Massa prospered from copper and silver mines exploited since Etruscan times. Despite its decline after the mines failed, the town has preserved its gorgeous medieval core, gracious palaces and authentic regional restaurants.

    From here it’s a fifty-minute drive back to the coast at Castiglione della Pescaia. With its medieval citadel and cobbled streets, this charming resort is not a hidden secret but still makes an appealing base. Its wine shops remind you that some of Tuscany’s best wines are made nearby. Time can stand still when lunch unfolds over a wild boar stew and a bottle of Bolgheri red wine.

    From here, it’s a twenty-five-minute drive west to Punta Ala. The resort occupies one of the most prestigious promontories in Tuscany, rivalled only by Monte Argentario further south. With its sleek yachts in the marina, Punta Ala is as secluded and cosseted as anywhere on the coast. Its appeal lies in the sense of privacy and luxury. It feels like a life bound by glades of pines, racing yachts and private tennis clubs. Chic restaurants sit in the shadow of ancient watchtowers. Shaded by palms and umbrella pines, you have little to do but ponder the next seafood lunch or watch the spinnakers of yachts in the straits between the promontory and Elba. From here, it’s a twenty-minute drive along the coast, back to Follonica.

    Address: Massa Marittima tourist office, via Todini 5, 58024 Massa Marittima & T: 0566 906554

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