The undisputed protagonist, here, is the sea. A paradise of cliffs and coves to be enjoyed in relaxation or to meet with fishing, boating, diving.
Among the bathing facilities that surround us, Hotel Miramare has selected three, all within walking distance, where you can enjoy the sea with a discounted rate
• Bagni Ausonia, in the picturesque Baia del Porticciolo, just below the hotel garden
• in the beautiful Baia del Quercetano, the Bagni Roma and Bagni Quercetano
all equipped with restaurant and sports activities, to experience the sea every moment of the day.
But if you are willing to give up a bit of comfort, definitely worth exploring the charming little coves away from the crowds: the Cala della Cianciafera; the rocks of Punta Righini, retreat of Alberto Sordi; the blue waters of Le Forbici, and from there the Baia del Fortullino and Baia di Caracciolo, enclosed as secrets in the reef that extends up to Livorno.
The blue water embraces the green of a pine forest, where you can stroll while tasting an ice cream, maybe wandering through the stands of crafts market on Thursday morning and Sunday evening.
Here you can appreciate the privilege of moving on foot, forgetting the car for a few days. The waterfront is the setting for all activities along the stretch of coast that reaches the Marina Cala De'Medici. On the opposite side, northwards, the cape gathers around the small square, the core of socialite meeting for shopping and evenings among the people. From there you enter the park of the Castello Pasquini, headquarter of the cultural association Armunia, active in the management of events ranging from book launches to the Philosophical Prize.
Drink Well, Eat Well
At sunset the clinking of glasses reminds us that it is time for an aperitif. The socialites will head for a DJ set by Aria Cafè; otherwise we suggest the refined Caffè Ginori, the crowded and central Havana Mambo or the unbeatable 180° panorama of the Caffè DAI-DAI.
Do not forget that we are in Tuscany, where wine and food are a cult: a multitude of restaurants, many of which overlook the sea (like Miramare Restaurant), compete in offering the finest dishes of seafood, doused with wines famous all over the world.
The Hotel Miramare is partnered with five restaurants a short walk away, for you to live the experience of a magnificent dinner at the best price. We refer to:
• Il Cardellino, a waterfront terrace and fine cuisine
• La Capannina, on the path to the sea of our park
• Tennis Club, under the pine trees
• Nonna Isola, with its internationally acclaimed chef Enrico Faccenda
• Meli Melò, the best pizza of the coast.
Castiglioncello has a very rich food and wine offer, among which we cannot help but to mention the Bagni Salvadori, excellent quality/price ratio on the waterfront; La Lucciola, unbeatable seafood in the cove of Porticciolo, warm even in winter; the scenic Porticciolo; the Station Gallery, a true art gallery with the vocation of a brasserie.
Products From Our Land
Let's start with a very original branch: beekeeping. On a hill overlooking Castiglioncello the busy bees fill their hives for the Apicoltura Dr. Pescia, open for tastings and direct sales (not just honey: you will find a natural skincare line and the rare idromele, a drink of ancient origins).
Along the banks of the brook Fortulla, which flows into the Baia del Fortullino described above, the salty air caresses the vineyards and olive groves of the Fortulla farm. It's appropriate to call them wine and oil km. zero!
Not far away, on the outskirts of Vada, the farm Frantoio Il Casone becomes a must for stocking up on good oil and take advantage of the tasting events (maybe a barbeque in the barnyard).
Finally, you cannot come to Castiglioncello and not dedicate at least half a day in Bolgheri and its world-famous wines. A feast for the eyes and the palate: the wine cellar lane runs through the postcard-hills that made Tuscany famous, transforming the tasting journey in a multi-sensory experience.
Sport & Outdoor
In addition to the activities related to the sea mentioned above, in Castiglioncello there are diverse opportunities to stretch one's legs. In Pineta Marradi, a few meters from Hotel Miramare, you find the tennis courts of the historic Tennis Club, active from the early Twentieth century and fashionable meeting point for Sordi, Zeffirelli and Mastroianni. The die-hard football players may refer to Il Ginepraiolo (tennis and soccer). How about a horseback ride among the tamarisk? The Casale del Mare, which hosts the Castiglioncello's Equestrian Event (in June), is for you.
To stay just fit, but also to move easily through the localities of the coast, we recommend renting a bike from RE: Service at the Marina Cala de' Medici in Rosignano. From Castiglioncello you can smoothly cycle up to Rosignano Solvay, the white beaches of Vada (through a cycle track) and even ? given the linear and flat land ? to Marina di Cecina, with its beautiful pine forest parallel to the sea. The most trained will find something to sink their teeth into facing the paths of the surrounding hills, a widely effort paid off by panoramic views, that on clear days range as far as Corsica island.
Why not to keep some days exploring the cities of art and the villages in the backcountry? Many destinations can be reached by train from Castiglioncello Station, a short walk from the Hotel Miramare: Florence, whose main attractions develop in a short distance from Santa Maria Novella Station; or Pisa, where Viale Italia, just outside the station Pisa Centrale, leads to Piazza dei Miracoli and the city museums.
In a half-hour by bus you get to Livorno, with its particular Quartiere Venezia, putting into account, on the way back, a stop for a panoramic drink in Calafuria.
Driving to Piombino you can sail to Elba Island (about 45 min. driving + 40 min. ferry ride), a jewel of the Tuscan archipelago dotted with wonderful beaches.
But other special destinations await you. Bolgheri, a small postcard-village recounted by the verses of the poet Carducci; Populonia, where the Etruscan presence seems not to have ever turned off around the shores of the Golfo di Baratti.
This and much more to discover; we'll give you all the advices you need to make you fall in love with our beautiful region.
Text designed and written by Dr. Ilaria Grandi (www.myeditor.it).
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