A holiday place going back to the Ancient Romans, Castiglioncello also acts as a cultural harbor for painters, sculptors and writers, not to mention it’s a magnet for famous people: Luigi Pirandello, Marcello Mastroiani and Vittorio Gasman have all built houses here to get a taste of the “Etruscan coast”
Few people can imagine the sheer beauty of this former Etruscan village that has blossomed through the years into an elite destination for the well-to-do and the famous. Dating back to the days of the Roman Empire, Castiglioncello is one of the best kept secrets of the Italian west coast.
So why do adventurers choose this small town set out on a promontory on the Costa Fiorita, hidden behind the Livorno hills in Tuscany? Is it the pinewoods that cover most of the country side, right down to the rocky beaches? Is it the Tuscan countryside and its old world charm? Or is it the large amount of history embedded in the rocks that form the very foundation of the city? The answer lies in the town itself which is greater than the sum of all its parts.
Travel & Arrival
Since this is a highly developed region in Italy, with lots of cities, you’ll find that travelling to Castiglioncello with your crew is quite easy. The airport in Pisa is 60 km away while Firenze International Airport can be found further inland, 150 km via the A11.
On land, the A12-E80 highway gets within a few kilometers of the town. All you have to do is get off on the SS1 road in order to get to Castiglioncello. The highway goes from north to south along the coast and connects with major cities like Livorno, Pisa, Firenze and La Spezia. travelers coming from European countries need only follow the signs.
Other land routes include buses and trains. Both can be taken from any major Italian city to Livorno and from there on to Castiglioncello.
The harbor in Castiglioncello is not just for show, it’s functional and there are ferryboats docking here from ports all over Sardinia and as far out as Corsica, for those people who like to get a taste of the sea before getting their boat.
Avant & Apres Sail
There is so much to do and see while here, that you’ll probably have problems getting a tan. So many historical names are linked with this Tuscan stretch of land, like the Etruscans, the Medici family, Michelangelo and the list can go on.
Medieval architecture which has been depicted in numerous paintings (the Macchiaioli current was born here) makes up most of the town with its central square. The Pasquini Castle built in 1889 is the main focus for visiting regulars, which today is used to host cultural events and shows. There is also the Pisan tower built in 1304 to help defend the region from pirate attacks.
Etruscan ancient sites can be found all over the region and also numerous national parks aimed at protecting the incredible diversity of the region’s flora and fauna. Other than that, the port and the beaches stretching on either side for kilometers will surely eat up most of any sailor’s time.
After all that sightseeing, you’re bound to have a huge appetite but fret not, you’ve come to the right place. Where better to eat a healthy and delicious meal than in Tuscany? Local specialties include tordelli (ravioli), testaroli (a type of flat bread), panigacci, sgabei (deep-fried pancakes) and chesnut cakes as well as an infinite variation of seafood recipes. These can all be washed down with local wines, out of which, the famous Candia will surely be to the liking of any aficionado.
Events & Actions
Because it has such a long cultural history, the town now hosts numerous artistic festivities. From June to September there are theater and ballet shows put on display, book presentations by famous writers bring in lots of tourists, not just enthusiasts. One of the most famous cultural events is the “Premio Letteraria Castiglioncello”, a literary award show.
Being awarded the blue flag by the European Union, Castiglioncello is a big center for sports, both on water and on land. The town has a marina catering to the needs of regulars when it comes to sailing, fishing, diving or surfing, while on land, there are golf courses, tennis courts and hiking trails through the lush forests to keep you occupied. All in all, a great place to spend a holiday in Italy.
What makes Castiglioncello a unique sailing destination in Italy?Castiglioncello, located on the beautiful Tuscan coast of Italy, offers an exceptional blend of nature, culture, and history. It's famous for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush pine woods. Sailing along this coast, you can also enjoy the view of enchanting cliffs and small coves, which create a picturesque backdrop.
What facilities does the Marina of Castiglioncello provide?The marina in Castiglioncello is well-equipped to cater to the needs of sailors. It offers several services such as water and electricity supply, Wi-Fi, boat maintenance and repair services, fuel station, and waste collection. In addition, there are various shops, restaurants, and other facilities nearby for your convenience.
Are there any famous anchorages near Castiglioncello?The Bay of Quercetano, with its turquoise waters and beautiful beach, is a popular anchorage spot near Castiglioncello. Further down the coast, you will find the charming town of San Vincenzo, which offers an excellent anchorage and marina facilities.
What are some cultural highlights in Castiglioncello?The Castle Pasquini, a 19th-century castle turned cultural center, is a must-visit in Castiglioncello. Also, the town is famous for its association with the Macchiaioli painters, and you can admire some of their artworks at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Castle.
What water activities can be enjoyed around Castiglioncello?Along with sailing, you can enjoy a variety of water sports in Castiglioncello, such as windsurfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The clear waters and diverse marine life make it a great spot for underwater photography.
Can you recommend any local dishes to try when in Castiglioncello?Being a coastal town, Castiglioncello offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Try the 'Cacciucco', a local fish soup, and 'Spaghetti alle vongole' (spaghetti with clams). Don't forget to pair these dishes with a glass of Tuscan wine, such as a Bolgheri or a Vermentino.
Are there any local events or festivals in Castiglioncello that might interest sailors?The 'Taste of the Sea' festival, held in July, is a gastronomic event where you can sample various seafood dishes. Additionally, the 'Castiglioncello Jazz Festival', held in August, offers a variety of jazz music performances in the beautiful setting of the Pasquini Castle park.
Are there any specific rules or customs sailors should be aware of when sailing in and around Castiglioncello?While sailing in Italy, respect the speed limits and keep a safe distance from the coast and swimmers. If you drop anchor in a bay, ensure you don't damage the seafloor and always respect marine life. Before setting sail, check the weather forecast and sea conditions. Italian courtesy and decorum are appreciated in marinas and coastal communities.