The Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia: an open-air museum
Along the Gulf of Baratti, about 30 minutes from Castiglione della Pescaia, there are the remains of a place that can be defined as a true open air museum: it is the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia which includes the remains of the only city the Etruscans built on the sea. Not far from Piombino, Populonia thrived for a long time due to the intense mining and metallurgical activity. From the middle of the VI century B.C. he traded with the Greeks, the Phoenicians and the Gauls; it became a Roman city and between 88 and 78 A.C suffered many damages due to the war between Mario and Silla. The city had a new golden era long afterwards, towards the end of ‘300, when the noble Gherardo Appiano built the quadrangular fortress that survived to our present day.
What to see at the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia
The Park includes several archaeological sites that deserve to be visited. Among these is worth remembering:
Necropolis of san cerbone
Inside you can admire 8 Etruscan monumental tombs including the Great Tomb of the Chariots, with a diameter of almost 30 meters.
Necropolis of the Caves
The visit leads to the underground caverns and tombs dug into the rock.
Acropolis of Populonia
Here lies the heart of the ancient city of Populonia: you can admire ancient dwellings, temples, baths, streets and traces of the foundation of the city.
Monastery of San Quirico
Benedictine monastery hidden in the forests, abandoned at the end of ‘500.
Experimental Archeology Center "Davide Mancini"
Halfway between the Necropolis of San Cerbone and the Necropolis of the Caves, the Center of Experimental Archeology tells the story of the ancient inhabitants of Populolnia and holds ceramic workshops.
How to get to the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia
Take the A12 and exit at San Vincenzo. Continue for about 8 km towards Piombino, take the junction for Baratti-Populonia and continue for about 3 km along the Gulf of Baratti. Follow the signs for Populonia.
Take SS 1 Aurelia and exit at Vignale-Riotorto. Continue for about 10 km towards Piombino, turn right towards San Vincenzo and follow the signs for Baratti-Populonia.