Piombino is an important harbor of Tuscany: from there departs the ferries to Elba, Sardinia and to other destinations. The city center is almost unknown, but it’s really beautiful and deserves to be visited. Here the major sightseeings.
The city of Botticelli’s Venus and Leonardo’s Walls
The city of Piombino has always been a harbor, where many illustrious figures stopped over the centuries like Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Bonaparte, who nicknamed the town “My little Paris” in the 19th century. During the 15th century lived in Piombino Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, the nymph of the Renaissance. Legend has it that she was the most beautiful woman of her time, who inspired Botticelli for his worldwide famous Venus.
In Piombino stopped also the great inventor Leonardo da Vinci, who was called to Piombino by Jacopo IV Appiani in 1504 to reinforce the city’s defensive system. In his manuscripts, you find many writings and sketches about his work in Piombino, that nowadays you still admire in part of the defensive walls of the Cittadella.
What to see in Piombino
The oldest monument in town is the Torrione, the old and large tower at the very beginning of the city center, dating back to 1221, while the massive walls around it, known as the Rivellino, were built later in 1447. Walking through the main street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, full of shops, bars, and restaurants you reach the stunning and unique Piazza Bovio: this large terrace offers a 360° panoramic view over the Tuscan archipelago, the islands of Elba, Giglio, and Capraia. The piazza is famous among the Youngs for romantic kissing at night looking at the stars reflecting onto the sea. Underneath Piazza Bovio, there is the public beach, but locals don’t recommend it.
On top of the hill, there is the Cittadella, a city into the city built during the Renaissance by Jacopo Appiani, governor of the city, where you admire part of the definsive walls desgined by Leonardo da Vinci. I recommend you visit the Archaeological Museum that preserves all the findings coming from the archaeologica sites around and the Anfora di Baratti: a large silver amphora finely decorated with more than 130 medallions linked to the worship of goddess Cybele. At the bottom of the Cittadella, there are the Fonti di Marina, i.e. the fountains of the old harbor, dating back to 1248 and probably an early artwork by Nicola Pisano. The fountain is also called “Fonti delle serpi in amore” – the Fountain of the snakes in love – because of the two snakes sculpted on the side and the several legends about their meaning.
Weekly market – every Wednesday there is the weekly market, right in the city center; it’s a very large and colorful market;
Don’t swim next to Piazza Bovio – locals don’t recommend to take a bath at the beach next to Piazza Bovio;
Follow @visitpiombino on Instagram – the best local account to see what’s around Piombino 365 days per year.
Take a bath at the Ex-Macelli – locals go to the little and rocky beach underneath the Ex-Macelli to take a bath with the city;
Look for streetart – in the city center there are several beautiful murals. The most iconic is just above Piazza Bovio in Via del Giardino;
Eat at Osteria Mamma Carla – typical osteria with fresh fish coming directly from the port few meters far.
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