With a population of just over 3800, the picturesque town of Castiglioncello is such a delightful place to experience the ‘italian life’ and stay in contact with nature thanks to its cultural and naturalistic heritage. But is it really worth a visit? Certainly.
Located nearby Livorno, Castiglioncello is a village tucked in western Tuscany. With its strategic position next to the seaside, it is considered the most exclusive town on the suggestive Etruscan Coast. Beyond its timeless look, this village offers multiple ways of making your travel unforgettable and relaxing because of its sandy beaches, recurring cultural events and outstanding shows. Moreover, it is easily accessible by driving from Florence, Pisa, and Livorno.
Although small and touristy, Castiglioncello hosts many hidden spots, which will make your vacation unique and full of good times. Read our exclusive guide to find out what to visit, what to do, and how to get to the beautiful Castiglioncello.
Where is Castiglioncello in Italy?
Castiglioncello, formerly known as Castiglione Mondiglio, is a seaside village nestled next to Rosignano Marittimo, the northernmost municipality of the Tuscan Maremma.
It is located just 18 km south of Livorno and it dominates a small but majestic promontory, which is the last offshoot of the Livorno mountains (from the Italian ‘monti livornesi’). Moreover, Castiglioncello is also not too far from Pisa, which sits 46 km to the north. Among big cities, Florence is the most distant with more than 100 km to go through.
The Best 5 Things to Do and See in Castiglioncello
1. The City Center and Main Street
Not to be missed, Castiglioncello’s historic center is an enchanting mix of past and future full of hidden alleys or tortuous roads. Here, you will find many important streets (primarily viale dei Medici, via della Pineta, or via Luigi Russo). Impossible, then, not to admire the enchanting Alberto Sordi shoreline (from italian ‘litorale’) and get lost along paths that embrace the promontory to savor the scents of the sea. Nearby numerous restaurants to taste made in Italy’s delicacies or local shops to buy souvenirs and clothing.
2. Pasquini Castle
Pasquini Castle, the majestic symbol of Castiglioncello, was built at the end of the 19th century under Barone Lazzaro Patrone. Nowadays, you can admire a huge building surrounded by tall pines and holm oaks. Inside, there are elegant rooms decorated in the Coppedè style.
Just in 1980, this castle was sold to the Municipality of Rosignano, whose members contributed to its renovation and now hosts magnificent exhibitions, major conferences, and cultural events.
3. Pineta Marradi
Taking its name from the Tuscan poet Giovanni Marradi, the Pineta is a small corner of paradise overlooking the beautiful sea of the promontory of Castiglioncello. This was one of the Macchiaioli’s favorite places to paint because of its quietness and charm.
Nowadays, here you can find a beautiful view but also many shops, and a path for visitors, where you can spend your time relaxing, sunbathing or walking.
4. Lungomare Alberto Sordi
Overlooking the seaside area, Lungomare Alberto Sordi takes its name from the beloved actor Alberto Sordi. Here, we recommend you take a walk and admire the breathtaking view.
By hiking, from here, you can discover suggestive cliffs, antique rocks, and an immense clear sea. Don’t forget to stop at those dreamy beaches and coves which will lead you to Punta Righini and its natural pools.
5. Enjoy the Beaches
Castiglioncello, known throughout the world for being a seaside area, hosts wonderful beaches: from Baia del Quercetano to little and hidden coves. Moreover, let’s not forget Spiaggia Fortullino (artificial, made of boulders or stones and hardly frequented by tourists), Baia dell’Arancio (protected and clean, it is equipped with a refreshment area and has a pine forest) or Spiaggia I Pungenti (free but with prickly rocks and never too crowded).
Best Hotels To Stay in Castiglioncello
While windy and much crowded (especially during summer), Castiglioncello offers many accommodation options – from luxury hotels to budget-friendly B&B – ideal for any kind of visitors’ necessity. Here’s our updated list of top stays in Castiglioncello.
Rented House Overlooking the Seaside
At Villa Lina you will live a real dream. Deeply appreciated by couples and really close to Garagolo Beach and Caletta Beach, the accommodation offers numerous accommodation options (single or double rooms) with parking and breakfast included. The main character of the scene is the Renaissance-style terrace where you can sunbathe and relax before exploring the city.
Centrally Located Apartments
At Appartamenti fronte mare you will have every comfort. A few minutes from the city center, this accommodation is equipped with a kitchen, bedrooms with TV and a private bathroom but also a wonderful view from its patio and its terrace. We recommend this option especially if you’re coming from Pisa airport because of its nearness to the latter.
Modern Hotel for Families
At Villaggio Mietta you will be able to relax completely. The latter offers rooms with free air-conditioning and a beautiful swimming pool on the outside.
The Best Beaches in Castiglioncello
Among the most appreciated and top-rated beaches of Castiglioncello, we recommend Spiaggia di Libera Crepatura. It is located in the northern area of the Marina Cala dè Medici port. This beach is quite unique because it has an irregular shape and follows the flow of the coast.
Much more relaxing is Spiaggia Caletta. It has a semicircular shape and is made of sand and little pebbles. Located in the center of the town, it is much more crowded on weekends but it looks perfect for families who want to enjoy their trip with music, people, and fun.
Castiglioncello and The Cinema
Due to its beauty and its iconic sea, Castiglioncello was (throughout the 60s) a meeting point for directors and actors. Some of these, indeed, spent their holidays in the town, still little known at the time. Among these VIPs, it’s fundamental quoting: Alberto Sordi, Vittorio Gassman, and Ugo Tognazzi.
Il Sorpasso and Other Movies
Il Sorpasso (1962) is a famous movie, set also in Castiglioncello, with Vittorio Gassman. He plays the role of a Roman daredevil, traveling with a conscientious student. Here, the actor (next to other celebrities) goes up to the Tuscan coast and shows the bourgeois life of the Tyrrhenian coast. Produced by Dino Risi and Mario Cecchi Gori, it is still remembered as a classic in Italian cinema.
This town was the setting for many other films, like: Desideri d’estate (1964), La prima cosa bella (2009), La balia (1999).
Macchiaioli – The School of Castiglioncello
The so-called ‘School of Castiglioncello’ was mostly active around the mid-19th century. It was a significantly important institution that gave its name to the group of artists known as Macchiaioli. According to historical experts, the Tuscan critic Diego Martinelli left Florence (after his father’s death) and reached Castiglioncello, where he was joined by Michele Tedesco and Telemaco Signorini to paint portraits and works in the ‘macchia‘ (“spot”) style.
The dense vegetation, the beauty of the Archipelago Islands, and the atmosphere were a source of inspiration for these painters. Surely, a famous 19th-century school that still presents (in many exhibits) the paintings depicting the wonderful landscapes of Castiglioncello.
How To Get To Castiglioncello?
Located just about 1.20 hours from Florence and strictly close to the Tyrrhenian coast, Castiglioncello is a must-see destination for your next trip thanks to its proximity to the metropolitan Pisa, Siena, and Livorno. Getting there, indeed, is never too uncomfortable. You will be able to use both public transportation and rental cars. Once arrived, an astonishing landscape will light your eyes.
By car, from Florence, you can easily drive to Castiglioncello by following the SCG FI-PI-LI road and by taking the Vicarello exit. After that, you must go towards A1 highway and follow directions to Rosignano Marittimo. From Livorno, on the other hand, you can drive through the SS1 Aurelia (principal road) for about 20 minutes. We also recommend you go to Castiglioncello by flying to Rome or Florence and then by taking a train.
Castiglioncello is, surely, a well-based town for those who are planning to visit nearby places (both culturally and relaxation oriented) like: Rosignano Marittimo, Livorno and the breathtaking Etruscan Coast.
Often underrated and used as a ‘transit point’ to more popular places, Livorno is a gem of Tuscany and it boasts a major port linking it to many major cities. It hosts marvels belonging to different eras: from Terrazza Mascagni (built after World War II) to Piazza della Repubblica, to Fortezza Vecchia/Fortezza Nuova.
Characterized by the presence of a crystalline sea, green hills and an important wildlife heritage, the Etruscan Coast includes rural and secret villages ready to satisfy any visitor’s needs. Impossible, then, not to mention towns like Piombino, Bolgheri, Cecina or Castagneto Carducci or maritime areas like Golfo di Baratti, Val di Cornia beaches, or San Vincenzo beaches.
Rosignano Marittimo is such a historically relevant and medieval village, appreciated for its closeness to the shoreline and for its warm people. Located nearby Livorno, it is considered the perfect place for culture and traditions enthusiasts. Here, you will be able to visit bewildering spots: from Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista e Sant’Ilario to Torre dell’Orologio, to wide beaches (Spiaggia Lillatro, Spiaggia di Vada or Spiaggia Pietrabianca).