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Montepulciano and Sirolo - Gargano

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Prepare yourselves for an intense experience of bright, clean and unaffected beauty. It will take over a corner of your heart and never leave you.

Think of the Etruscan coast through the colourful filter of the intense nature, not only through the warm and pleasant welcome given by the seafolk. Go along the road leaving Livorno, the most friendly town in Tuscany, behind you. Do not worry about the time as it will wait for you.

Let the Aurelia road lead you on, but be careful as the green sea whipped by the wind on the Calafuria cliffs will fill your mind as well as yourClick to enlarge lungs. Youll have to stop to take it all in.

Cliffs and then sand, that is what happens after Castiglioncello. The blinding green takes on the shape of a dense pine wood, an inviting place in the hot summer. As it gets further from the sea it becomes an impenetrable blur of vegetation.

You feel the extreme sense of freedom and lack of pressure from everyday life along this coast.

It does not matter if you choose the dark or light, fine sand, if you prefer the beaches with the best facilities or the clear stretches of sand without a soul to be seen.

Maybe you will decide to go on a trip in the shadows: a walk or trek on horseback through the pine woods from Vada to San Vincenzo.

Other trees abounding here are the tall, candid cypresses, loved not only by Carducci but also the rest of us.

It is highly likely that you will be taken unawares by the rich hinterland.

Its wealth derives from the cultivated land, vineyards, hills, Etruscan remains and the many completely untouched villages.

A place where peace reigns and where the sea nevertheless makes its presence and fragrances felt.

A sense of time standing still. It almost has to be so, as if these places did not know any different, as if they could not be experienced in any other way, where all excesses are alien. Here the outside world is not important, it is of no interest. It seems light years away.

But then again these lands do have a magical presence, the Etruscans, that strong and feared people, who dedicated themselves to trading and the pleasures of life. On this coast they built their only marine city, Populonia, lying on the gulf of Baratti.

The necropolis leaves it to your imagination to recreate the desires and the secrets of thisClick to enlarge mysterious people.

This place offers a great many treasures with absolute and incredible simplicity. They are not overplayed, there are no special effects enhancing them.

But of course, theres simply no need.

This land is just too generous, too much flourishes with no need for encouragement. Making a choice is no problem whatsoever because it is so easy to pluck the fruits of this place. We just need to add the cuisine and were in seventh heaven. Sea dishes such as cacciucco, a fish soup, or dishes from the land such as vegetable soups and wine that has reached excellent heights in this region. All this needs no comment, you just need to sit down and taste it. All you need to do is set off, the Etruscan coast is waiting for you.

Very few places in the world can boast an artistic legacy with contents so deeply rooted in the territory and popular culture as Tuscany.

We invite you to discover this elect land of art and civilisation which today continues to be a sought-after place of residence and source of inspiration for numerous Italian and foreign artists. The countless testimonies of art in Tuscany indeed narrate a story as articulated and complex as it is unique and unrepeatable, starting at the dawn of civilisation and continuing, without solution of continuity, up until present day. For the visitor, a trip to Tuscany at the beginning of the Third Millennium holds much the same fascination that accompanied the travellers on the Grand Tour. The first-time visitor to the lands of Tuscany can not but be amazed by the natural symbiosis between landscape and culture, history and the expressive means of architecture and town-planning, the urban and rural dimension, and its patrimony of art, architecture, monuments and museums. A cradle of Italian civilisation and one of the greatest crucibles of modern European culture, Tuscany is not only tied to the extraordinary elaboration of concepts and the original expression of forms and methods that left their mark in more than two millennia of history: it was itself a forge of an extraordinary artistic production that set pace and means on the continent. We need only recall the universal nature of the Renaissance which, starting in Florence and thanks to the versatility and genius of its extraordinary interpreters, spread and took root throughout Europe. Tuscany as a workshop of artistic experiences, as a place of synthesis and rebirth on a universal level. A synthesis of art in this region begins with the cave dwellings of Cetona, the stele-statues of Lunigiana, the presence of ancient civilisations on Elba Island, and then continues with the Etruscan necropolises with tangible signs of a Roman past, the countless testimonies of the Middle Ages, the flowering of the Gothic, the explosion of the Renaissance, the opulence of the Baroque, the Macchiaioli, the flowery art nouveau style, termed Liberty, finally reaching the expressions and trends of contemporary art.

By: Giulio Detti

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