A Panoramic View over the Tuscan Coast
Castagneto Carducci is one of the most popular towns on the Etruscan Coast.
Perched on a hillside less than 10 km from the sea, the city center of Castagneto has grown around an imposing medieval castle (used nowadays as a setting for events and parties) located on the hilltop.
The city was called "Castagneto Marittima" until the beginning of 1900s when its name was changed to "Castagneto Carducci" in honor of Giosuè Carducci, one of the greatest Italian poets of the XIX century who spent part of his childhood here.
The village today is a peaceful holiday destination, coming alive particularly during the summer.
I have visited Castagneto Carducci many times and I’ve always found it a very welcoming place.
With its small center made of narrow streets, beautiful squares and shops, Castagneto Carducci is a human-size town, perfect as a base for a vacation or for a relaxing evening with friends.
The hamlet is very close to the seaside. In Marina di Castagneto, about 15 minutes by car, you can find both public and private beaches, equipped with beach chairs and umbrellas (with a fee).
What to See
Castagneto Carducci has a nice city center, with several pleasant panoramic viewpoints.
I would recommend it for a relaxing walk through its characteristic streets, stopping to visit some interesting sights.
The ancient home of the poet Giosuè Carducci houses a museum today where visitors can see the rooms where the poet lived and an archive of poems and documents related to him. The Center for Appreciation at the Carducci House is open for tours from Tuesday through Sunday during the summer.
Walking through the city you will certainly come across the imposing Palazzo Comunale, with its dominant position at the beginning of Via Marconi, a long street that makes its way down towards the coast. Today, it houses the city's Town Hall and its offices.
The Church of San Lorenzo (Propositura di San Lorenzo), and the Castle of Castagneto, are both part of the ancient core of the town, although it has undergone several restorations over the centuries.
The nearby Church of the S.S. Crucifix is interesting due to the wooden crufix preserved inside which dates back to the XV century and continues to be object of worship and veneration.
The village of Castagneto is an ideal spot for an evening stroll, maybe after a day spent at the beach, for a drink or a dinner, caressed by a slight sea breeze.
If during the hot summer days the town appears quite empty and silent, you'll find the village comes alive by late afternoon with many tourists and vacationers and has, no doubt, a greater charme.
Where to Eat
Castagneto Carducci, as every tourist destination in general, offers many different places where to eat. Between its typical restaurants, pubs and well-stocked wine bars, you’ll certainly find one that fits your taste perfectly.
I would suggest you consider a couple of restaurants with both traditional Tuscan cuisine and a panoramic view:
- Ristorante Il Vecchio Frantoio (also has pizza) in Via Gramsci, 8
- Belvedere Restaurant in Piazza del Popolo, 23
How to Arrive to Castagneto Carducci
In summer, the Municipality offers a free shuttle service called "In borgo in bus" ("To town by bus"). From the late afternoon and until evening, the bus takes visitors from Marina di Castagneto to Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri and back.
For more information you can contact the Tourist Information Office of Castagneto: 0565 765 032.
The nearest train station is located in the city of Donoratico. Unfortunately, there are no connections to the village of Castagneto Carducci (there is, instead, a bus to Marina di Castagneto, managed by the company public transport ATM www.atm.li.it). From there you can take the bus mentioned above.
By car: Coming from the north, take the SS1 - E80 (Variante Aurelia) to the Donoratico exit. Here, go towards the main road called "Bolgherese" until you reach Castagneto Carducci.
For those coming from the south, the nearest exit is instead "San Vincenzo North". From here, you need to continue towards Donoratico, then take the Old Aurelia to reach the road called Bolgherese and, finally, Castagneto.
Part of the municipality of Castagneto Carducci includes Bolgheri, a stunning village located about 10 km from Castagneto, and one I also strongly recommend you visit when you are in the area - you will fall in love with these charming villages for their tranquillity but most particularly their beauty and history.