Populonia is the only Etruscan town to be settled on the coastline. Due to intensive metal extraction, it's known from the ancient times. Titus Livy said Populonia supplied with iron the Scipio Africanus campaign, over the second Punic war.
The archaeological park of Baratti and Populonia
The city rised between Piombino promontory and Baratti bay, on the very area where the beautiful archaeological park of Baratti and Populonia stretches away in today's Tuscany. Town's decay matches the civil wars between Marius and Sulla. Actually, the city took Marius side and when he was defeated, it was punished by Sulla.
According to Strabo, the Roman historian who visited Populonia at the end of the I century BC, it was a ruined and decaying city as well as half neglected.
A large part of the Etruscan and Roman settlements can be visited today, includign the calcarenite quarries and the industrial suburbs. The archaeological park has two access points: first one is near Baratti bay, where the necropolis is; second one is near the old town of Upper Populonia, where ruins of ancient acropolis can be found as well.
What you can see
Beautiful itineraries run from the urban center to the industrial area and necropolises of San Cerbone, with tumuli and house-shaped and sarcophagus-shaped tombs dating from VII-VI centuries BC, and finally to the Grottoes, in which you can look at the chamber tombs carved into the rock between IV-III centuries BC. Routes preserve the original paved ground just like it was and run through the woods and Mediterranean forest, giving to visitors unespected glimpses of Baratti bay and island of Elba. One of those heads up through the headlands into the remains of Benedictine monastery of San Quirico.
To the lower side of the park, there's the Center for Archaeological Research, in which parents and children may spend time together during spring and summer week-ends, by working ceramic and stone as craftmen used to do in ancient times.
Imagine Copyright: By it:user:Roberto Zanasi - Own work, Public Domain
Populonia Opening Hours
Scheduling may change at any moment and visiting hours don't stay still the same over the year. It's recommended to visit the web site before planning a tour.
Last admission at least two hours before closing.
Cumulative ticket (Acropolis + Necropolis of grottoes + Necropolis of San Cerbone + Center for Archaeological Research):
full price € 18
reduced € 14
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: VII century BC
SUNSET: II century BC
MANAGEMENT: Livorno Parchi Val di Cornia
REDISCOVERY: XIX century
How to get to Populonia
BY TRAIN and BY BUS
Populonia station is linked with the regional railway service. At Populonia station, you take the local bus line nº 31 to get the Park. Complete timetables here: TIEMME Spa.
Take the freeway Variante Aurelia from Rosignano. Head Civitavecchia and then take the exit at San Vincenzo Nord - Vignale - Ritorto - Venturina.