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10 March 2011 Caterina Pomini 7403

Florence, from Dawn till Dusk, Travelling between Livorno, Calafuria, Torre Mozza, San Galgano And Siena

This wonderful itinerary can be done in either one, two or three days, depending on how much time you want to spend at each stop. It encompasses some of the best places to visit in Tuscany: Florence, the beautiful town of Livorno, an ancient watch tower overlooking the sea, an amazing beach, an abbey of striking beauty and the historic centre of Siena!

Are you spending your holidays in Tuscany and feel like driving under an early Spring shining sun? If you're using Florence as your base, you can simply select the best Florence car service and get to Livorno by using the FI-PI-LI freeway. Once arrived, you can park your car and take a walk along the Fosso Reale canal, enjoying the streets and little streets around the Fortezza Nuova (New Fortress) situated near the Venezia Nuova neighborhood. Livorno is beautiful and characterized by an old-fashioned "decadent" atmosphere and don't forget that is also one of the most important harbours of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Italy.

After this quick visit, you can jump back in your car and take the coast road (Via del Littorale) in order to reach Calafuria. The Calafuria tower is an ancient lookout point between the district of Antignano and the small town of Quercianella. The coastline here is very jagged and rocky and if in Wintertime this place becomes tinged with evocative and disquieting undertones, in the sunny days of Summer crowds of young boys and girls (from Livorno and outside) come here to relax under the sun and dive into the deep blue sea, under the overhanging rocks.

Leave Calafuria and take SS1 in the direction of Grosseto, pass Rosignano Marittima, Cecina, and San Vincenzo, then take the exit Vignale Riotorto. At the roundabout, take exit 3 and follow on SP21 in the direction of Riotorto; at the second roundabout, take exit 1 and proceed along SP39, therefore turn slightly right onto Camping Pappasole road and continue towards Torre Mozza. Torre Mozza is a very large beach (the masonry tower overlooking the waters is of Saracen origin!) and the sea is very particular here because is characterized by two different depths, due to the presence of an ancient Roman road that emerges from the surface at about ten meters from the coast. This peculiarity creates a “pool-like” effect, moreover, on days the sky is bold, as you lay on the super fine grained sand, you can get a glimpse of the outline of the Island of Elba.

Leave Torre Mozza and look for SS439, follow this road in direction of Siena/Massa Marittima and proceed along SS439, then turn slightly right when you arrive in Pian dei Mucini/SS441. Turn right and remain on SS441, turn right again onto SP58, take the first on your right and finally turn left... You are in San Galgano, the site of an ancient unroofed abbey, the Abbey of the Sword in the Stone! San Galgano deserves surely a visit, beyond its architectural value and historic importance, this Latin cross abbey built according to the Cistercian Rule is undoubtedly the most fascinating and striking in Tuscany. San Galgano is located in the “Val di Merse”, a place where Mother Nature still reigns supreme, an area rich in churches and castles, slightly far from the traditional tourist routes, an enchanted and uncontaminated place that must be absolutely visited while doing a Tuscany tour!

The last stage of the itinerary is the city of Siena. San Galgano is about 50 minutes far from Siena, whatever road you choose you will drive through one of the most peculiar and impressive landscapes of the world, for this reason we recommend that drivers not divert too much their attention from the road! The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site (1995) so you have an embarrassing wealth of options here. Do you feel like relaxing a bit and sitting for a drink or a glass of wine? In this case you can choose one of the little wine bars in Piazza del Campo. Do you prefer to just admire one of the most significant examples of Italian Gothic-Roman Church Architecture? Then visit the Duomo, either called the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.

You can choose to dine in Siena (you can continue walking around the historic lovely centre and stop in a restaurant along the way for a plate of pici with wild-boar sauce) or drive back to Florence along the freeway in order to watch the sun going down from one of the best observation points in the city: Piazzale Michelangelo.

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