Cycling between rocks, sea, thermal baths and nature
The trail is not particularly difficult. For those who are not trained, we recommend the use of an e-bike, breaking the trail into two days divided as follows: the first day from Baratti to Sassetta (51 kilometers) and the second day from Sassetta to Baratti (42,5 kilometers).
The small station of Populonia is the starting point, in the vicinity of Poggio all’Agnello and of the gulf of Baratti and you need to ride your bike for about 20 minutes along the Strada Provinciale delle Caldanelle in the direction of Campiglia Marittima. Once you have gone over the Aurelia overpass, a well-trodden dirt road on the right (about 800 meters) allows you to reach Venturina Terme on minor roads.
Proceeding along the Strada Pricipale della Principessa, you reach the village of Campiglia Marittima nestled on a hill from which it overlooks the sea and the surrounding countryside.
A stop here is recommended, to enjoy a splendid view of the Tuscan Archipelago and the Val di Cornia below. The historic town center is clustered within the city walls, where there are craft stores, museums, taverns, paved alleys and palaces arranged in concentric semicircles.
From the village of Campiglia one descends toward the coast in a north-westerly direction and after 1.5 kilometer along the Strada Proviciale 20 known as "Via di San Vincenzo", one finds on the right the entrance to the San Silvestro Archeo-mineral Park. Continuing on, you reach the Strada Proviciale 39 "Old Aurelia" which bends to the right quickly reaching the village of San Vincenzo with its fine, clear sandy beaches and shady pine forest.
From San Vincenzo it is possible to visit the Rimigliano Nature Park with Mediterranean scrub, oak and pine forests.
Proceeding parallel to the coast for about 14 kilometers, you reach Marina di Castagneto Carducci, famous for its beaches and the amusement park "Il Cavallino Matto."
After a stop at the beaches of Marina di Castagneto, you can depart for Castagneto Carducci, the historic village which developed around the Della Gherardesca Castle, built around the year 1000, is characterized by paved alleys, natural terraces, old stores and many trattorias. The village, which was originally called Castagneto Marittimo, changed its name in the early 20th century in honor of the great poet Giosuè Carducci, who spent part of his life here. The house where Carducci lived can be visited and also houses a museum full of testimonies.
From the village of Castagneto, continue eastward along the Strada Provinciale 329 Passo di Bocca di Valle towards Viale Giovanni Pascoli and then onto the Strada Provinciale dei Quattro Comuni until you reach the village of Sassetta after about 6,7 kilometers. This town is known not only for its hot springs, but also for the woods of the Poggio Neri Forest Park with numerous hiking trails and for its food and wine tradition. Here you can stay overnight and try typical products including "cinghiale alla sassetana" and tasty dishes based on game, mushrooms and polenta. Vegetarians will also be satisfied by the local cuisine with ricotta and vegetable tortelli, mushroom and onion soups, figs in oil, chestnut jam, and cherries with vinsanto (“holy wine”).
Continuing on (on the second day for those who break the trail in two) you leave Sassetta continuing on the Strada Provinciale dei Quattro Comuni until Prata and then climb up towards Suvereto, which you reach after 14 kilometers. This medieval village has been awarded the Touring Club's orange flag , and its walls guard alleys, historic buildings and churches. The village of Suvereto is surrounded by forests of chestnuts and cork trees, hence the name of the town. The Doll Museum is a pleasant stop to discover dolls from every age.
Pedaling for about 7 kilometers, you reach the hamlet of San Lorenzo, also in the municipality of Suvereto, famous for the production of excellent wines. You then pass through the villages of Casalappi and Cafaggio to return toward Venturina Terme for a final stop before the return journey where you can take advantage of the beneficial properties of its thermal baths. History and agriculture enthusiasts will find the Museo della Civiltà del Lavoro (Museum of the Civilization of Labor) interesting, which collects thousands of tools of agricultural, craft and industrial work used over the past two hundred years, particularly in the Val di Cornia. The route ends by passing the Campiglia Marittima station (another point to take advantage of the train+bike mode) and finally reconnecting with the Strada Provinciale delle Caldanelle in the direction of Baratti.
It is possible to use the train + bike mode either starting from the Populonia train station (where the trail begins) or starting from the Campiglia Marittima station through which the route passes.