Campiglia Marittima, Tuscany, Italy.

The shops in Italy in general open at 8:30 AM and close at lunch time (12:30) and then re-open at 4:30 PM. This tradition is followed fairly closely in Campiglia. Within the walls of this little village you will find two small general grocery stores, one in the main piazza called Pantani’s (though it has no sign on it) and the other one in Via Roma near the gelato shop. Though neither of these shops has the huge variety of goods that can be found at the larger grocery stores in nearby Venturina, they are good for the little things that will get you through the day. They also cost a bit more.

There are also two green grocers; one in Via Roma in front of the Piazza del Mercato (who also has great local sheep cheeses) and the other one in Piazza Garibaldi next to the bank. Both of these stores sell mainly local produce, the one in Piazza Garibaldi sells mostly their own produce picked fresh every morning. They also sell their own olive oil and have farm fresh eggs too.

There are two bakeries that sell bread and baked goods that they produce. It’s mostly typical white Tuscan unsalted bread though they both offer some different varieties. Panificio Billi is in Via Magenta which is a small side street, the bakery however is practically in Via Roma, the main street that crosses Campiglia from north to south. The other bakery is in Via Cavour, the street that enters the village from above. Pantani’s grocer also sells local bread.

Campiglia’s only butcher shop is in Via Cavour, they are 5th generation butchers located in the same place. They offer everything an Italian butcher should as well as many products they make themselves such as prosciutto, guanciale and pancetta. An experience. There is a computer store in Campiglia in Via Roma, called Micromega. Mostly they do repairs but have accessories as well as laptops and other types of computers.

The chemists shop is called Farmacia Gabrielli and is also in Via Roma, right next to the church. Phone number is 0565-838124. They are open from 8:30 to 12:30 in the morning and from 3:30 to 7:30 in the afternoon.

Bars & Restaurants * large bars have free WIFI

In Campiglia there are numerous cafes or bars as they are also known. Two are right in the main square, Piazza della Republica, and are “Bar la Panca” and “Bacco Bar.” They serve all the typical café fare of Italian cafes as well as light lunches, with really nice sandwiches and salads. Bacco Bar also has excellent gelato. The other cafes are Bar Nesci right near the local police station (Carabinieri) and just outside the sea-side gate of the village there is the fourth café. There is also an excellent pastry shop that also serves café to compliment their tasty pastries, “Margerita”, which is also the name of the proprietor. In the main square there is a shop that makes really good pizza by the slice as well as take-away pizza.

There are several restaurants as well. In Piazza Martiri di Via Fano there is the best pizzeria in the village called “Il Pozzo Lungo” which also has covered outside seating. They have a wood fired oven, the sign of serious pizza. Besides pizza they also offer a full restaurant menu. They open at 6:00 PM and remain open until midnight. Phone: 339-645-9750.

In Via Vecchio Asilo there is “Il Canovaccio” arguably Campiglia’s best restaurant. As well as a very refined interior they also have outside seating. In the summer months reservations are required, phone is 335-780-9878 or 0656-838449. Their prices reflect their quality.

Just off the main square is an unique place called “Il Gocetto” with a very interesting interior as well as four outside tables. They are known for their platters of fine cheeses and cold cuts and their rather impressive offering of Tuscan wines. Via Gori 2B 328-024-4043

In the main square, Piazza della Republica there is “La Tavernetta” which has indoor seating as well as a large outside area right on the piazza. They offer traditional Tuscan dishes. Open from 12:30 to 2:00 and then from 7:00 to 11:00. Phone is 0565-838853

In Piazza Garibaldi next to the church there is “La Merenda” which is open for both lunch and dinner. Run by a local family, they offer traditional Italian cooking. No phone.

Right next to the western gate in Via Roma, 2 is “57021 Food & Wine.” Also run by a local family, they have a varied menu that offers seasonal dishes prepared by their excellent chef, Cinzia. 0565-838519

Just outside the seaside gate is Campiglia’s oldest trattoria, “Pizzica” which celebrated its 50th year of service a few years back. They also have the most panoramic dinning room in the entire area. Their kitchen prepares traditional Italian fare. 6:30 PM to midnight. 0565-838383

Not 50 meters away from the above establishment there is “Il Sesto Senso Gourmet” that is literally a hole in the wall but that has outdoor seating. Specializing in local fish and other seasonal dishes, they are quite popular. Reservations are good. 0565-838766.

What would a day in Italy be without excellent gelato? Luckily Campiglia now has its own artisanal gelato. “Gelato di Chiara” in Via Roma. Try it, you’ll become a daily customer.

The Mediterranean Sea

Not far at all from the walls of Campiglia is the Mediterranean Sea, and what beaches there are here! One of the best is to be found at the Gulf of Baratti, truly a stunningly beautiful beach. As it is a gulf, the currents are apparently different from the beaches both north and south of Baratti, which are the typical long beaches that stretch along the coastline for many kilometres. There are no sudden drop offs in the sea floor that can be found at other beaches, no tricky currents nor even many jelly-fish.

Baratti not withstanding, there are wonderful beaches both north and south of it that have more commercial bathing establishments, more restaurants and cafes etc. There’s the beach of Rimigliano and the beach of the Costa Est.

Perched above the gulf of Baratti on a promontory is small village called Popolonia. Nowadays it’s a shadow of what it once was during its period Etruscan grandeur. There is a medieval castle that can be visited as well as a small private museum with some interesting artefacts, including the mummified remains of a slave buried in his chains on the beach of Baratti. There is also a large exhibit connected to the Archaeological Park of the Val di Corina that has a museum and Etruscan tombs that can be visited with a guide. Learn more at this link: www.parchivaldicornia.it

The Archaeological Park of the Val di Cornia also has three highly interesting places to visit in and around Campiglia itself. Of course you’ll be able to see the Rocca from just about anywhere in Campiglia but you can also visit it. Also, only a few kilometres from the village there are two other sites, The Rocca di San Silvestro and the underground mine of Monte Calvi. Both visits require a guide that can be arranged for.

Piombino

Piombino has a very nice museum that can be visited in about 2 hours. It is part of the Archaeological Park of the Val di Cornia and has some highly interesting pieces that make it worth the effort of getting there.

Despite its rusting steel mill, Piombino is far more than an old factory town. It retains its medieval town centre and has one of Italy’s more interesting public squares, Piazza Bovio, that juts out into the sea affording a stunning view of the island of Elba. There are also many good restaurants in the immediate vicinity. There is regular bus service to Piombino from Campiglia.