Follonica

In the province of Grosseto, one of the most popular seaside destinations for tourists and locals is Follonica, thanks to its abundance of services and its beautiful beach.
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Follonica is located in the province of Grosseto, in the centre of the gulf of the same name that runs from Piombino to Punta Ala. It is a town of about 20,000 inhabitants, and is undoubtedly one of the most important holiday destinations in southern Tuscany. Popular with both tourists and inhabitants of the neighbouring provinces, Follonica is a destination for all ages and tastes.

In the past an important iron and steel centre, today Follonica is almost completely dedicated to seaside tourism, thanks to its long beaches and the numerous services it can offer. In addition, Follonica is an excellent base from which to explore the surroundings, from the Maremma to the Grosseto coastline: the exclusive resort of Punta Ala is just over 20 minutes away, while just 10 kilometres to the south is the beach of Cala Violina, one of the most beautiful in Tuscany. Baratti, Populonia and the other important resorts on the Livorno coast are about 30 minutes away by car.

The Beaches of Follonica

The main reason why tourists flock to Follonica are its beaches. There is a long town beach, also popular with locals, while to the north and south the atmosphere is more exclusive; very often the beaches are isolated, and have pine forests, trees or Mediterranean scrub behind them.

City beach

1Viale Italia, 26-29, 58022 Follonica GR, Italy

The particularity of the city beach of Follonica is that it is really built just a stone’s throw from the historic centre. In this area, the Viale Italia, which runs along the entire coast, becomes pedestrianised and serves as a promenade. The beach is mainly equipped, and there are several bathing establishments where it is possible to rent sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as use services such as hot and cold showers, changing rooms, and lifeguards. It is possible to rent pedal boats and take advantage of the bars and restaurants on the seashore, in an atmosphere that best mixes beach life and city life: in fact, behind the beach there are many hotels, shops, ice-cream parlours, bars and restaurants.

Follonica’s city beach is divided in two by the mouth of the canal, which has created a small inlet where the Calaviolina nautical club is located. After crossing it, the beach resumes: here you will discover a particular characteristic, namely that the houses, many of which are rented to tourists during the summer months, face directly onto the sand.

The beaches north of Follonica

North of Follonica there are a series of beaches that are less frequented than the town’s, sometimes even reserved; however, they are also much smaller, so they are still crowded, especially during August weekends.

Beaches south of Follonica

South of Follonica is the beautiful Levante pine forest, one of the city’s main green lungs. Here there are some bathing establishments, but also several stretches of free beach.

Things to do in Follonica

Follonica is primarily a seaside destination, and therefore sights and monuments are of secondary importance in the city’s tourist economy. However, if you want to take a break from the beach and dedicate yourself to culture, here are the most interesting attractions.

San Leopoldo Church

8Piazza Don Ugo Salti, 9, 58022 Follonica GR, Italia

The church of San Leopoldo di Follonica is one of the most characteristic and particular in the city. It was built in 1836 at the behest of Leopold II of Lorraine, based on neoclassical inspiration. Very interesting is the use of cast iron, a material more than unusual in religious buildings, but found here in abundance both outside and inside.

The main entrance is remarkable, flanked by two rows of columns on either side, making it very orignal. Inside, on the other hand, there is a single nave in the shape of a Latin cross with a cross vault. Cast iron is also frequently found here, in the columns of the apse, at the base of the pulpit and in the balustrade of the presbytery.

Among the works to be admired inside the church of San Leopoldo are the marble bust of Raffaele Sivieri, the statue of St. John the Baptist and the Madonna and Child, a cast iron statue also known as the Madonna Ilvania.

ex ILVA Foundries

9Comprensorio ex ILVA, 58022 Follonica GR, Italia

In Follonica, an illustrious witness to the city’s industrial past is the area of the Ilva foundries, known to everyone as the ‘ex-Ilva area’. In fact, Follonica was originally a key junction for the traffic of minerals from the island of Elba, which were processed and transformed here. Leopold II of Lorraine wanted to create a so-called factory town, which is now in disuse since Follonica’s iron and steel activity ceased in 1960; however, it is interesting to visit some representative buildings to get a closer look at the town’s past.

These include the Bottaccio, a water tank dating back to the 16th century, the Cancello Magonale, i.e. the entrance to the area, with an artistic cast-iron portal built in the Neoclassical style, the Condotta houses, which were the lodgings of horse and cattle breeders, a series of small buildings (the Director’s, the Hospital Hospice, the tavern and many others) and, of course, the foundries, one of which now houses the Leopolda Foundry Theatre.

Bandite di Scarlino

The Bandite di Follonica, also known as Bandite di Scarlino, is a protected natural area covering over 8,000 hectares, declared a site of regional interest and divided between the municipalities of Scarlino, Follonica, Castiglione della Pescaia and Gavorrano. Here there are forests of high maturity and an interesting open-cast and tunnel mining system, alum mines that are very interesting from a naturalistic point of view.

Much of the Bandite site is enclosed within the Montioni park, shared between the provinces of Grosseto and Livorno. Inside there is the possibility of observing rare birds such as the short-toed eagle and the grey shrike, which nest in this Mediterranean forest ecosystem that is also rich in flora and fauna.

Within the park, it is possible to undertake excursions on foot or by mountain bike, thanks to a rich network of paths and nature trails. The management of the area is municipal, thanks to a resolution approved by the Region of Tuscany.

Follonica civic art gallery

11Piazza del Popolo, 1/2, 58022 Follonica GR, Italia

For art lovers, Follonica’s civic art gallery is a must-see during a permnance in the city. This building located in Piazza del Popolo houses a collection of contemporary art inaugurated in 1995, which includes works by local artists such as Aviero Bargagli, Giuseppe Linardi and Walter Sabatelli, alongside well-known artists such as Enzo Faraoni, Amedeo Modigliani and Piero Nincheri.

In addition, exhibitions and shows have been organised since the opening of the art gallery, including those dedicated to Amedeo Modigliani, Joan Mirò and the Macchiaioli, as well as arts such as sculpture and photography. The exhibition is spread over two floors: on the ground floor are the temporary exhibitions, while on the upper floor are the permanent exhibitions.

Follonica’s art gallery building is the former casa del popolo, in neoclassical style with Art Nouveau decorations, built during the years of Fascism and originally used to house the casa del fascio.

MAGMA Follonica

12Area Ex-Ilva, 58022 Follonica GR, Italia

The MAGMA (Museum of Cast Iron Arts of MAremma) is one of Follonica’s most popular museums. It is located inside the old Forno San Ferdinando, the oldest building in town, and is dedicated to the Italian iron and steel industry. It is a museum popular with visitors because it tells the story of industrial archaeology in an innovative way, relying on advanced multimedia technology.

The museum is located within the ex-Ilva area, and is open all year round 6 days a week (the closing day is Monday). Opening times vary depending on the season, so check on the official website how and when to plan your visit. The entrance ticket can be purchased directly at the ticket offices. There are reductions for school groups and for various conventions, while it is free for children under 12 and for disabled persons with an accompanying person.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Where to stay in Follonica

Follonica is a tourist resort of almost 20 thousand inhabitants, and therefore the municipal territory is very vast. If you are looking for the best location to stay in the city, you might consider staying close to the centre, as staying here you will have plenty of bars and restaurants, plenty of shopping opportunities, and the chance to take advantage of the city beach.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to sleep in a more secluded position, head north, where you will find hotels a stone’s throw from the sea, immersed in the nature of the Mediterranean maquis, with all the services available. South of Follonica, on the other hand, there are not many places to sleep, just a couple of campsites and a few hotels; this area is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet.

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How to reach Follonica

Follonica is easy to reach from the Tuscan coast as it is located along the SS1 Aurelia state road; the centre is a few kilometres from the Follonica Nord exit. From Pisa, for example, it takes an hour and 25 minutes, while from Livorno it takes an hour and 10 minutes. From Florence, the distance is longer, about 2 hours and 15 minutes: you get there via the Florence-Pisa-Livorno motorway, which crosses the A12 motorway at the Collesalvetti junction. From Rosignano Marittimo you return to the SS1 Aurelia, to be followed as far as Follonica.

Follonica also has a railway station, located along the so-called Ferrovia Tirrenica, which connects Pisa to Rome, passing also through Livorno. For this reason, reaching Follonica by train means first passing through one of these cities. From Florence , for example, the train journey takes between 2 and 3 hours. Once off the train, walk south for less than a kilometre to reach the seafront.

Follonica Weather

What's the weather at Follonica? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Follonica for the next few days.

Friday 31
17°
23°
Saturday 1
15°
23°
Sunday 2
15°
21°
Monday 3
14°
22°
Tuesday 4
15°
23°
Wednesday 5
17°
22°

Where is located Follonica

Follonica is located in the province of Grosseto, along the coastal strip bounded by the promontories of Piombino and Punta Ala. The municipal territory borders with Massa Marittima and Scarlino.

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