With extreme weather affecting our daily lives in the city, our team share their favourite cooler spots in Tuscany.
We’re fans of crystal clear water and sand that’s neither too fine nor too dark. Onda Blu in Carbonifera (southern Tuscany) is our beach bathing establishment of choice, especially on off-season weekends or for the occasional midweek escape. There’s umbrella service and bathrooms in the pinewood, but no pumping music or water aerobics in sight. The bar/restaurant next door has raised prices this year, but still remains good quality.
Besides the sentimental place Castiglioncello has in my heart, its beautiful clear blue water is enough to swoop anyone off their feet. Only 90 minutes from Florence and you can be spending your day at one of many magnificent (rocky) beaches, scoping out the markets or admiring the quaint town.
Tonfano, near Marina di Pietrasanta, is my preferred place in Tuscany with its stunning sunsets, fabulous aperitivos and where I’ve celebrated some of my best birthdays.
I like to change beaches, but Pianetti is one that I always go back to. It’s a long public beach from Donoratico heading down the coast to San Vincenzo. To get to the sea, you have to walk for at least ten minutes through the pinewood before the pathway opens up on the estuary of a little river before heading south a few hundred metres to escape the high-season crowds.
Monte Secchieta stands 1,450 metres above sea level and it’s only an hour and ten minutes due east of Florence. When it feels like there’s no escape from the wall-to-wall summer heat, Il Rifugio di Secchieta (closed on Mondays, open Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm and Saturdays + Sundays 8am to 9pm) can provide you with the blessed night-time relief of cool mountain air (as low as 14 degrees!), a coffee granita and homemade cakes. Popular with bikers.