follonica

Miami in Tuscany, or at least that's how the Maremmans see Follonica... and they're not wrong to.

The second biggest city in the region, Follonica does mirror Miami with its tall, white buildings, which stretch from the busy city centre right up to the sandy beaches and wild Tyherrinian Sea.

But that's where the comparison ends. Literally living next to the sea has made Follonica's locals an incredibly laid back bunch, unlike their American contemporaries.

Follonica may be a city in terms of its size and numbers, but its locals take it easy.

They've adopted a tropical island attitude to their daily lives, which mostly involves a lot of relaxed walks through the city after lunch and lazing on the beach in the afternoon before returning to work at four.

Unlike Miami, Follonica also has the history to match its enviable seaside view.

Woven around the metalliferous deposits in the nearby hills, Follonica existed thousands of years ago as an ancient Etruscan settlement for those who mined the vast mineral resources and built ovens in the area to work with metals.

Sadly modern Follonica's beauty lies more in its contemporary monuments than what remains of this ancient heritage.

During the 19th century, Follonica's population (previously a grand total of 105) exploded after the Grand Duke Leopoldo II took a special interest in the city and set about commissioning great improvement works including the complete reorganisation of the nearby foundry.

As a result, the splendour of this seaside city isn't old, but, believe me, it's still captivating, especially for those who love neo-classical design.

Sights and museums

Chiesa di San Leopoldo

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In 1836, the first stones of this church were laid, designed by Alessandro Manetti and Charles Reishammer for the Grand Duke Leopold II.

Palazzo Granducale

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Built in 1845, this palazzo was Leopoldo II’s home when he visited Follonica and is a stunning example of the Liberty style favoured by local artisans. 

Piazza al Mare

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The piazza that connects the city with the sea. At its heart is ‘Il Portale del Mistero’ – a white marble statue by Riccardo Grazzi that depicts a symbolic door opening towards the sea.

Cancello ex Ilva

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It may just be a gate, but Cancello ex Ilva is a beautiful example of a Neoclassical style that is found only in Follonica.

Magma museum

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Housed in the Forno San Ferdinando, this museum celebrates the proud millenary tradition that has been in Follonica since the time of the Etruscans.

La Pinacoteca

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A permanent collection of works by Follonichesi painters and other international artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalì and Mario Borgiotti

Events

Carnevale Follonichese

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early February
If you only manage to see one festival during your time in the Maremma, don’t miss this one. More than three decades old, it celebrates everything that makes Carnevale so much fun.

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