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DIRECTLY ON THE SEA IN FRONT OF THE ISLAND OF ELBA
An original historical Villa
This Villa, an ex-mill with a stronghold structure dating from 1800's, is set on the cliff right on the seafront in a dominant position on the promontory of the the Bay of Salivoli, just a short distance from the tourist port.
Converted into seaside villa in the early 1900's by a renowned Florentine architect following the classic methods of Tuscan architecture, it consists of a main building of three levels plus an attic room and a depandance for a total of approximately 600 sqm. The villa has a five thousand sqm park which is very well maintained. From here you descend straight to private beach where there is a garage for a boat and a small quay.
Originally, the lower floor which is a few meters from the waters edge, was destined for the accommodation of guests and for the household staff; the main floor, enriched with coffered and vaulted ceilings opens onto the garden, it provides ample space for receptions and dinners. The first floor is reached by an important staicase of marble and wood and is the private residence with bedrooms and personal studios.
The current owners thanks to the versatility of the floor plan, have been able to divide the house into two apartments while fully maintaining the harmony and the characteristic value of all, without altering the origins of this aristocratic mansion.
The entrance is on the ground floor where there is a beautiful marble staircase leading to the first floor, from here you get to a lounge with a fireplace, a dining room, a hallway, a spacious kitchen, another parlor and a bedroom with a bathroom. On the first floor there is a lounge with a fireplace, a dining room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen. From the kitchen via a wooden staircase you go up in the attic which was originally a small study.
The lower floor houses a kitchen, a dining room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
In the dependance there is a nice living - dining room with beautiful window overlooking the sea, a kitchenette, a bedroom and a bathroom. Both buildings have scenic solarium terraces. A beautiful swimming pool with solarium helps you to unwind on hot summer days and when there are clear skies you can admire the Tuscan Archipelago.
The area in which this villa is situated is rich in freshwater and the property has a well which is used for watering the garden.
The Tuscany that overlooks the sea at Piombino, Baratti and St. Vincenzo goes into hiding, almost chaste, in the metal-bearing hills that are the gateway to a much more beautiful, interesting and "picturesque" Tuscany, a Tuscany that is so beloved by a certain Anglo-Saxon culture. We are in the middle of the Etruscan coast, where areas of outstanding environmental integrity and isolation manage to live in harmony with intensely populated areas. And so the sense of harmony in the Val di Cornia is not only the curve of a hillside with the shade of a cypress, but a wealth of vigorous varieties in continuous transformation where differences coexist, with all due respect and blessing to purists and fundamentalists. In this diversity, emerge outstanding excellences and unmissable sights. A square among the finest in the world? Piazza Bovio in Piombino, literally in the middle of the sea. A path suspended between the sky and the sea? The one between Cala Moresca and Populonia. The most beautiful maritime pines in Tuscany? At Baratti. The most sought after road by cyclists? From Sassetta to Suvereto (downhill) or vice versa, a triumph of curves and countercurves. The Acropolis closest to heaven? Populonia. The Middle Ages that talk through the whistling of the wind? In the Fortress of San Silvestro. The Etruscan civilization in our hands? In the Center of Experimental Archaeology at Baratti.
The key to understanding of this region passes through a system of parks where both nature and the origins of mankind are protectected. The Parks of the Val di Cornia in fact, in addition to the solitude of white sandy beaches, pine forests and oak woods beaten by the south-western and scented by the sea, offer archaeological, industrial and mining trails which narrate the stories of men who have inhabited this region since about 788 AC. From the Etruscans to the steel smelting furnaces of today, much of the life of these places is marked by iron which for better or for worse is the track which man followed through the ages.
The promontory of Piombino, Montioni and the Poggi Neri in Sassetta are the lungs that tell the tale of the integrity and pureness of heart of this land; Rimigliano and Sterpaia are the rendez vous between the sea and the land, the wind and the waves contiunously designing the sand dunes and blowing salt and iodine on the Mediterranean shrubs.
The San Silvestro Archaeological Park is an open air archive that stretches for 450 hectares in the Val di Cornia behind Campiglia Marittima and is an excellent example of integration between nature and highly invasive activities such as the extraction and processing of minerals. This area is indeed the unbroken link between human settlement and mining resources.
The Val di Cornia recounts in realtime the decline of the industrial age and the conversion to a growing awareness for environmental values. In 1905 the second blast furnace lit in Italy was that of Piombino, after the first one in1902 on the island of Elba. The steelworks in Piombino marked the twentieth century, it was a ransom for thousands of people at that time bound to rural life. For decades young people had dreamed of the factory which they now flee.
Today, the steel mills are almost totally controlled by the multinational Russian Severstal, the steel post-Soviet giant, but everyone looks at it like a giant condemned to death: the seven thousand workers of yesterday are now two thousand and every night they go to sleep with the nightmare of layoffs. This black smoking ghost is the legacy of the history of this land and has also been the realistic film set for "La Bella Vita" by the Leghorn born director, Paolo Virzi, as it has been for his most recent "Io e Napoleon".
"The Beautiful Life" emphasizes the traumatic turn of the century when anthropological, cultura and social malaise in the metal-workers sphere, by now without identity, unchains new impulses towards change through which man rediscovers the potentialities of a region that offers dreams of a balanced life where it possible to live of off local resources.
The recent nomination of the Italian Val di Cornia parks, at the first edition of the Landscape Award 2009 organized by the Council of Europe is no coincidence.
The industrial twilight goes hand in hand with the abandoning of intensive cutivation and the conversion into of a higher quality of life. Some guys with high hopes and strong values from the 60's and 70's have, with passion, hard work and enthusiasm, realized in the Val di Cornia what seemed only dream. Vilma and Daniel with their children are proof that you can live biodynamically producing wine, olive oil and honey. Daniel is the man who whispers softly to the horses and the he is the prince of beehives, among queen bees and worker bees. This is the story of "La Cerreta", one of the farms that bear testimony to the authenticity of the Val di Cornia. At the gates of Campiglia Marittima, Jacopo Banti's family produces olive oil and a very good "Peccato" DOC, while in Fiorentina, between Baratti and Piombino, Daniele Rocchi produces, always in the DOC Val di Cornia "All Saints" a noble and valuable "Rivellino". The Palamita Tunafish at San Vincenzo deserves a special mention, it is a close tunafish relative with a very refined taste and texture: it's most important witness is the famous Paul Orazzini. Try the roast of bonito.
Instead in the center of Campiglia, Margherita Piazza is the mother of simple and good Campigliese cakes which are made with flour, eggs, lard and pine nuts. These are just some of this territory's excellences that appear simply and without any artefices.
The promontory of Piombino is the destination beyond time. On clear days it seems that you can touch Elba and to jump over the sharp profiles of Corsica, this is an open door on the Mediterranean. From Cala Moresca to the Populonia Acropolis, passing through "La Buca Delle Fate", the 2500 years that separate us from the Etruscan civilization turn into mere centimeters. You walk only a few steps from the "Buche delle Fate" and the Etruscan hypogean tombs which accompany the trail towards the coast. In fact, the magic name was given to these "mysterious holes" by lumberjacks and loggers who lived and worked during the last century in this area: they thought that the cavities were nocturnal abodes of supernatural beings, apparently benign. It is just a twenty minute walk "with the fairies" to reach the Tuscan Finis Terrae. There is plenty of time to think and look around. Virzi is right, life here is just beautiful.