Gavorrano, Italy

A collection of honey-hued, terracotta-roofed houses perched atop a rural clifftop: Gavorrano is a picture-perfect Tuscan village of the kind you see in films: all green-shuttered trattorias on winding streets, shaded by olive trees and hanging vines. It’s even easier on the eye than its most famous former resident, the aristocratic beauty Pia de’ Tolomei – she was buried here after her jealous lover ordered her murder in a story so enthralling, it was recorded by Dante in The Divine Comedy. Quite apart from its literary notoriety, Gavorrano has an ancient cultural history that’s worth exploring: visit Chiesa di San Giuliano to see the 14th-century statue of the Madonna and child; the Castel di Pietra (the ruins of a majestic home dating back to 1067); and the thick city walls, which once protected this much-admired town from invaders.

When to go

The weather in Gavorrano is traditionally Italian: baking in the summer months, and pretty chilly once winter sets in. Come here in the Spring – April and May, before the mercury rises – when the surrounding mountains are at their greenest and sightseeing isn’t too sweaty.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Gavorrano is just over an hour’s drive from Pisa International Airport, to which most major airlines run frequent flights.
  • Trains

    Gavorrano train station is small, but trains arrive here from Follonica, Pisa, Livorno and other destinations.
  • Automobiles

    A car will be useful if you plan on exploring the rest of the Grosseto region: hire some wheels at Pisa airport, then take the E80 south to Gavorrano.