Cala Barbiere - or Spiaggia Barbiere as it is also known - isn't normally featured amongst the typical publicity for Punta Ala beaches as it doesn't conform to what most people are searching for when they imagine a Mediterranean beach in a popular and expensive coastal resort.
Its natural rocky shoreline interspersed with patches of with rather dull grey sand probably wouldn't intice many people to choose to book into vacation accommodation here, but therein also lies its attraction for others, including me.
For, even after a couple of years of expensive restoration to help prevent the erosion of this part of the coastline, its natural beauty as a rocky cove and shoreline remains. And, whether by lack of permission or not, it hasn't yet attracted the interest of the Italian sun bed and parasol, bar/restaurants brigade and is designated as a public beach.
It is particularly favoured by night fishermen - which is the reason we were there the evening that these pictures were taken.
We didn't catch anything, but instead ended up fishing for a "finto" (false) fish, as we lost our favourite from the end of our line. Despite waiting a couple of hours for it to be washed ashore and searching... it was to no avail. So, if you happen to visit Cala Barbiere and find a multi-coloured silver fish along the shore, then it is ours!
A note for movie film aficiandos: not many movies have been shot on location in Maremma, but the 1975 Italian comedy "L'anatra all'arancia" - known as the Duck in Orange Sauce and starring Monica Vitti and Ugo Tognazzi, directed by Luciano Salce, was shot on this Maremma beach.
To the left of the cove at the head of the small promontory is the sixteenth century Torre del Barbiere or Torre Hidalgo - photograph at the top of this page.
In the distance across the water, lies the seaside town of Follonica.
Along the coastline to the right lies the distinctive white Torre Civette, and the sweeping long wide sands of Capanna Civinini that join those of Punta Ala.
The apartments and houses at the base of the Mediterean macchia covered hills that reach down to the sea, are those of the start of the Punta Ala holiday accommodation and "balneare" (beach from concession) beach bars and restaurants.
From the main road through Punta Ala follow the sign for "Poggio Barbiere" and then turn into the dead-end road of Via dei Macchiaioli.
Note: by "main road" I don't mean a highway or superstrada! The main drive through Punta Ala is through pine woods home to private and luxury holiday home villas and wild boar. An odd combination you might think, but as most of these private homes are boarded up for the majority of the year, the local wildlife lives here quite undisturbed. If you wonder what the signs along the roadside with the design of a large black boar on them are for, they are to remind you of the legislation that forbids the feeding of "cinghiale" wild boar.
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The small car park just a few feet away from the beach is situated within the pineta at the end of Via dei Macchiaioli and is free. I've marked its location on the Google map above.
On our walk back from the beach in the dark we had the benefit of the light of a nearly full moon, but I would recommend that if you are planning a similar late evening/night time trip that you take a torch with you as there is no street lighting.
I am sure that I heard a boar in the pineta as we left the beach! The pineta and the pathway to the car park are full of fresh evidence of nightly rootings for food. But the wild boar around Punta Ala aren't shy, because even in the well lit area and main thoroughfare areas the results of their night foragings are everywhere: the well manicured turf on the roundabouts in Punta Ala is dug into on many a night! Much, I suspect, to the annoyance of those who tend to this rather exclusive resort. But since when have wild boar given much heed to such niceties? :)
There are no bars, restaurants, "stabilimento balneare" beach facilities or public toilets, so you will need to bring your own supplies.
There nearest bar is situated on the roundabout at the top of the hill - marked on the map. Otherwise, your next options are the bars and restaurants in the port of Punta Ala itself (note that the bathroom facilities down near the beach - Cala Punta Ala - are private for the use of the sailing club members only). Or, those along the main stretch of Punta Ala beach - follow the signs for "zona balneare". In any event, you can't miss them as they occupy the whole length of the stretch of the beach close to town.
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