La Torraccia beach - "spiaggia" - along the Coasta degli Etruschi in Maremma Livornese is another Maremma Tuscany beach you will never have heard of! And although its sands are course and its shore gradient steep making it not the best place for little ones to make fabulous bucket sand castles or paddle and swim, it nonetheless is a great place for long walks that blow the cob webs away and for line fishing.
Its long long stretch of wide sands make for pretty heavy going walking, but fabulous leg muscle exercise!
Walk all the way along the uninterrupted length of these sands to their end at San Vincenzo and you will have covered six kilometres!
If you are visiting during the warmer summer months, as I said the beach has a deep drop to it immediately after the waters edge, so it isn't suitable for small children or youngsters who aren't good swimmers.
But, otherwise, it is a great public beach in Tuscany for spending lazy days together.
Behind the dunes there is mainly Mediterranean macchia (thick scrub plants) with some pineta (pine trees) in places, so finding a shady respite during the height of the day isn't as straighforward as along other Maremma beaches. Best take, as many do, a sun tent as well as a parasol and make a camp on the beach if you are planning to stay for a while.
A pretty Tuscany beach house by the harbour
If you are travelling north along the SP23 Via della Principessa, a short distance after you have passed the turning for the Golfo di Baratti and Populonia, the entrance through the dunes to Torraccia beach is on your left immediately as you pass the end of Piombino Comune sign and see the beginning of San Vincenzo sign.
The car park - which is free - is immediately on your right, in front of the ruin of the medieval tower La Torre Vecchia.
Conversely, if you are travelling south, keep an eye out for the tower as you leave the realms of San Vincenzo territory.
There is a white lined pedestrian crossing marked on the road at the northern end of the car park that takes you to the dune entrance, but be aware that no one takes any notice of it and stops and the speed limit here is 70 kilometres per hour.
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There is a free bus ("bus extraurbano" - a blue one) in the summer evenings from San Vincenzo and back. It operates from the begining of July to the end of August each year, starting at 20:00 and finishing at 01:30. Its route is from Piazza del Sole in San Vincenzo to Piazza Chimera - Paradisino - Eurotourist - Rimigliano - Camping Park Albatros - Parcheggio Torraccia (the beach car park) - Parcheggio Caldanelle and back.
At the southern end of the beach beneath the promontory that separates Torraccia from the Golfo di Baratti, two water canals merge into one and there is tiny harbour with a jetty.
A couple of warnings: There is no guard rail or protection along either side of the canal, so if you climb the rocks from the beach with your little ones, be aware that the moment you arrive at the top you are within a couple of feet at the most of the edge and there is nothing to stop them falling in. I know, I worry too much!
And, the cliffs here and around the promontory at Poggio San Leonardo are susceptible to fracturing and collapse and it is forbidden to walk around that part of the coastline.
The rocks just outside of the harbour - called "Lo Stellino" - are very popular for sub aqua fishing and are where, ten years ago, a white shark took a diver.
Find out more about the medieval watch tower La Torre Vecchia.
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