Populonia was the only ancient Etruscan city situated on the sea. 


It was also the biggest centre on the Mediterranean specialized in the smelting of iron from ore extracted on the nearby Island of Elba. It is situated on the top of a hill, with the sea all around.


The walls which are of medieval origin were built for defence against the Barbary pirates. Additional fortifications were built in the first half of the 15th century by Iacopo Appiani II and restored in 1800. 


Within the walls there is a quaint little village with some elegant shops. From the top of the fortress there is a magnificent view of the Tuscan Archipelago. 


In Populonia there is also a privately owned museum in which Etruscan and Roman finds from excavations in the area and from the sea-bed are exhibited. 


The statue known as the Apollo of Piombino, now in the Louvre in Paris, was found in the waters of the Gulf of Baratti.














In the plain under Populonia in front of the wonderful Gulf of Baratti are the remains of a Necropolis with tombs of various types that are found throughout the area. 



Nearer the sea there are finely made tumulus graves and a typical example of a tomb in the form of a miniature temple.


Higher up, in more wooded country there are the remains of the Necropolis called 'Le Grotte' where it is possible to visit underground chamber graves cut out of the rock. 



These are reached by narrow flights of steps and contain funeral beds with pillows cut out of stone.


When preparations are completed for the archaeological park, it will be possible to make a comprehensive visit to the archaeological remains of the area.