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Castiglioncello - Italy
Learn Italian in Italy by the sea in Tuscany

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Castiglioncello is situated on the Etruscan Riviera in Italy, approximately 35 kilometers south of Pisa with its famous leaning tower.

This beautiful, atmospheric location offers stunning cultural and environmental variety. The surrounding landscape ranges from the characteristic rolling hills to the scenic coast, gifted with sandy coves as well as steep and lofty cliffs. The 16th century tower and the beautiful botanical garden are just two of this enchanting town’s impressive features.

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Castiglioncello gained fame as a studying refuge for renowned Italian impressionists, among others Fattori, Sarnesi, Abiati, and Cabianca. The town of Castiglioncello organizes a variety of fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. From June to September, the place is bustling with cultural activities and events. Concerts, theatre plays and ballet productions entertain a varied and international audience. The area is renowned for its vibrant evening events.

The annual book award presentation features the “Premio Letterario Castiglioncello”, an important literary prize. Distinguished writers present their latest work here. Umberto Eco, Dacia Marini, and Fruttero & Lucentini are just a few of the many writers who were honoured for their achievements at this annual event.

Castiglioncello and the surrounding area is a very popular place in Italy, where many famous Italians go to enjoy their seaside holidays. Many renowned Italian and internationally acclaimed actors, directors and politicians like Mastroianni and former president Spadolini favoured this particular region for its beauty, cultural activities and tradition.

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Castiglioncello is conveniently located. The town is situated in Italy on the railway lines Genova - Rome, Florence - Pisa – Livorno - Grosetto. The nearest airport is in Pisa (35 km). The town is connected to the Italian motorway system at Rosignano (2 km). The surrounding countryside and its many attractions bear impressive testimony to the rich Estruscan cultural heritage.

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This small yet vivid town is typically Italian and perfectly situated for anyone who would like to combine an unforgettable seaside holiday with cultural events and day trips to famous cities and places in Italy. Castiglioncello is much more than just an ordinary seaside resort!

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It is a well-known Italian tourist sea resort by the Tyrrhenian Sea and has been renowned for its picturesque setting since the 19th century.

Originally a village of poor fishermen at the extreme borders of the Etruscan-Italian empire, it followed the fate of Volterra. From this period of Etruscan power in Italy, there remains a very refined testimony in the form of an alabaster funeral urn, which dates back to the second century B.C. and was recently discovered in the necropolis of Castiglioncello. It was a calm and isolated place for centuries. Placed in a privileged panoramic position, surrounded by luxuriant pinewoods and spectacular bluffs, it remained unknown and untouched right up up to the modern era.

The Italian Medici family built a beautiful tower as a part of the system of fortification, erected to protect the shore against the frequent piratical raids in Tuscany. The Tower of Castiglioncello was the first building constructed on the promontory of Castiglioncello and had the function of sighting and providing defence against raids of the Saracen pirates. It was built by order of Cosimo I of the Medici family, in the same architectural style of the twin tower of Calafuria, which still preserves the original characteristics, although some battlements were added to the one in Castiglioncello, at the summit, when the Pasquini Castle was built in the XIX century. The soldiers barracks, once adjoining to the tower, have now disappeared.

The touristic fortune of Castiglioncello begins in the second half of the VIII century, when, due to the mild climate and the beauty of the Tuscan landscape, Diego Martelli, an art critic and patron, settled here. He regularly invited almost all the painters who belonged to the group of the" Macchiaioli" right up until the end of the century, after which he also gained fame. In this way, he gave origin to a famous artistic period called "The School of Castiglioncello". Writers such as Renato Fucini and Giovanni Marradi, the real poet of Castiglioncello, sojourned here.

Today it is one of the most famous places on the Tyrrhenian Sea, renowned in Italy and abroad for the beautiful landscape as well as for the quality and refinement of the services that it offers and the cultural and associative initiatives of great value which it promotes.

The touristic hospitality of Castiglioncello includes hotels, private lodgings, bars and restaurants, about 20 bathing establishments, nighttime meeting places, tennis courts, cinema, minigolf and children's playgrounds.

Among the main cultural and sports events, you can find the Festival of the Dance, Music and Theatre from the studios on the West Coast, the annual Italian Literary Award event "Premio Castiglioncello", the Tuscan Sailing Regattas, the National Photographic Contest "City of Castiglioncello", the hugely popular annual fish feast of Caletta that takes place on the second Sunday of June and is renewed each year with an enormous frying pan on the beach of Caletta, officially ringing in the tourist season.

In addition to the afore-mentioned Medicea Tower, the nearby little church among the pine trees (church of St. Andrea) built in 1621 and the Pasquini Castle are both worth a visit. The castle's interior, which was just recently restructured, is the seat of the Pasolini Language School as well as numerous exhibitions and conferences. The exterior area hosts a theatre where a variety of concerts and shows are organized. Among the recurrent cultural demonstrations, we must mention the annual theme conference regarding the problems of children and the under-age, in which internationally acclaimed experts and researchers participate.

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