I have recently been to Baratti, near Piombino. It’s a lovely small town with a lovely gulf. The water is crystal clear, the surrounding natural environment is almost untouched with very few characteristic buildings and just two small beach bars, perfect to cool off mid-day heat spells. Even better is Mauro, the Neapolitan man that delivers fresh coconut, pineapple, ice creams and delicious slush with real lemon juice from Sorrento! Quenching and an effective aperitif before lunch.
A few steps from the beach, set on a large grassy field and shaded by wonderful maritime pine trees, I found a well organized street food truck preparing a myriad of delicious panini, serving cold beer and drinks to enjoy under the shade of the pine trees. It seems that this area is always windy, which coupled with the shade under the trees provides an ideal cooling effect even with temperatures of 40 Celsius. All the trees along the gulf had to adapt to the constant air flow, bending backwards to ease wind resistance: when I saw this it felt like being in Alice in Wonderland.
The beach is made of ocher sand, which is made of large grains, excellent to shake off your skin when leaving for the day. The water is crystal clear and warm, with no rocks and a long shallow area safe for kids and comfortable to let your body wobble around in complete relax. There are a few resorts, but the best thing is to bring your own beach towel and enjoy the free beach, which includes the majority of the Gulf of Baratti. From below one can spot the tiny village of Populonia, definitely worth a visit after a day at the beach. From atop the cliff the view is absolutely unforgettable.
A few steps from the beach there are restaurants, hot showers and services, all discretely placed to preserve the natural looks of the beach. Should you want to rest away from the heat of the beach the pine wood offers plenty of space to rest in a cool and silent spot. The gulf of Baratti is among the best beaches I have visited in Tuscany, I hope to return there soon!