Italy – part 3: Piombino, Tuscany region

Campiglia Marittima,Tuscany. Stairs and steep ways is what they love!

Next stop on Woodpecker’s Italy adventure was Tuscany, close to the port city of Piombino.

This was gives as we met friends there and stayed one week together in a double-appartment. They continued to Sardegna, so the stop had to be close to Piombino (their ferry port).

I didn’t expect much of the region, but again, Italy surprised me!

The negative surprise was the weather, a lot of rain, the first rain actually since April as locals told me.

So good for them and their wildfires, not so good for Woodpeckers and the kids who saw the pool mainly from outside.

But then the takeaway is, that it doesn’t help at all to complain about whether, so after one day of bad mood we tried to make the best out of it, and again there was plenty to do:

In the village Massa Marittima, Tuscany. More stairs… 😉

Piombino, Tuscany. Nice old village behind ugly modern harbour.

A funny train ride into an old mine near Piombino – the boy absolutely loved it! Actually already the Etruscians (500 b.c.) were mining iron here!

…best part was when the train stopped in a big cavern, lights went out, and the not too-slim train driver very seriously started to read out a poem composed by a former miner – unfortunately in Italian. A poet lost to a mine-cart driver… 😉

One more takeaways when meeting other families on holidays, especially with young kids:

One has to acknowledge that each family has their own “rhythm”, especially when travelling. It’s better not to expect to do everything together, as this will produce stress. I underestimated this a bit before, but then we both agreed that it’s more helpful if everybody starts out on his own, and we meet later in the day…

Next stop was a one-night stay close to Naples.

We actually skipped the city because of the stress level there, although Naples it is said to be fascinating in all its chaos and bustling life. But instead we visited the ancient city of Herculaneum. We saw Pomeii some years ago, and it absolutely amazed us, so we wanted to see the other Roman city that was buried by the Vesuv eruption in 79 a.d.

Herculaneum is absolutely amazing, if you have the slightest interest in history. It is smaller than Pompeii but even better preserved, as it was covered by mud and not lava.

The site is like a huge pit in the middle of the modern city which is build on the new ground level (more than 6 meters above the ancient ground level). There are whole streets and two-floor building preserved, as well as charred wood frames, paintings and all of the furniture, some bodies etc.

Volcano Vesuv, seen from the Hotel roof: This fellow here killed more than 20.000 people about 2.000 years ago. Bit scary to sleep here, as you don’t want to be digged out by fascinated archeologists in the year 4000, do you? But the hotel was good value 😉

A wholly preserved street of the Roman town! (The ugly modern building in the back by accident is probably among the most often photographed modern buildings in the area…)

Interior of a Roman villa.

A Roman shop.

An ancient bar. Food and drinks were stored in the amphora and handed out to hungry guests.

Lead-pipes in the ground: You think you are modern, because you have hot and cold running water? Well the Romans had it 2000 years before you, including drainage, sewers and hot water heating.

A public fountain…
These were spread all over the city for water supply, for street cleaning and for fire fighting… Fresh water from the mountains was provided by acqueducts.

If you come to Italy you really might want to check out this one. On our travels Woodpeckers have seen quite a few ancient cities, but this is definitely among my top three, next to Pompeii and Ephesus.

Well that’s it for the moment, next post will be about the Cilento area in Campania…



PS. Had to fuel the car close to Rome. First time in my life I paid more than 100 EUR (130 USD) for ONE filling! OMG! But then, one filling brought us to Rome, more than 1200km from Munich. Proud about that and our progress on fuel saving driving skills 😉


One comment on “Italy – part 3: Piombino, Tuscany region

  1. […] wonderful moments on our Italy trip (LINK). The trip was costly, but most happiness moments were neither planned nor expensive. Just sitting […]

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