Cala Violina is located in the Bandite di Scarlino Nature Reserve, between Follonica and Punta Ala. It is a protected area of about 9,000 hectares occupied by Mediterranean scrub and includes the towns of Castiglione della Pescaia, Follonica, Gavorrano and Scarlino.
Inside there is the archaeological area of Poggio Tondo, where four Etruscan mound tombs have been discovered (Tomba del Tamburo, Tomba del Carro, Tomba del Cippo and Tomba delle Due Porte, 7th – 6th century BC) as well as an isolated building that is thought have been part of an ancient farm. The finds from this area are on display in Scarlino at the Centro di Documentazione del Territorio per gli Etruschi.
The Reserve also includes some gorgeous beaches, including Cala Francese, Cala Martina and Cala Violina. The name of this last beach comes from its quartz sand, which sounds like violin strings when you walk on it. In 2004 and 2005 Legambiente declared Cala Violina one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.
HOW TO GET HERE (79 km)
Take the Aurelia state road in the northern direction, pass Grosseto and take the Gavorrano exit. Follow the signs for Scarlino Scalo. Then take the SP in the direction of Scarlino and after 1.5 km turn right onto Via delle Case. At the end of the street, turn left towards Puntone di Scarlino. At the fork, take the SP158 delle Collacchie in the southern direction (Castiglione). After 3.2 km, turn right onto a dirt road to the Cala Violina car park. The reserve is not accessible to motor vehicles. To reach the beach, you need to walk from the parking lot along a path of about 2 km (a 20-30 minute walk).