Etruscan Coast

What to do in Suvereto, province of Livorno Tuscany
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Discover Suvereto, a nice medieval hamlet in province of Livorno Tuscany

Suvereto is a pleasant medieval hamlet dominating the Val di Cornia, which has kept its typical atmosphere intact. The town, still surrounded by medieval walls, has preserved its urban fabric capable of giving the visitor remarkable glimpses and small surprises around every corner.

Most of the monuments of Suvereto date back to the period between the 12th and 13th centuries when the village was a fief of the Aldobrandeschi. Subsequently Suvereto became part of the Pisan Republic, the State of Piombino, the Principality of Lucca and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

Suvereto is located in the province of Livorno in a beautiful hilly area not far from the sea and the beaches of the Etruscan Coast which are just 15 kilometers away. This center is very popular with those looking for a holiday of relaxation, culture, good food and good wine!

What to do in Suvereto, guide to the visit

Suvereto can boast of being considered one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy and of being awarded the Bandiera Arancione of the Touring Club. The town has a solid historical and artistic heritage, let’s see which are the main points of interest:

The visit to Suvereto starts from piazza Vittorio Veneto, just outside the city walls. Here we find, next to each other, the Pieve di San Giusto and the former Oratory of San Michele Arcangelo, which today hosts the Museum of Sacred Art.

Pieve di San Giusto

Documented since the 10th century, the pieve di San Giusto was erected in 1189; it is one of the most interesting examples of romanesque architecture in the province of Livorno. The sober facade is adorned with a beautiful portal with two classically inspired columns supporting two lions intent on catching two human figures. Inside the main attraction is the baptismal font; an octagonal tub probably built during the renovation at the end of the 12th century.

Pieve di San Giusto in Suvereto Tuscany Italy
Pieve di San Giusto (Photo byLuca Aless / CC BY)

Museo di Arte Sacra “San Giusto”

The museum of Sacred Art of Suvereto is housed inside the Oratorio della Confraternita della Misericordia e del SS. Sacramento (1881). Inaugurated in 2000, the museum exposes art-works as wooden statues , paintings, liturgical furnishings and reliquaries, coming from many places around the hamlet and particularly from the pieve di San Giusto. Among the most important works we mention the Andrea Guardi’s sculpture “Madonna della Fonte degli Angeli” (15th century) and the wooden stautes representing the Annunciation, attributed to Lorenzo di Pietro called “il Vecchietta”.

Address: Piazza Vittorio Veneto 3

The walls of Suvereto

Fews steps from the museum, a nice citye gate shows us the way to continue the visit to the village. Known in the past with various names (Porta al Piano, Porta a Mare, Porta piombinese and Porta Grande), the current city gate was built in 1857 in substitution of the former medieval door. Crossing it we get to the main street, via Magenta, that leads to the second city gate (Porta di Sassetta). These two doors porte opens on a well preserved boundary wall which still retains some defensive towers.

Suvereto City Gate
City Gate of Suvereto (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Chiesa della Madonna di sopra la Porta

Just beyond the city gate, we find the eighteenth-century Chiesa della Madonna di sopra la Porta. This church was created in place of a previous fourteenth-century church of which has been preserved the bezel located over the portal. Inside, near the main altar, a painting representing Madonna con Bambino (14th century) is the protagonist of the scene framed as it is between colorful marbles.

Palazzo Comunale

Deviating from the main street on via Piave we can quickly get to the Palazzo Comunale. Very nice example of medieval building, the palace was built in the beginning of the 13th century as a result of administrative autonomy granted to the village by the Aldobrandini. The main features of the buildings are the Loggia dei Giudici (Judge’s loggia), where were issued the judgments, and the bell tower that is on the top  of the palace.

Palazzo Comunale in Suvereto
Palazzo Comunale in Suvereto

Chiesa del Crocifisso e chiostro di San Francesco

Returning on the main road, we have to cross piazza Gramsci to get to the chiesa del Crocifisso and the cloister of the former Convent of San Francesco.

The chiesa del Crocifisso, was erected during the 16th century to preserve a Crucified Christ, a wooden sculpture from the 1420 attributed to Domenico dei Cori. Given that the patron of Suvereto is the Holy Cross, this work ha a very important role during the local festival.

The former convent of San Francesco, built in 1288 and abolished during the Napoleonic period, has been converted to private residences. We can still admire the cloister of the convent that creates a peaceful and pleasant ambient with its covered walkways.

Cloister of the convent of San Francesco in Suvereto Tuscany
Cloister of the convent of San Francesco (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Museo artistico della Bambola

In the last stretch of via Magenta, the Museo della Bambola collects dolls from various eras. The exhibition traces the stylistic evolution of this particular type of production with particular attention to the techniques and materials. In the museum you can admire a lot of dolls, many of which are unique pieces made by artists, which accompany the visitor on a real journey through the history of this type of toy.

Address: via Magenta 14

Rocca Aldobrandesca

Located on the hill at the highest point of the village, the Rocca Aldobrandesca is documented since the 10th century. Restructured several times over the centuries also by the Republic of Pisa, since the seventeenth century it has lost its military function and in the nineteenth century it was used for civil functions. Currently the structure is owned by the Municipality which opened it to the public following a series of restorations. Good panoramic point on the Cornia valley, the fortress still retains part of its structures including the ruins of the tower built in the 11th century.

The fortress of Suvereto Tuscany
The fortress of Suvereto

Things to do and things to see near Suvereto

The Etruscan Coast is a land of great wines and a good way to visit it is to follow the so-called “Wine Road” that crosses it. Suvereto also stands out in the production of wine and in its territory there are several wineries where you can make tastings. In addition to wine, Suvereto is also famous for the production of oil, another cornerstone of the culinary tradition of Tuscany. If you are a “foodie” I suggest you visit the hamlet on the occasion of the sagra del cinghiale (wild boar festival) which usually takes place at the beginning of December.

From Suvereto to the sea

Suvereto is not particularly far from the sea. From the village you can reach both the beaches of the Etruscan Coast, in particular those of San Vincenzo, Rimigliano and Baratti, and those of the area of Follonica up to Cala Violina which is about 30 or 40 minutes by car.

Thermal baths near Suvereto

Those who choose to spend their holidays in these parts can also take advantage of the spa resorts in the area. Suvereto is in fact located a few kilometers from both Venturina Terme and the Terme di Sassetta.

Other towns to visit nearby

From Suvereto you can quickly reach all the other villages located along the Etruscan Coast. For more information I recommend you read the guides on Piombino, Campiglia Marittima, Populonia, Sassetta, Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci

How to get to Suvereto

Suvereto is located 100 kilometers from Livorno and 60 from Grosseto. The village is not served directly by the train but only by buses.
These are the solutions to get to Suvereto:

By car:
From north highway A12 till the exit  Venturina, from there follow indications for Suvereto on SS398
From south highway A12 till the exit Follonica Est then continue on SR439, SP33, SP19 and SS398

By train and bus: the train closest station is in Campiglia Marittima. From there take the bus line 003 by Tiemme Piombino.
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