Restaurant Isolotto

Target: freshly caught fish, Mediterranean kitchen, raw sea, salads. Type:  outside inside, close to beach location, Semi-formal dining, family, couple Products: everything is fresh, seasonal. Menu: Mediterranean plus vegan, vegetarian, wheat free, cold…

  • Target: freshly caught fish, Mediterranean kitchen, raw sea, salads.
  • Type:  outside inside, close to beach location, Semi-formal dining, family, couple
  • Products: everything is fresh, seasonal.
  • Menu: Mediterranean plus vegan, vegetarian, wheat free, cold meals including large salad selection. Grilled fish.
  • Typical dish: grilled Octopus.
  • Price Range: €20-€40 per person
  • Opening Times: 12:30 – 14:30 19:00 – 23:00 7/7

 

 

Ho to get here:

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Restaurant Mama

Target: Fish, Mediterranean kitchen,  sushi, raw, homemade bread. Type: Bistro Style, semi-formal dining, family, couple. Products: Everything is fresh, seasonal. Menu: Mediterranean plus Vegan, vegetarian, wheat free. Typical dish: Sushi. Price Range: €20-€60 per person. Opening…

  • Target: Fish, Mediterranean kitchen,  sushi, raw, homemade bread.
  • Type: Bistro Style, semi-formal dining, family, couple.
  • Products: Everything is fresh, seasonal.
  • Menu: Mediterranean plus Vegan, vegetarian, wheat free.
  • Typical dish: Sushi.
  • Price Range: €20-€60 per person.
  • Opening Times: 12:30 – 14:30 19:00 – 22:30 7/7

 

 

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Restaurant Pizzeria Centrale

Target: pizza, non chic restaurant, pasta, meat, salads. Type: easy dining, family, couple, outside. Products: everything is fresh, seasonal. Menu: vegan, vegetarian, wheat free. Typical dish: calamarata, pizza. Price Range: da 20 a 354 Euro a…

  • Target: pizza, non chic restaurant, pasta, meat, salads.
  • Type: easy dining, family, couple, outside.
  • Products: everything is fresh, seasonal.
  • Menu: vegan, vegetarian, wheat free.
  • Typical dish: calamarata, pizza.
  • Price Range: da 20 a 354 Euro a testa.
  • Opening Times: 12:30 – 14:30  19:00-22:30 7/7

 

 

 

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Florence E-Bike Festival

Punta Ala Trail Center has access to about 35 trails of varying levels close to the beach, E-bikes are one of the best ways to access those trails. At Florence e-bike…

Punta Ala Trail Center has access to about 35 trails of varying levels close to the beach, E-bikes are one of the best ways to access those trails. At Florence e-bike festival the guides and organizer spent time with people explaining the bikes and location.

Video – Punta Ala and Florence E-bike Riding

Photo Story – Florence E-bike Festival

The festival location was at the Cascine park next to the Arno river and took in a range of different bike related exhibits, including the Punta Ala Trail Center Booth where festival goer’s where invited to take a ride for free on the trail center’s E-bikes.

The E-bike Festival

The stand was located at the front of the festival.

The stand was located at the front of the festival.

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Taking place over three days the event location was busy and also the focus of the start of the Granfondo di Firenze.

On display we had a selection of our Giant E-bikes.

On display we had a selection of our Giant E-bikes.

Roberto Vergottini explains to the festival visitors how the bikes work.

Roberto Vergottini explains to the festival visitors how the bikes work.

We also had the opportunity to try the new Mo-bikes on demo.

We also had the opportunity to try the new Mo-bikes on demo.

The future of biking parked at the Punta Ala Trail Center stand.

The future of biking parked at the Punta Ala Trail Center stand.

Punta Ala Trail Center

E-bikes have changed the landscape of cycling and trail access, they also allow people who are not strong on a bike to reach some beautiful locations, their pedal assist credentials mean it feels like it is always riding on a flat road.

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The trail center has the same spirit as the festival, a welcoming location for riding in, the center guides are there to help people access the trail experiences on offer.

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Riders can choose their route and the guides will take groups on specifically tailored rides.

The cool thing about the trial center location is rides can start on the beach…

The cool thing about the trial center location is rides can start on the beach…

…and end on the beach, here in Cala Violina.

…and end on the beach, here in Cala Violina.

There are trails for all levels of rider…

There are trails for all levels of rider…

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One day we all might be able to jump like this…

Trail Center Location

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Mines Of Gavorrano

The Maremma although now a beautiful location for nature and beaches, was once a very important area for mineral extraction and related activities. Going back to pre-Roman times, minerals have been…

The Maremma although now a beautiful location for nature and beaches, was once a very important area for mineral extraction and related activities. Going back to pre-Roman times, minerals have been a fundamental part of the area. The current mine shafts are not all accessible but extend up to 300 meters beneath the surface, an impressive feat of engineering that we explored for the afternoon. To try and understand how important it we visited the Museum of mining in Gavorrano which is an ideal family activity to do in the area. The visitor center contained lots of things interesting for all age groups.

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Inside the Visitor Center

Inside the visitor center the guides will take you on a brief tour of what can be seen in the area before entering the museum complex.

Fabrizio - head of the geological tourism elements of the park explains the various interconnections and history of mineral extraction in the area.

Fabrizio – head of the geological tourism elements of the park explains the various interconnections and history of mineral extraction in the area.

The visitors centre contains a range of displays that show some key elements of the mining activities that took place in Gavorano.

The visitors center contains a range of displays that show some key elements of the mining activities that took place in Gavorrano.

Museum

Outside the museum and mine entrance Visitors will find a range of things on display that were actually used when the mine was active.

In modern times compressed air driven machinary was used in the mineral extraction process.

In modern times compressed air driven machinery was used in the mineral extraction process.

The entrance to the mine is within the museum and lies under the cone display area.

The entrance to the mine is within the museum and lies under the cone display area.

A plaque commemerating miners who lost their lives around the time of the Nazi occupation of Italy.

A plaque commemorating miners who lost their lives around the time of the Nazi occupation of Italy.

Outside the museum there are a selection of machines used in the mining process. This machine was for creating stabilising cement.

Outside the museum there is a selection of machines used in the mining process. This machine was for creating stabilising cement.

Inside The Museum

Inside the
museum, the curators have gathered together a range of minerals and other objects that help explain the significance of the mining activities and why Gavorrano was so important. This includes displays of minerals and materials which people can get a hands-on with and learn about the rocks of the Maremma.

The museum contains a mineral collection that is on display and are examples of the minerals found undergraound in the area.

The museum contains a mineral collection that is on display and are examples of the minerals found underground in the area.

A large piece of Pyryte is on display.

A large piece of Pyryte is on display.

Pyryte has a gold lustre to it, and was used significantly for sulphuric acid production before oil superseeded it. Notice the cyrstalisation on the mineral.

Pyrite has a gold luster to it, and was used significantly for sulphuric acid production before oil superseded it. Notice the crystallization on the mineral.

The entrance to the mine contains plans showing the layout of the mine complex.

The entrance to the mine contains plans showing the layout of the mine complex

The overhead view of the mine complex shows how long the tunnels are and how they connect between the villages.

The overhead view of the mine complex shows how long the tunnels are and how they connect the villages

The display area before entering a mine.

The display area before entering a mine.

 

Entering The Mine

Following the instructions of the staff, we entered the mine which has been prepared to give visitors an immersive experience about what they might find underground in a real working mine.

The mine entrance.

The mine entrance.

Inside the mine visitors will find examples of how the miners worked.

Inside the mine visitors will find examples of how the miners worked.

Mineral masses can be seen in the mine within the wall areas.

Mineral masses can be seen in the mine within the wall areas.

Mine rail tracks and a spilt in the tunnels.

Mine rail tracks and a spilt in the tunnels.

This part of the mine has examples of the different methods used for proping up the walls of the mine.

This part of the mine has examples of the different methods used for propping up the walls of the mine.

A sign of the air drills that were used to dig the rock away.

A sign of the air drills that were used to dig the rock away.

A mock up of how dynamite was used to blast rock.

A mock-up of how dynamite was used to blast rock

Mine props made of wood.

Mine props made of wood.

The mines had to be ventelated. Here is a vent shaft.

The mines had to be ventilated. Here is a vent shaft.

A working air compressor drill is set up that is switched on for visitors to understand how it worked.

A working air compressor drill is set up that is switched on for visitors to understand how it worked.

Outside

Once the tour inside the mine is complete visitors are able to visit the amphitheater and also the village is close which gives an important context to the area.

The exit to the mine.

The exit to the mine.

The mine is located very close to the village and was the reason the village existed.

The mine is located very close to the village and was the reason the village existed.

Mining tools outside the mine.

Mining tools outside the mine.

The Pit Head Of Ravi  Marchi 

A few km down the road in the village of Ravi are the remains and pit-head towers with lift gear, which are also open to visitors on specific tours.  We looked around the workings and got a look close up at how the above-ground part of a mine functions.

Map

 

Ravi contains pit head gear and was the entrance to another part of the mine complex.

Ravi contains pithead gear and was the entrance to another part of the mine complex.

Ravi Marchi Mine pit head.

Ravi Marchi Mine pit head.

Further information 

Prices and opening times vary through the year, check for the latest
information.

Visit – Only Guided Tours.

Museum and tunnels Plus Ravi Marchi

Adults € 8,00

Reduced € 4,00 (famiglie e gruppi – under 12 – over 65 – scuole)

If you want to know more and find out in more
detail about the group visits that are possible and other information, then visit the website from the visitor center.

http://www.parcominerario.it/

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Punta Ala Glamping

When thinking about camping, if you are not a seasoned camper the word, “glamping” might be a bit alien to you. Punta Ala and its club camping is beyond the…

When thinking about camping, if you are not a seasoned camper the word, “glamping” might be a bit alien to you. Punta Ala and its club camping is beyond the normal idea of camping, we took a look around Camping Punta Ala Camp and resort to understand the term, “Glamping…”

Accommodation

The basis of Glamping at Punta Ala Camp and Resort is accommodation that puts you in touch with nature, wooden Chalet style accommodation units, interspersed in the trees next to luxury cool caravans called, “Silver Field”. Close to the beach and close to the best services that the resort has to offer.

The club accommodation is wooden, blends into the trees and is fully climate controlled. Nature is taking care of the climate outside.

The club accommodation is wooden, blends into the trees and is fully climate controlled. Nature is taking care of the climate outside.

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The silver field caravans are located nearby, based on the Airstream Icon from the USA, it’s something on another level compared to what one might expect.

Take a peek inside Silver Field and the finish is about cool style.

Take a peek inside Silver Field and the finish is about cool style.

Caravans now include the possibility of sleeping, four people.

Caravans now include the possibility of sleeping, four people.

The ambiance is fundamental, where nature starts and the accommodation begins is a blurry line.

The ambiance is fundamental, where nature starts and the accommodation begins is a blurry line.

Location

You are on the beach, that’s it, nothing more to say…

This is the view as you walk to the nearest beach entry point…

This is the view as you walk to the nearest beach entry point…

The beach…

The beach…

…is endless and idyllic.

…is endless and idyllic.

Something for everyone, sports feature highly on what you can do there.

Something for everyone, sports feature highly on what you can do there.

Services

Glamping in Punta Ala means you are close to the best services, bars, restaurants and daily food delivery services including fresh bread every morning as part of the accommodation package.

Chiosco Spiaggia is on the beach, looking out to sea, it’s the closest bar to the beach for hundreds of kilometers…

Chiosco Spiaggia is on the beach, looking out to sea, it’s the closest bar to the beach for hundreds of kilometers…

The Seafood based beach restaurant is a few meters close by, if you want, sit and enjoy the best service in the area with quality food.

The Seafood based beach restaurant is a few meters close by, if you want, sit and enjoy the best service in the area with quality food.

Its well designed gives you a feeling of elegance but freedom at the same time.

Its well designed gives you a feeling of elegance but freedom at the same time.

The standard late evening view as the sun sets from the bar.

The standard late evening view as the sun sets from the bar.

The Views

The last but not least definition of Glamping in Punta Ala is the location and what you can see with very little effort.

It’s Tuscany, so this is the standard scene if you venture in any direction off-site.

It’s Tuscany, so this is the standard scene if you venture in any direction off-site.

The coastline is full of indescribably beautiful bays backed by maritime pine woods.

The coastline is full of indescribably beautiful bays backed by maritime pine woods.

Some can be reached with a little bit of adventure, you will be one of the few there.

Some can be reached with a little bit of adventure, you will be one of the few there.

Yes, it is that close to the sea, you will hear the movements of the water if you listen.

Yes, it is that close to the sea, you will hear the movements of the water if you listen.

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Discover – I Canaloni Del Torrente Farma

In the middle of the woods above Roccastrada where the Farma river flows is a waterfall feature and natural pools that in the right season are accessible and its possible…

In the middle of the woods above Roccastrada where the Farma river flows is a waterfall feature and natural pools that in the right season are accessible and its possible to swim in.  The Farma river flows through a naturalgorge and has carved through a section of harder rock some incredible waterfalls with plunge pools. We took a walk along the river near Torniella to discover them.

These water falls have created very deep plunge pools

These water falls have created very deep plunge pools

The water is deep and it is possible to swim in the rock pools.

The water is deep and it is possible to swim in the rock pools.

With numerous places to bath, just find a spot and enjoy the total peace and isolation.

With numerous places to bath, just find a spot and enjoy the total peace and isolation.

The Spot

It is not that easy to access these natural features as they are distant from the road and you need to walk about an hour to get there. The path follows the river from a bridge on the local main road. Park there and follow the path along the river.

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The river is low enough in summer to be a good place to access if there is a rainstorm though we recommend waiting until it has passed as the levels of the river can change quickly.

People sunbath on the rocks surrounding the water.

People sunbath on the rocks surrounding the water.

Between each step in the falls are these pock pools with absolutely clear water.

Between each step in the falls are these pock pools with absolutely clear water.

Looking down the river gorge, you might find other determined people.

Looking down the river gorge, you might find other determined people.

How to get there…

Access is limited, it will take a while to walk and you need to be relatively fit. Fits you need to find a spot to park. The local road from Torniella the SP157, gives access to the woods. Pick a spot to park near the bridge just outside Torniella, then walk. White roads disappear into the woods which give the option to get there… it is an adventure.

The roads into the woods could take you there, use our Google map below to work out the best way in.

The roads into the woods could take you there, use our Google map below to work out the best way in.

Walking through the woods there is a network of paths that follow the course of the river.

Walking through the woods there is a network of paths that follow the course of the river.

They are quite defined and it would be hard to get lost.

They are quite defined and it would be hard to get lost.

Here the woods stay close to the river and are close to the waterfalls.

Here the woods stay close to the river and are close to the waterfalls.

Map

There are two main ways, along the river from the bridge over the SP157 or through the woods. Both routes take about an hour at a slow
pace. These are natural features and have no facilities, so please make sure that anything you take with you into the woods you take back home as well.

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A Guided Mountain Bike Ride at Punta Ala

A guided mountain bike ride from Punta Ala Trail Center can take in the best of Punta Ala’s beaches and mountains while riding fun singletrack trails, with rides expertly tailored…

A guided mountain bike ride from Punta Ala Trail Center can take in the best of Punta Ala’s beaches and mountains while riding fun singletrack trails, with rides expertly tailored to all and any abilities.

Punta Ala Guiding

Checking out the trail map at our Bike Center shop, while hiring two Giant bikes for today’s ride.

 

Starting at Punta Ala Trail Center‘s beachside base, our guide Bibo meets up with his clients for the day – two avid mountain bikers of an intermediate level on holiday from Switzerland. They’ve hired bikes from the Bike Center’s (our bike shop) range of Giant-Liv Cycling rentals, choosing mid-travel trail bikes for today’s singletrack blast. Tomorrow they might try an e-bike.

The couple is staying in one of our Club cabins on the shore of the Mediterranean, where Bibo talks them through the local trail network while assessing their riding level and the type of trail they’d like to ride.

Punta Ala Trail Center accommodation

Bibo gets to know today’s guided customers, meanwhile the coffee brews in their Club cabin.

 

After a relaxed meeting talking bikes and discussing e-bikes (over a coffee – this is Italy after all), the ride starts directly from the door of the cabin. No need for transport here: singletrack starts a stone’s throw from all our accommodation.

Pedalling for a minute or two, the ride quickly dives into the dense and intriguing forest, where Bibo picks up a flowing snake of singletrack. Never climbing nor descending for too long, this trail is a great start for groups to get used to the dry terrain and never-ending flow of our nearest trails in the Cala Violina area.

Mountain biking Punta Ala Italy

Pedalling through the pleasant pine cover of our accommodation base, soon the group will be enjoying nearby singletrack.

 

Bibo, one of three full-time mountain bike guides at Punta Ala Trail Center, has a wealth of experience when it comes to group rides. As a long-term professional snowboard instructor in the winter and having shaped some of Italy’s most famous mountain biking in Sauze d’Oulx (and Punta Ala!), his knowledge of sport and riders is endless. He’s also supremely talented on a bike, but incredibly friendly and patient too – perfect guide material. That’s how he’s earned so much positive feedback from our customers.

Flowing like water around the mountain, Bibo’s choice of trail gently makes its way upward, bursting out of the trees to a timeless view of the surrounding nature and across to the Isle of Elba. Bibo’s small group are stunned by the beauty of the area, but soon forget it as they hurtle through the woods on a fast, fun trail called Torretta. This is an apparently endless descent that comes seemingly for free – they barely noticed the uphill to a high point 250 meters above the sea.

Singletrack Cala Violina mountain biking

Bibo, one of Punta Ala Trail Center’s full-time guides and mountain bike experts.

 

Punta Ala Trail Center mountain biking

Every ride ends at the sea! Bibo gives a demonstration of his skills during a cornering exercise with the intermediate group.

 

After a riveting 10-minute ride with some of the best turns our group has ridden, the trail comes to a rolling finish at one of Punta Ala’s best-kept secrets: Cala Violina. A pristine beach accessible only by bike, horse or a lengthy walk from the nearest car park, the feeling of wonderful calm could not be greater.

The ride ends here as the group take a shortcut back to base at the end of this two-hour blast. But tomorrow they’ll be back here and will explore some of the dozens of trails Bibo pointed out during the ride, which he also handily marked on their trail map.

Trail map Punta Ala Trail Center

Tomorrow’s ride? Even more flow, this time with some challenging singletrack climbs on rented e-bikes!

 

At Punta Ala Trail Center the ride options are unlimited. Gentle trail? No problem. Hardcore downhill? We’ve got that covered too. Everything in-between? Yep. Just ask one of our guides and they will point you in the right direction, or even better hire them for a half- or full-day of guiding to really benefit from their knowledge of the area.

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[Video] Toscano Enduro Series – How he and she will prepare a race!

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take…

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take part in the first major Enduro event of the year in Tuscany.

Giacomo Dodino and Rachelle Riolfo came down to Punta Ala Trail Center just before the Toscano Enduro series to enjoy the trails, practice a bit for the race and take part in the first major Enduro event of the year in Tuscany.

Video

Giant PATC from Punta Ala Trail Center on Vimeo.

Racing together was a great experience and Punta Ala gave them the ideal base to make sure they had all the bike services at their disposal to make their experience seamless.

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Enjoying the beach at Cala Violina just before sunset, after riding the trail loops just by the sea.

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Spring time is ideal for riding with empty spaces and perfect weather.

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Giacomo Dodino drops down onto the beach from the last trail of the day.

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