Follonica is definitely one of the most important towns of this part of Maremma. It lies in the province of Grosseto and it is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations, especially appreciated by youngsters. It is a town with plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars which make it a special place for those who love enjoying a night out.
It was anciently known as the town of iron, by virtue of its old iron manufacturing tradition. The historical centre is in sheer 19th century style, according to the wishes of Leopold II of Lorraine, who chose it as the location for the Royal and Imperial Foundries, thus conferring it a central role in the industrial development of the whole area. Today the town’s fortune mainly hails from its charming beaches, from the beauty of the seawater washing its coast and from the uncontaminated nature which surrounds it, for a unique mix that results in breathtaking views.
Follonica’s waterfront is a boulevard with plenty of gelato parlours and cafés, the ideal for a break at any moment of the day, via Roma is instead the high street, where most of the shops of Follonica are located. At the intersection between via Roma and the waterfront is the Civic Art Gallery, where there is always a contemporary art exhibition going on. Continuing towards the upper part of via Roma one reaches the church dedicated to San Leopoldo, a great example of religious architecture totally realised in cast iron, designed by architects Alessandro Manetti and Carlo Reishammer.
Directly across from it there is the core of the company town wanted by Leopold II. One of the old foundries now hosts the Fonderia Leopolda Theatre, whereas the furnace of San Ferdinando is where the MAGMA, Museum of Cast Iron Arts is located, introduced by the prestigious Monumental Gate.