The beaches of Scarlino
Along the Scarlino coastline, with Cala Violina
The pathway to Scarlino’s coves (8km passable only on foot, on horseback or by bike) starts out from Portiglioni, after the Marina di Scarlino tourist port.
Here the green of the Mediterranean thicket and the iridescent blue of the sea will keep you company: from here, on a clear day, your gaze will roam as far as the Island of Elba and sometimes behind it to the mountains of Corsica.
The first access to the sea, after a roughly 2 km pathway, is to Cala Le Donne (with pebbles and no facilities). Continuing along the coast you will come to the monument in honour of Giuseppe Garibaldi, who embarked here on a fishing boat to escape the papal guards: opposite the monument a narrow lane leads down to Cala Martina, this too with pebbles and without services, but whose sea-beds offer deep and exciting enjoyment to keen snorkelers.
Another 2 km walk will take you to the more famous Cala Violina, which owes its name to its “singing” sand, a feature possessed by very few beaches worldwide. (Babadejuka, Eigg Islands, Fort Dauphin, Gold Coast): with Mediterranean scrub reaching down to the beach and its crystalline waters Cala Violina it celebrated as one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.
During high season this reputation causes such an influx of visitors that it is impossible to enjoy its beauty and, even less, to hear the sound of violins whispered by the grains of sand when disturbed by passers-by.
If you are here in the most overcrowded periods I suggest you reach it very early in the morning or, if otherwise, late in the afternoon.
The last 2 kms along the coastline will take you to Cala Civette which, like Cala Violina boasts white sand and transparent sea-beds. The, mouth of the river Alma separates the last of Scarlino’s southern beaches from the Punta Ala seashore.
A more convenient access from Portiglioni is from the toll-pay parking area on the State Road 158 “delle Collacchie”. From this point a roughly 20 minute walk through green Mediterranean vegetation will lead you first of all to Cala Violina.
- Access from Portiglioni does not offer many nearby parking possibilities;
- all the beaches are free;
- during the summer there is a temporary refreshment facility at Cala Violina.