Follonica is the second city of the province for number of inhabitants after the chief town, as well as the main centre in the area of the Colline Metallifere (Metalliferous Hills) of Grosseto; it is situated in the centre of the Gulf of Follonica and its area stretches inland up to the Colline Metallifere.
Follonica is a ‘young’ town, as it was founded in 1834 by Leopoldo II of Tuscany who started the building of the Royal and Imperial Foundries, after the establishment of an earlier settlement around the Castello di Valli, situated on a hilltop dominating the Gulf and whose ruins are a tourism destination today. In 1960 the industrial activities were moved to Piombino’s steelworks. Today the MAGMA, the Museo delle Arti in Ghisa (Cast Iron Art) della Maremma, summarises the whole history of Follonica from factory town to ‘pearl’ of the Gulf. The Magma opened to the public in the summer 2013, and since the beginning it has shown a ‘magic box’ where secular walls share with multimedia technologies a virtual journey into time to discover the cradle of the Italian iron and steel industry. The churches of S. Leolpoldo and S. Pietro e Paolo are worth a visit, together with the former factory area and Castello di Valli (IX century AD).
The seaside resort is chosen by its inhabitants and tourists for the beauty of its beaches, free or with facilities, a bustling promenade and a lively night life. It is worth remembering that the town was awarded the Blue Sails of Legambiente in 2000. And after a beautiful swim, tasty fish dishes can be enjoyed in the many restaurants of the Gulf while admiring a romantic sunset.
The rich offer of summer festivals and events is able to satisfy the young and the families alike. Follonica municipality includes protected areas, such as the regional nature reserve of the Bandite di Follonica, the provincial Parco di Montioni and the nature reserve Tomboli di Follonica , instituted in 1977, including the Pinete di Ponente e Levante (the east and west pine groves). Each year, the last weekend of October, Follonica hosts one of the most important rally competitions in Tuscany: the Trofeo Maremma (Maremma Trophy). Highly recommended appointment for rally lovers,the trophy celebrated its 32nd anniversary in 2008.
- By Giancarlo Dell'Orco
- Email: email@example.com
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