Cecina is a small but ancient town on the Etruscan Coast, with some finds dating the first settlements here back to the Neolithic era. The area, which was certainly inhabited by the time of the Etruscans, owes its name to the Roman consul Albinus Cecina, who himself had Etruscan heritage: Cecina ordered the construction of a villa, and its ruins can still be seen at San Vincenzino. Today, Cecina the town is a lively place, where you can amble happily down the quiet streets of the centre, which is full of hangouts for young people and families.
Given the significance of the ancient ruins around here, it is definitely worth visiting the Guerrazzi Civic Archaeological Museum, which occupies the eighteenth-century Villa La Cinquantina. The museum contains many interesting finds, whether Archaic or Etrusco-Roman: necklaces, bronze objects, pottery and furnishings are on display, along with exceptional exhibits on loan from the Etruscan museums of Florence and Volterra. Lovers of classical art must visit the Roman villa of San Vincenzino, a residential complex that dates back to between the first century BC and the fifth century AD. Its foundations remain visible, as do its floors, mosaics and its underground cistern, still intact.
A perfect place for families is the Gallorose Park, an animal centre where you can find around 150 species of mammals and birds, wild and domesticated, from all over the world.
Cecina has always been defined by its close relationship with the coast, which itself is characterised by the tomboli: long rows of burial mounds, covered with thick vegetation that goes all the way to the beach. The Tomboli di Cecina Nature Reserve extends for 15 kilometres, all with heavy undergrowth that varies gradually as it penetrates inland.
Nor can we neglect the relationship with the sea (which has earned the European Union's Blue Flag award) that laps against Marina di Cecina. Here the waves kiss a broad beach of soft sand, nuzzled on the other side by greenery, which makes it perfect for walks. You find many hotels, campsites and holiday houses in the area, all immersed in the natural environment.
It is but a few minutes' drive from Cecina to other locations along the Etruscan Coast, such as Castiglioncello, Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci.
Cecina is the perfect place to try dishes based on fish, naturally, but also on locally raised meat. The area, moreover, straddles the famous Etruscan Coast Wine Road, putting it at the centre of quality wine production. Bolgheri DOC, Suvereto DOCG, Rosso della Val di Cornia DOCG and Terratico di Bibbona DOC all must be tried.