Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 27, 2022


Castiglioncello is in the Comune of Rosignano Marittimo in the Province of Livorno on the Tuscan coast. The small town sits on a cliff surrounded by pine forest. It began as a fishing village at the time of the Etruscans.

Between 1889 and 1891 Baron Fausto Lazaro Patrone built Pasquini Castle in the neo-medieval style. It was his desire to create a seaside resort. The castle is above the town, surrounded by a large garden.

I was delighted by the enormous dragon on a corner of the castle. I have a tiny version at Casa Debbio, not quite as impressive.

I liked his smile.

In the grounds around the castle we found a small amphitheatre, a chapel and an odd little fountain.

Castiglioncello became famous in the 1960s as a seaside holiday destination favoured by Marcello Mastroianni and Alberto Sordi. It was the set of the movie Il Sorpasso, which starred Vittorio Gassman, who made his home there.

The pretty beach on Quercetano Bay is reached by a set of steep steps from the town centre. It was almost empty when we arrived mid week. There wasn’t much life in the town either. The season has not yet started.

Below the car park, shaded by pine trees, we walked down to a cove with a restaurant (not open) and a small beach.

Later in the day we walked around a boardwalk to the next town where there is a marina filled with boats waiting for their owners to turn up.

I have to say that the beach beside the boardwalk is one of the most unattractive I have seen in a long time. The boardwalk was busy with walkers who seemed not to notice and were just happy to be out walking in the afternoon sun. The photo makes it look much better than it is.

We enjoyed a pretty Tuscan sunset.

Castiglioncello will surely be lovely in the coming months (except for that beach). Stick with the one with white sand. The train comes right into the centre of the town, which would probably be the best way to arrive in town on a busy summer day.



  1. Thank you for the notes on this town. I’ve never heard of it. I wondered, when I saw the castle, how the Baron acquired his wealth, or did he just inherit it? Such a large building for the times.

    • We went on the recommendation of several friends. Unfortunately I know nothing about the Baron apart from his building of this castle. It is in a lovely position with its gardens and view of the town and the sea.

  2. That was a beautiful sunset.

    • We watched from the terrace of a restaurant above the sea.

  3. I love Castiglioncello and have stayed there twice; once in summer and once in winter. I loved to walk the length of the fabulous boardwalk first thing every morning. The beach was literally jam-packed in summer though. One of the busiest I have ever experienced. It’s a beautiful place.

    • I can imagine that the waterfront is busy in summer, but that beach beside the boardwalk held no appeal for me at all. The one on the other bay with the whitish sand was more attractive, but I don’t come to Italy for the beach. I grew up at the Gold Coast and I love the surf. Flat water swimming is not for me. I love the seaside resorts in Italy for the restaurants, wonderful old buildings and people watching.

  4. Such a very beautiful sunset

  5. Another glorious place to visit whilst in Tuscany. Love it.

  6. Pasquini castle looks intriguing. It’s quite new as far as castles go, built in the 1890’s. Wonder what it’s like inside? That dragon is amazing. Great photos, Debra.

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