Bolgheri, Italy Travel Guide: Your Best Itinerary to the Tuscany Coast

Bolgheri, Italy Travel Guide: Your Best Itinerary to the Tuscany Coast

Have you seen that viral Instagram photo of a dreamy, hilly road perfectly lined by endless cypress trees? That road belongs to Bolgheri, Italy, a hidden gem hamlet near the Tuscany coast. Discover the best tips to visiting this quaint Medieval village in this pocket travel guide.

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A little about Bolgheri

Did you know that Bolgheri, Italy is one of the first places in Europe in which grape vines were cultivated for winemaking? This special town’s culture dates back to ancient times, even before the rise of the Roman Empire, but its winemaking tradition is one of its greatest appeals still today.

Like many places in Italy, Bolgheri flourished under one ruling family for over a thousand years, the Della Gherardesca family. It was Guidalberto Della Gherardesca that introduced viticulture practices that are the heart of Bolgheri’s winemaking.

He also planted the cypresses of the famous Viale dei Cipressi, one of the most iconic spots to see cypress trees in Tuscany.

How to Reach Bolgheri, Italy

Bolgheri is an area of the town Castagneto Carducci, with a population of just 131 residents. It is just inland from the Tuscany coast in the province of Livorno.

The best way to reach Bolgheri is by car. It gives you the most flexibility and is more convenient than multiple stops and changes with public transportation. As an example, Florence is a 2 hour drive from Bolgheri.

You can park in a small lot just a short walk away from the town entrance. Parking is paid.

You could also reach Bolgheri by an organized tour. Is is a more expensive option, but you have none of the hassle of managing your transportation.

The last option is to arrive using public transportation. Traveling from Florence, for example, to Bolgheri with public transport can take anywhere from 2 and a half to 4 and a half hours of travel time, depending on the trains available.

The closest train station is in Castagneto Carducci. From there, you would take bus 14 to reach Bolgheri.

The Most Iconic Cypress Tree Road in the World

Before getting into what to see in Bolgheri, we can’t overlook the town’s grand entrance. The Viale dei Cipressi is a 3-mile road perfectly lined and hidden by impressive cypress trees that leads from San Guido up to the literal entrance of Bolgheri, which is under a castle tower arch.

Does it get more dreamy than that?

The cypress road is one of the most iconic travel photo spots in Italy and maybe even the world. What gives it extra magic is the hilly areas, where you can see the actual dimension and length of the street.

For the best pictures, I recommend visiting at sunrise when the sun is behind the road (it goes from east to west, so photos would look best shooting towards the east).

However, I shot towards the west while the sun was setting and the photos were not bad, but there were a little washed out by the light. A soft sunrise light would be the best even lighting to avoid harsh shadows from the trees on the street.

Fun fact: The cypress avenue is cited in a poem by noted Italian poet Giosuè Carducci, who spent time in Bolgheri growing up.

Things to See & Try in Bolgheri, Italy

Drink DOC Wine

If you love wine, you will feel right at home in Bolgheri.

While Guidalberto has established historic winemaking practices in the 1800s in Bolgheri, external events caused viticulture to wane up until the mid-1900s.

At this time, the owners of the largest estate in Bolgheri tried something new: planting the saem grapes as the french Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine was not at first produced for market, but only for the family’s tables. Eventually, they thought about selling it and this wine, Sassicaia, took the wine world by storm.

Bolgheri’s later wines were denoted as Super Tuscan wines, as well as earned the DOC recognition, Italy’s national accreditation for superior quality wine.

That’s just a brief recap, but the magic truly sinks in when you hear it from the passionate locals who produce the wine day in and day out, which is why I suggest taking a winery tour to get an in-depth look at the winemaking traditions of the historic area.

Admire Bolgheri Castle

You can’t miss it: the Castello di Bolgheri, dating back to the 13th century, is the grand entrance to the tiny town center.

While you can’t visit inside the castle, which is home to the oldest winemaking cellar in town, you can admire it from the outside.

Taste Unique Gelato Flavors and Eat Traditional Tuscan Comfort Food

Gelato so good, I ate it all before even thinking to take a picture!

Bolgheri Ti Amo is an adorable gelato stand that offered some unique Tuscan flavors, including a special “Bolgheri Ti Amo” mix.

The village may have more restaurant seats than residents. I saw many cozy, authentic eateries that make for a perfect lunch stop as you are traveling from one destination to the next.

Browse the Local Shops

Most of the town center is made up of cozy tavern restaurants and niche local boutiques. So when you aren’t eating in Bolgheri, you’re shopping!

The best part is that I hardly found a tourist shop, meaning the creations are unique and one-of-a-kind.

One of the artisan studios that stood out to me was the three-dimensional clay art pictured above, which you can find at Bolgheri Gabriele Scultore.

Where to Visit Near Bolgheri

Bolgheri is part of the Maremma zone of Tuscany, an area designated for the land along the coast. Since Bolgheri is more of a pit stop on an Italy itinerary than a full day excursion, you should consider adding these other destinations to your trip.


One of Italy’s most iconic landmarks is just one hour away from Bolgheri, straight up along the Etruscan coast. Hitting the two in one day would be a perfect combo, as both are more-so half-day rather than full-day trips.


Volterra is one of my favorite places in Tuscany. This Medieval hilltop village is straight out of a storybook and only 50 minutes away from Bolgheri.

Porto Santo Stefano

I personally visited Bolgheri on my way up from staying in Porto Santo Stefano. While it is a longer distance (1 hour and 45 minutes), Porto Santo Stefano shows off a side of Tuscany you rarely hear about: the crystalline sea, island life side.

If you are looking for a stunning beach area a little bit closer to Bolgheri, then visit Cala Violina.

Abbey of San Galgano

The Abbazia di San Galgano is the ruins of a gothic monastery, surrounded by beautiful Tuscan plains. It is one of the prettiest places to visit in the Tuscan countryside and about an hour and a half away from Bolgheri.

The SGTD Take

Bolgheri is a quaint little village worth a pit stop if you are already traveling along the coast of Tuscany.

Emphasis on little: I wouldn’t recommend going too far out of your way for Bolgheri not because it isn’t beautiful, but because it is so small you can spend less than an hour there if you don’t sit down for a meal.

Questions about visiting Bolgheri, Italy? Ask me in a comment!

Italy Trip Planning Resources

  • Accommodation: For Italy, I mainly use to search and book places to stay.
  • Booking flights: I like to search for flights through Skyscanner, but I also book direct depending on the airline.
  • Activities & experiences: For things to do that require a ticket, and for more unique trip activities, I use Musement.
  • Road trip: For renting a car, I get the best prices by comparing companies with AutoEurope. I then use ViaMichelin to estimate road trip costs and to find gas stations/have live updates on traffic.
  • Transportation: Traveling by public transportation is a great way to see Italy. I use Trenitalia or Trainline to book tickets for trains and Flixbus for long-haul bus trips.
  • Accessories: I always travel with this portable charger to stay connected and with a universal adapter to accommodate Italy’s plug types.
  • Need help planning an itinerary? Fill out my form for a custom itinerary request!

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Have any questions or thoughts on Bolgheri, Italy? Leave them in a comment!




Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

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