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Fully accessible Liberty Villas Itinerary in Follonica

An accessible itinerary for people with motor impairment to discover the Liberty villas of Follonica.

The starting point of the itinerary is at the "Guglia," in Piazza Sivieri, in front of the Information Office of Follonica.

Here stands the monument to the heroes of the Risorgimento, the grand obelisk made of stone located in the center of Piazza Sivieri. On the four sides of the base, plaques commemorate historical figures: Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giuseppe Mazzini, the republican philosopher Giovanni Bovio, and the Maremman heroes of the events of Cala Martina in 1849.

In the square, there are two bars, Bar Impero and Bar Bianchi, if you need a rest.

Bar Impero has a 7cm step at the entrance, the toilet nside has maneuvering space as well as an entrance suitable for wheelchair maneuvers. However, there are no dedicated aids. There is also an accessible outdoor gazebo. Bar Bianchi has a 20cm step at the main entrance, but on the side entrance it is accessible for wheelchair users. There is also an accessible outdoor gazebo here, and the restroom has maneuvering space and an entrance suitable for wheelchair maneuvers, although no dedicated aids are present.

There are 3 disabled parking spots on Via Albereta, and all sidewalks along the route are equipped with suitable ramps.

Liberty Villa Itinerary in Follonica

From the Obelisk, proceed along Via Amorotti to the Ilva Gate. Cross the pedestrian crossings in front of the Surf Relax shop.

The Magonale Gate is the artistic portal that still provides access to the former Ilva area. Designed around 1831 by Alessandro Manetti and Carlo Reishammer by order of Grand Duke Leopoldo II of Tuscany, it is an example of neoclassical craftsmanship entirely in cast iron. At the top of the gate, a torch is prominently displayed: a symbolic ornamental motif referring to ironworking, while underneath is the coat of arms with the Savoy cross adorned on the sides by two dolphins.

Once across the street, continue straight ahead, and turning right, you will find the Town Hall. Here, there are many parking spaces, some for disabled individuals.

Continue on Via Roma towards the church of S. Leopoldo. The sidewalks from the town hall to the church are easily accessible and have proper ramps.

The Church of San Leopoldo is the building of greatest historical and architectural value in the city and is located in the center of Follonica. Construction began in 1836 at the behest of Grand Duke Leopoldo II, designed by architects Alessandro Manetti and Carlo Reishammer. The church showcases the highest level of artistic cast iron production: the building is entirely decorated with this material and has thus been nicknamed "the church of cast iron." The interior, with a single nave and a gabled roof and cross vault, still features the use of cast iron in many elements, including the baptismal font pedestal.

Crossing the church on the right, there is a wooden ramp to reach Via Battisti, No. 4, accessible by passing through the street in case of difficulties on the sidewalks. Here, you will encounter the first Liberty-style villa, Villa Benedetti.

Built in the early 20th century, it presents itself as a valuable villa in eclectic style with Liberty decorations. Owned by Benedetti Renato – Bussotti Corrado, it was built in 1922. It is a villa with a turret, an expression of the new status symbol of the bourgeoisie of the 1920s. The walls are made of squared stone and concrete. The main facade, facing north, is built on three steps, leading to the loggia with three arches supported by square pillars topped with capitals decorated with stucco. The turret shows traces of original decorations depicting eagles and griffins facing each other. The facades were plastered and painted with ochre yellow lime paint with splashes of purple red according to the fashion of the time.

Continue on Via Battisti to the end of the street, turn right onto Via Bicocchi until you reach Villa Jole Monatti, recognizable by the large trees in the garden.

The villa is in neoclassical style with neo-Gothic mullioned windows and Liberty decorations in cast iron.

Turn left onto Via A. Manzoni until you reach Via Ugo Foscolo, then turn right onto Via Matteotti and right onto the promenade. Continue until you reach the Rosa dei Venti in front of the equipped beach "Tangram," where you can spot Villa Sant'Anna.

Located on Lungomare Italia, it was built in the 1920s and features Liberty motifs and an octagonal turret.

Following the coastline back towards the center, you reach Piazza a Mare, where you will find the bar and ice cream shop Pagni. The bar is on one level with no steps or barriers, while the terrace upstairs is not accessible. The bar's restroom has maneuvering space and an entrance suitable for wheelchair maneuvers, although no dedicated aids are present. There is also an accessible outdoor gazebo (minimal space for electric wheelchairs).

In Piazza a Mare, there are two statues, symbols of Follonica. The first is the Allegory of the Sea, a bronze monument on a marble pedestal created in 1998 by the Czech sculptor Ivan Theimer, specifically for the city. The sculptor is now one of the most established contemporary artists in painting and sculpture.

The second monument is the Portale del Mistero, a sculpture created by artist Riccardo Grazzi. The work, made of white Carrara marble, represents a door opening towards the sea, an immense and mysterious place, hence the title "Portale del Mistero."

Finally, you return to the obelisk in Piazza Sivieri, passing through Via Roma.

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