Kite spots in Tuscany – Calambrone, Follonica and more

Typical Tuscan view in Chiani valley.
Tuscany, as most people know it.

If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany, Italy, it’s most likely for the wine, food and culture. Visiting Florence and the Chianti valley should be on everyone’s Tuscan bucket list (feel free to skip Pisa though – it’s just a leaning tower surrounded by tourists). But if you’re a kitesurfer it’s also likely that you’ve considered bringing your kite gear and spend at least a few days by the coast of this beautiful region.

And so you land on this page, hoping to get some concrete advice on where and when to go. I spent the summer in Tuscany and got a fairly good view of the kitesurf scene here. Alright, let’s get to it.

Tuscan summer weather

Before we get into the details we need to establish two things. In the summer (June to September) Tuscany relies on thermal seabreeze, and this seabreeze effect is stronger down South. For this reason, your best shot at logging some sessions in Tuscany is South of Pisa. If you go outside the summer months you can catch the occasional storm session but it’s not guaranteed.

The Tuscan summer is generally hot with little rain and lends itself to a good breeze. July and August are the hottest, meaning biggest chance of wind. But August is also the big holiday month in Italy and the beaches will be very busy. Water temperature is around a comfortable 25°C but for kitesurfing a shorty could be nice to protect from wind chill.

Very small, busy beach.
Although some Tuscan beaches will give you a claustrophobic feeling, there are many beaches suitable for kitesurfing.

The two go-to spots in this region are Marina di Grosseto and Talamone. I was living further up North, in Viareggio however, and never went that much South to try them out. Although these spots seem fairly wind safe in the summer, my understanding is that with the whole Tuscan coastline the same rule applies; wind is fairly light and you still need a base wind around 7 to 10 knots to get a nice afternoon breeze.

Kitesurf spots in Tuscany

Because of my Northern base, I only experienced Viareggio, Calambrone and Follonica first hand. But there are plenty of spots to visit, some with centres and some without. Keep in mind that the beaches get very busy in the summer. Launching space might be limited and some beaches like Punta Ala even ban kiting.

map of kite spots along Tuscany's coast.
All the spots along Tuscany’s coast. I’m sure there are more. These are just the ones I found.

1. Viareggio

Viareggio public beach in May.
The public beach in Viareggio would be perfect for kitesurfing, if only there was enough wind.

Unless you’re foiling the wind isn’t really strong enough here for kiting. You might still get lucky or come here in the winter, in which case the place to launch from is the public beach just South of the marina. You can enter the beach either North or South of all the lidos.

2. Calambrone

Flatwater kitesurf spot in Calambrone.
Flatwater spot in Calambrone.

This resorty seaside town has two spots. A public beach that you can access from either resort Principi di Piemonte or resort Oasis. On a sunny day you won’t have much space to launch your kite though.

A better option is the old windsurf club by the public dog beach, right before the bridge into Livorno port. If it’s windy it’s likely to be other kiters and windsurfers there and the gate will be open. Then you can drive all the way to the beach. This is a great spot with flat water sheltered by a wave breaker.

There’s parking, grass to dry your kites on and plenty of launch area. There’s also a school operating here. I read somewhere that you need to be a member of the local club to ride here, but I just rocked up and rode without any objections. Just be friendly and respectful and I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Wind sock and kites flying in the air at Calambrone kite centre.
This spot is an official centre of sorts. But it’s a pretty laid back affair.
Switch Krypto 12m kite drying on grass with cranes in the background.
Your kite can dry on grass here. Always a bonus.

3. Rosignano Solvay – White beach

There’s supposed to be chemicals in the water (the same chemicals that make the sand white) which keeps bathers away. This doesn’t stop kiters from riding this spot though.

4. Marina di Bibbona

Beach and kites in Marina di Gibbona.
Photo credit: Andrew Andrade

A public beach that can get busy with people, so you’ll have to walk far to find a spot where you can launch in the summer months.

5. Follonica – Puntone beach

Kite launch at Surf Relax kite centre, Puntone beach.
The beach is narrow in Puntone, but assist is always at hand.

If you want to ride in the Follonica bay you have to launch from the Surf Relax centre. There isn’t much launch area anyway on this narrow beach but with the friendly beach guys to assist you it’s not problem.

This spot is easy to access via a short walk through the pine trees and the center offers food, drinks and lessons if you need them. To ride here you need to be a member, which you can become for €5 a day, or if you buy a season pass.

Kites lined up on Puntone beach, Follonica.
With thermal wind you’ll have those borderline days where everyone is waiting for just one more knot.
Puntone beach sign on the beach.
Altough you need to pay to ride here, it’s quite convenient to have a center around. Especially if you’re here with non-kiters.

6. Punta Ala

Apparently this spot is closed for kiters in the summer.

7. Marina di Grosseto

Probably Tuscany’s number one spot. It’s supposed to be a beautiful spot in a national reserve, so everything from signs to huts is made from drive wood and other organic materials.

8. Talamone

Another sweet looking spot with flat water.

To summarise

Tuscany can be great for kitesurfing in the summer, just be sure to go South of Pisa and head for one of the spots mentioned above. Even with reliable thermal wind, it’s generally light wind in this part of the Meds, so if you want a kitesurf-focused trip to Italy I would recommend Sicily or Sardinia instead.

Wind and BBQ laid up on a dinner table outside a Tuscan villa.
But really, a trip to Tuscany is about this though, innit?
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