The History

The Punta Ala area, already known and inhabi­ted in the Etruscan era, but also used as a gra­zing place for livestock. The first settlements of the port of Punta Ala dates back to Roman times and from here it gets origins the toponym Punta Troia, an ancient name of the place, deriving from the pho­netic mispronunciation of Portus Traiani found in some Latin sources.

In the 16th century, the promontory, a privile­ged panoramic point, from which you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Gulf of Follonica, of the islet and those bizarrely shaped rocks, it was used by the Grand Dukes of Tuscany as a strate­gic sighting point, and so able to defendit from the continuous incursions of the Turks.

The construction of the Castle which still domina­tes the promontory dates back to this era, a tribu­te to Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo the 1st. The other structure with historical and military charm is the Torre Hidalgo, also knew as Torre del Barbiere, built by the Principality of Piombino in 1577 as a coastal lookout point.

The development of the port and tourist center took place during the 20th century. At the begin­ning of the 30s Italo Balbo, undersecretary for the national economy and Minister of the Royal Air Force of the Mussolini government, during one of his reconnaissance flights of the national territory, flew over the area and fell in love with it. He then purchased several lands and villas, including the first Medici building, later known as Castello Balbo. He changes the name of the loca­lity from Punta Troia to Punta Ala, because of its characteristic shape seen from above and he also renames Isola dello Sparviero, which until then had been known as Isola di Troia, characterized by the so-called “piggy” rocks that surround it and by the Torre degli Appiani (or Torre dello Sparviero or Torre di Troia Vecchia, also built by the princes of Piombino for defensive purposes).

Once the regime collapsed, all Balbo’s proper­ties were requisitioned by the Italian state and then resold to privates.

At the end of the 1950s the architects Walter di Salvo and Francesco Paolo Piemontese collabo­rated for the project of the tourist port, which re­alisation took place the 1st of January, in 1962 and so many other structures that gives us Punta Ala as it is known today.

In the same time, the Golf Club (first golf land of Maremma) such as the equestrian center, were developed, but also several hotels and residen­tial villas were built.

The urban center is also enhanced by the Chapel of Sant’Antonio and the Church of Signora della Conosolata.

A solid tradition in sailing was established and the Punta Ala Yacht Club was founded in 1976.

The tourist port becomes the cradle of Luna Rossa, the Italian vessel protagonist in the 1999/2000 America’s Cup regattas.

In 1990 the location was awarded with the Blue Flag.