Excursions and Sports sites
Cities of Art nearby
CAMAIORE (8 km)
Beautiful town at the foot of the hills, among the oldest from the area with traces that make it date back around the year 1200. The wide territory of the municipality, which in a few kilometers goes from the sea to the mountain, offers natural beauties, stories and art.
Palces to visit: Abbey of San Pietro, Pieve Santa Maria Assunta, Museum of Sacred Art, Archaeological Museum, Castle of Rotaio (fortress of the XIII century along the ancient Via Francigena).
Not far, in the village of Capezzano Pianore, is Villa Borbone delle Pianore.
VIAREGGIO (500 mt)
A seaside town known and recognized for its Carnival, for the boating and floriculture industries. It is characterized by the presence of a large pine forest, the true lung of the area, which is located in the center of the town. Wonderful is the pedestrian promenade full of shops, bars, restaurants and Art Nouveau buildings, that are also scattered throughout the town; to the south the promenade ends with a pier stretched out towards the sea and which divides it from the dock with its splendid yachts and the boatyards. Seat of many prizes and events including Viareggio Repaci Literary Prize, the Viareggio Sport Prize, the World Cup Tournament of Viareggio Carnival for the young soccer teamsand the Gaber Festival in memory of the famous italian artist.
Places to visit: Cittadella del Carnevale with adjoining Museum, Civic Museums of Villa Paolina, Maritime Museum, Birthplace of Lorenzo Viani, Villa Argentina, Torre Matilde, Villa Borbone on Viale dei Tigli connecting Viareggio with its fraction Torre del Lago Puccini.
TORRE DEL LAGO PUCCINI (7 km)
Small hamlet of Viareggio overlooking the lake of Massaciuccoli; it owes its name to the presence of a tower of the XV-XVI century, to which the name Puccini was added in 1938 in honor of the composer who loved these places so much that he made his residence where he composed many of his most famous lyrics. Here every year in the summer the Puccini Festival takes place; the representations of the Master’s works are performed at the evocative open-air theater overlooking the lake. From here are possible boat trips on the Massaciuccoli lake. Towards the sea, Marina di Torre del Lago offers beaches and entretainment in the various night clubs.
Places to visit: Puccini House Museum, Villa Borbone on Viale dei Tigli that joins Torre del Lago with Viareggio.
PIETRASANTA (8 KM)
Lively town dating back to the thirteenth century, it can be considered the artistic capital of Versilia, a true center of cultural exchange, always linked to the processing of marble. Visitable artisan shops, bronze foundries and laboratories of mosaics and marble.
Places to visit: Cathedral of San Martino and its Piazza, Baptistery, Collegiate of San Martino with the Rocca di Sala, Palazzo Pretorio, Rocchetta Arrighina, Rocca Ghibellina, Archaeological Museum inside of Palazzo Moroni, Church of Sant’Agostino, now suspended for worship but home of many exibitions of contemporary art, Museum of the sketches.
Not far, in the village of Valdicastello is the birthplace of the poet Giosuè Carducci and the Romanesque church of Saints Giovanni and Felicita, and in Vallecchia is the church of Santo Stefano.
FORTE DEI MARMI (8 km)
Recently founded it began to populate thanks to the marble trade and after the reclamation of the lorense began its development. This village is linked to mundane tourism since the XIX century, which contributed to its development as a holiday resort, and then in more recent times fun and shopping, to this day has not lost this feature for which it is still chosen today by various famous people in the world of entertainment, sport and more. The Fortino, from which the town takes its name, is located right in the center and houses the Museum of Satire and Caricature.
Places to visit: Museum of Satire and Caricature, House museum of the sculptor Ugo Guidi.
MASSAROSA (11 km)
Small center of a large municipality very popular in Roman times, in whose hamlets are hidden artistic and natural beauty of prestige.
Places to visit: Romanesque church of San Martino in Bargecchia, Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Corsanico, Romanesque church of San Pantaleone in Pieve a Elici, Antiquarium Museum in Massaciuccoli, including a visit to the ruins of the Villa dei Venulei and the Roman baths, as well site of the Museum on the Ecology of the Marsh, Etruscan settlement of San Rochino.
SERRAVEZZA (13 km)
Village of Roman origin that has known its greatest development in the late Middle Ages. Set in the rocks of the Apuan Alps, the municipality includes a vast territory that in a few kilometers allows you to climb from zero sea level to almost 1600 meters of the Monte Altissimo.
Places to visit: Palazzo Mediceo, home to the Library and Museum of Labor and Popular Traditions of historic Versilia, as well as UNESCO World Heritage, the Duomo of San Lorenzo and Barbara.
Not far away, near Azzano, Church of San Martino (built entirely of marble whose rose window is called “The eye of Michelangelo”)
STAZZEMA (20 km)
Scattered municipality of Alta Versilia (17 are its hamlets) is the only one to be completely mountain and is the highest parse of Versilia. Born since the Middle Ages, it is surrounded by some of the most popular mountains of the Apuan Alps and very popular for walking and climbing.
Places to visit: Church of Santa Maria Assunta with a beautiful central rose window, Torre Medicea or Torre dell’Orologio.
In the immediate vicinity is the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Piastraio, or Madonna del Bell’amore, hidden in the chestnut wood and accessible only on foot and the Church of Maria Santissima delle Nevi.
Also worth visiting is Sant’Anna di Stazzema with the ossuary museum, home to the ferocious Nazi-Fascist massacre.
LUCCA (20 km)
One of the most unique cities of art in Italy. The sourrending walls that remain intact, dating back to the XV-XVII century, can be traveled on foot and enclose the historical center that has substantially reached us with the splendor of the past. Of marvelous charm Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, born on the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater and Via Fillungo, narrow street that crosses the old town with many shops that show the ancient splendor of the buildings.
Places to visit: Surrounding Wall, Cathedral of San Martino, Basilica of San Frediano, Church of San Michele in Foro, Via Fillungo, Torre Giunigi, Torre delle Ore, Birthplace of the composer Giacomo Puccini, Piazza Napoleone with the Palazzo Ducale and the theater del Giglio, Villa Bottini and Palazzo Pfanner.
A corollary of the city are many small villages and their beautiful villas open to the public (in Marlia is Villa Reale, in Segromigno in Monte is Villa Mansi).
MASSA (20 km)
Of unquestionable origins of pre-Roman age, the town knew its maximum splendor during the Middle Ages, period in which it formed a Duchy with the nearby Carrara and since then the history of the two towns has indissolubly intertwined. Located on the Gothic Line, the Gold Medal of Civil Merit for the abnegation of the community during the war was deserved.
Places to visit: Cathedral of Massa, Civic Museum Gigi Guadagnucci Collection in Villa Rinchiostra, Palazzo Ducale, Castle or Rocca Malaspina, Air-raid Shelter of Martana.
A short distance from Massa in Pian della Fioba, in the Apuane Alps National Park at an altitude of about 900 meters, the wonderful Pellegrini-Ansaldi Botanical Garden and 5 km from Massa, above the village of Montignoso, Castello Aghinolfi.
CARRARA (25 km)
Is the most important center in the world for the extraction and processing of the famous and precious white Carrarra marble coming from the nearby Apuan Alps. A little known city developed along the banks of the Carrione stream but with a long past: the Romans already extracted the marble that shipped to Rome starting from the port of Luni. The city was awarded the Gold Medal for Civil Merit for its contribution to the Liberation struggle during the 2nd World War.
Places to visit: Cathedral of Sant’Andrea Apostolo, Museo Civico del Marmo, Ducal Castle or Cybo Malaspina Palace, home to the Academy of Fine Arts, ruins of the Castello Moneta and the Tower of Castruccio Castracani.
Located at 8 km from Carrara, located within the area of the marble quarries, stands Colonnata, a small village of Roman origin initially inhabited by those who worked in the quarries. The village consists of a dense network of very narrow and steep streets leading to the main square has preserved in part the original original features priprie among which stand out the North Gate access to the village dating back to medieval walls, the stone bell tower with the clock, the Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo in which there is a beautiful marble crucifix attributed to a student of Michelangelo. In the square in front of the church there is a modern sculpture dedicated to the Christ of the Cavatori of A. Sparapani. In addition to the quarries, Colonnata is famous all over the world for its delicious lard, whose exceptional goodness is due to aging in marble tanks dating back to the year 1000. (festadellardodicolonnata.it)
PISA (25 km)
Ancient Maritime Republic and worldwide known for its Tower of 1173 in Piazza dei Miracoli, the city offers a great artistic heritage to be discovered. From the Roman vestiges to masterpieces of every age along the roads that wind around the river Arno. Spectascular are the celebrations for the feast of the patron San Ranieri;the famous Luminara that takes place on June 16th, on the eve of the feast, with a consequent fireworks display of the Cittadella Vecchia and in the late afternoon of the 17th, instead takes place the Regatta di San Ranieri where the four districts of the city challenge each other to celebrate the ancient Pisan nautical tradition in the waters of the Arno against the current.
Places to visit: Piazza dei Miracoli and the Museo delle Sinopie, San Matteo Museum, Medici Arsenals with the Museum of Ancient Ships, Botanical Garden, Church of San Nicola, Church of Santa Maria della Spina, Church of San Michele degli Scalzi alle Piagge, Piazza delle Vettovaglie, Mural of Haring at the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, Gaileo Museum, National Museum of the Royal Palace.
In the province of Pisa it is worth visiting the splendid Certosa di Calci, a former Carthusian monastery, today a splendid baroque monument inserted in a very suggestive landscape on the slopes of Monte Pisano. La Certosa houses the National Museum of the Certosa Monumentale di Calci and the Museum of Natural History of the University of Pisa which, in addition to unique collections of zoology, palaeontology and mineralogy, includes live animals housed in Italy’s largest freshwater Aquarium.
MONTECATINI TERME (40 KM)
It is a small town in the Valdinievole that owes its fame to the wonderful spa establishments in Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic style surrounded by parks. Looking up towards the hills you can see Montecatini Alto, the true historical center of the town, a delightful medieval village to be discovered and admired. Born in Roman times, it can also be reached using the Funicular inaugurated in 1898, a delightful way to admire the panorama of the Valdinievole. It hosts numerous events during the year among which the Palio dei Quartieri and the Disfisa dei Castelli della Valdinievole stand out in June.
Places to visit: Thermal Park with the establishments notable artistic value of the Tettuccio and the Excelsior, Scalabrino Academy of Art, medieval village of Montecatini Alto.
LUNI (35 km)
It is located on the border between Liguria and Tuscany. Ancient city of Roman origin dedicated to the goddess Luna, was founded at the mouth of the river Magra and became famous for its port from where the ships loaded with marble from the Apuane, timber of the Apennine forests, cheese and local wines to Rome.
Places to visit: Archaeological Museum and Museum System of the ancient Roman city of Luna where stand out the amphitheater stand out, the forum, the Christian basilica and the domus of the frescoes and the domus of mosaics, from the medieval era are the Crypt of San Marco, the bell tower and the apse of the Romanesque cathedral of San Marco, Cantine Lunae.
In Ortonovo, more inside, Sanctuary of Nostra Signora del Mirteto. from the Middle Ages are the Crypt of San Marco, the bell tower and the apse of the Romanesque cathedral of San Marco.
SARZANA (45 km)
Considered the historical heir of Luni, thanks to its position the town has always been a crossroads of important communication routes between Liguria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. First agricultural center of considerable importance, then religious and legal center, Sarzana has always stood out over the centuries. The city retains two castles, the Firmafede Fortress, also called Cittadella, and the Fortress of Sarzanello, an ancient bishop’s residence, and a sixteenth-century walled village remained almost intact with walls and four towers. Very beautiful the historic center with and many wrought iron works, characteristic of the city. Since 2000, the Palio dei Quartieri has been held between the end of August and the beginning of September: the participating districts are twelve, the participants about 500 that give life to a historical parade in medieval costume that parades through the streets of the city accompanied by music and flag-wavers. During a whole week there are various challenges and games of people to crown the winning district.
Places to visit: Fortress Firmafede, Fortress of Sarzanello, Concattedrale of Santa Maria Assunta, Church of San Francesco with adjoining convent and cloister, Pieve di Sant’Andrea, Palazzo Roderio, Diocesan Museum, the four Torrioni (Testaforte, San Carlo or Stella, San Francesco and Genovese).
LIVORNO (45 km)
Fascinating city known mostly for the port, used to reach more popular destinations, while visiting it you discover an intriguing city that is untangled between its many canals, bridges and “ditches”. The great event of the summer in Livorno is in the months of July and August when the city stages “Effetto Venezia”, an event suitable for all ages; for the occasion the District La Venezia lights up for a party and shows of various kinds take place for several days.
Places to visit: Mercato Vettovaglie, covered market built in iron and glass in the mid-nineteenth century, Terrazza Mascagni, Fossi Medicei, Via Grande leading from the port to Piazza della Repubblica, New Venice and the Cisternino, which together are the true historical center of Livorno, Leopoldino Aqueduct, Old Fortress and New Fortress, Aquarium.
SAN MINIATO (70 km)
It is a jewel set between Pisa and Florence, along the Via Francigena. It rises on a triple hill that dominates the plain of the Arno. In the picturesque streets in the historic center you can admire numerous monuments restored or even rebuilt in all their former glory. Very particular is Piazza della Repubblica, with a curved appearance given by the ancient city walls, which shows an interesting and rare example of craft shops from the 1300s, whose entrance door of each in solid wood looks like a huge “T” ; the doors opened at the center as fattening at the store, while the arms of the “T” became the counter for the display of the goods. Today famous for its leather processing and the production of white truffles, in San Miniato there is the Palio di Cuoio which celebrates the leather tanning and the last three weekends of November the Truffle Market Exhibition.
Places to visit: the thirteenth-century fortress, Piazza della Repubblica or the Seminario, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Genesio with its 26 colored ceramic basins and the bell tower from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding valley, Palazzo Vescovile, Palazzo dei Vicari of the Emperor next to the oldest tower of the village, Church of San Domenico with works by Della Robbia and Donatello.
PISTOIA (80 km)
Located halfway between Lucca and Florence, it is a city full of charm that wrongly is hardly included in tourist itineraries. The historical center, rich in history and culture, is suitable to be discovered little by little because every corner offers something to admire.
Pistoia also offers the Zoological Garden, an oasis for many animals from all over the world and a real research center in collaboration with the University of Pisa whose primary objective is to become an important center for the conservation of biodiversity.
Places to visit: Cathedral of San Zeno, Baptistery of San Giovanni in Corte, Church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Ospedale del Ceppo, Pistoia Underground, Piazza della Sala, Marino Marini Museum.
Between Lucca and Pistoia there is Collodi, a hamlet of Pescia, with the Pinocchio Park, where we follow a path of art, architecture and games entering the atmosphere of the famous tale of Carlo Collodi. Within walking distance are the Giardino Storico Garzoni, a beautiful garden among the most beautiful in Italy designed and built in the 1700s, and the Butterfly House, a huge crystal glass enclosed by a tropical garden inhabited by a thousand tropical butterflies (open from March to October).
VOLTERRA (85 km)
Beautiful hilltop village in the heart of Tuscany, famous for the extraction and processing of alabaster. Still today it preserves an historical center of Etruscan origin enclosed by a wall of the time, partly built with local stone blocks. Very characteristic the event Volterra AD 1398 that takes place in its narrow streets and in the large central Piazza dei Priori the 3rd and the 4th Sunday in August: the inhabitants become the protagonists of the medieval festival dressing with clothes in use around 600 years ago.
Places to visit: Palazzo dei Priori, Palaces Viti, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery, Art Gallery and civic museum, Ecomuseum of alabaster, Roman Theater and Amphitheater, Etruscan Museum Guarnacci, Etruscan walls and the six gateways, including Porta all’Arco the oldest and most unique remained intact, Acropoli etrusca, Fortezza Medicea.
FLORENCE (100 km)
Without a doubt the most famous Tuscan city in the world that doesn’t require presentation. The cradle of the Renaissance is an open-air museum city where one breathes art in every corner. Among the symbolic images of the city the Arno surmounted by Ponte Vecchio.The best time to visit Florence is the month of June on the occasion of the patronal feast of St. John the Baptist, during which various cultural and folk events take place, such as the city parade from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Baptistery, boat visits (the Renaroli) during the day in the evening during the fireworks show and in Piazza Santa Croce there is the final of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, an exciting game that we can define as a mix between football, rugby and wrestling. At Easter, on the other hand, the most awaited event is the evocative Scoppio del Carro, a tradition that has survived for over 300 years, while at the end of the Christmas festivities La Cavalcata dei Magi, re-enactment in costume that takes place along the streets of the historic center.
Places to visit: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo, Baptistery of San Giovanni and Giotto’s Bell Tower, Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Basilica of Santa Croce, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens , Piazzale Michelangelo, Ponte Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia, Birthplace of Michelangelo Buonarroti, House of Dante Alighieri Chiesa of San Miniato.
FIESOLE (110 km)
On the hill just behind Florence, just 2 km away, the small town of Fiesole deserves to be visited. Thanks to its elevated position and the short distance from the Tuscan capital, it boasts an incomparable view of the lily city. It looks like a Renaissance village full of gardens, ancient villas, fortresses and archaeological sites dating back to the Etruscan and Roman times scattered around.
Places to visit: Archaeological Area and Archaeological Museum, Convent of San Francesco, Cathedral of San Romolo, Badia Fiesolana, Villa San Michele, Villa Medici, Palazzo Vescovile, Castello di Vincigliata.
PORTOFINO (120 km)
Ancient of fishing village, today destination of exclusive tourism. At the center of an inlet hidden among olive and chestnut trees, the village opens up like an amphitheater of typical pastel-colored houses directly on the sea.
Places to visit: Castello Brown, Church of San Martino, Museum of the Park, Faro di Portofino, Tigullio Protected Natural Marine Area where the Christ of the Abyss is located and where you can dive and snorkel to admire the coral reef.
Nearby the Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte in Camogli and the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Rosa in Santa Margherita Ligure, another very interesting place where you can admire a sixteenth-century castle.
GENOVA (150 km)
Ancient maritime republic, a port city and capital of Liguria, has the largest historical center in Europe and is a UNESCO heritage site for humanity, like 42 palaces that I find there. The Old Port has been redeveloped and today it is present as a central pivot of Genoese culture. Wonderful museums in the city.
Places to visit: Rolli of Genoa, Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Via Garibaldi, Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Reale, Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Carignano, La Lanterna, Porto Antico, Aquarium – the largest in Europe- and Galata, District of Boccadasse.
AREZZO (180 km)
It is a small treasure chest full of beauties to admire. The Cathedral is located right on top of the hill where the city is located. One of the attractions of Arezzo is the Giostra del Saracino which takes place in Piazza Grande from June to September.
Places to visit: Basilica of San Francesco, Piazza Grande, Cathedral of San Donato, Basilica of San Domenico in which there is the famous Crucifix of Cimabue, Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, Church of Santa Maria, Home-Museum of Giorgio Vasari, Medici Fortress.
SAN GIMIGNANO (200 km)
Small fortified town halfway between Florence and Siena is famous for its characteristic medieval architecture. The fourteen towers, which still contribute to giving it a unique profile in the world, are the few that remain of the 72 that once were counted. In 1990 this medieval village perched on the hills that dominate the Val d’Elsa has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Places to visit: Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta with the Chapel of Santa Fina from San Gimignano, as well as the house of Santa Fina, Piazza del Duomo which overlooks the Palazzo del Popolo, the Torre Grossa and the Loggia del Comune which houses the Museo Civico, Piazza della Cisterna with its characteristic octagonal well, to which it owes its name, the Museum of Torture, the Church of Sant’Agostino, the former Santa Chiara Convent, the Bibblioteca Comunale, Rocca di Montestaffoli.
Near San Gimignano it is possible to visit the Etruscan Necropolis of Cellole and the Castelvecchio Nature Reserve.
GROSSETO (200 km)
Quiet and graceful city between the Maremma and the sea from which it is about 12 km, suitable for families, which can offer beautiful surprises to those who decide to visit it. The historic center, enclosed by the medieval wall completely intact and beautifully preserved, hides beautiful treasures. Places to visit: Duomo, Medici Walls, Piazza Dante Alighieri, Archaeological and Art Museum of the Maremma, Church of San Francesco, Church of San Pietro.
In the vicinity of the city only 8 km is the archaeological area of the ancient city of Roselle, one of the 12 Etruscan city-states. It is an extremely interesting archaeological site that shows the overlapping of the Villanovan, Etruscan and Roman civilizations through the discovery of remains of exceptional value. The Maremma Natural Park is also worth a visit.
Not far also Saturnia small town on top of a hill stands near the remains of an Etruscan necropolis and deserves to be exported before going to the famous Terme di Saturnia, numerous springs of water rich in mineral deposits that rise at a temperature of 37.5 ° already known to the Etruscans first and then to the Romans for their therapeutic and relaxing properties.
This area also includes the Formiche of Grosseto, the islets located in the heart of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, which fall within the protected marine area of the Sanctuary of the Cetaceans.
SIENA (250 km)
Beautiful provincial town characterized by beautiful medieval brick buildings, whose historic center, surrounded by ancient walls, is all pedestrian and on a human scale. Famous for its Palio (2nd July and 16th August) fought horse race for whose victory still clash today the seventeen historic districts in which the city is divided.
Places to visit: Piazza del Campo, Gothic-Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Torre del Mangia, Piccolomini Library frescoed by Pinturicchio, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Basilica of San Francesco, Sanctuary of Santa Caterina, Palazzo Salimbeni.
LAKE OF MASSACIUCCOLI (7/12 km)
The lake and the marsh area around it are part of the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli and a LIPU oasis, given the numerous species of birds present.
To see: LIPU Oasis, lake walkway, Puccini cycle path, boat trips in the marsh, boat trips on the lake.
SAN ROSSORE NATIONAL PARK (20 km)
Its enormous dimensions range from the edge of Viareggio along the coast to Livorno. Well cared for, offers different types of routes for tourists and nature lovers. Inside the Park, near Pisa, there is the San Rossore Racecourse. Ideal place for relaxing walks, cycle-rides by mountain bike and horseback riding between sea and pine forest
ANTRO DEL CORCHIA (25 KM – during the summer free shuttle bus)
In the heart of the Apuan Alps near Levigliani the site is an important karst complex with over 70 km of tunnels and wells. You can also visit the Argente Mine with its mercury deposits and the Bent Stone Museum in the immediate vicinity.
ORTO BOTANICO PIETRO PELLEGRINI (30 km)
The Botanical Garden Pietro Pellegrini is located in Pian delle Fioba on the panoramic road that connects Massa to Garfagnana, in the protected area of the Apuan Alps National Park about 900 meters. of altitude. In collaboration with the University of Pisa, Florence and Siena, it aims to study and conserve the various species of native flora, as well as disseminate their knowledge through educational activities. It is also included among the archaeological sites of Tuscany since here have been made findings of pre-Roman and Roman age. (www.parcapuane.toscana.it)
MARBLE CAVE OF CARRARA AND NATIONAL PARK OF THE APUANIAN ALPS (40 km)
At the Fantiscritti Marble Basins the staff of “Marble tour” accompanies the immense galleries that reach the Cathedral of Marble, in an easily accessible path, both by children and the elderly or disabled . These areas lend themselves wonderfully to trekking with various routes to follow.
GROTTA DEL VENTO AND GARFAGNANA (60 km)
Always located within the National Park of the Apuan Alps, near Gallicano. The cave presents various and spectacular aspects of the underground karst phenomenon; the visit includes different types of itinerary to admire the beauties of the subsoil that are expressed with stalactites, stalagmites, ponds, waterways and vertical wells that can easily be visited through comfortable paths. Recommended clothing suitable for the internal cave temperature of + 10 ° with 99% humidity.
The entire territory of the Garfagnana, besides offering wonderful landscapes, is dotted with countries, more or less large, that hide true treasures of art and culture.
Castenuovo di Grarfagnana is certainly the capital of the area with the Rocca that dominates the historic center, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, inside which is preserved a splendid Della Robbia terracotta, the “Pala di San Giuseppe”, the Mont’Alfonso Fortress and the Convent of San Giuseppe.
Great tourist attraction also offer several artificial lakes of the Garfagnana: the best known is Lake Vagli, among the largest in Europe, in whose depth hides the “ghost town” of Fabbriche di Careggine. The village, in which the iron extracted from the Tambura was worked, re-emerges every time the reservoir is emptied for maintenance work and so for a whole summer the village comes back to life again; you can walk between the houses and the church with its tall bell tower to enjoy a rare event.
The same fate happened to Isola Santa: the ancient medieval village was abandoned by its inhabitants for the contrition in the 50’s of a dam but as if by magic, in 2000 a restoration project was born that brought life back to the lake’s shores. The Borgo delle Fate, so it was nicknamed for the magic that seems to hover in this place, is reflected in the calm waters of the lake, a paradise for fishermen; ancient stone houses embellished with colorful flowers, the beautiful Church of San Jacopo that deserves a visit and the only restaurant where you can taste the specialties of Garfagnana.
Places to visit: Ponte del Diavolo in Borgo a Mozzano, Ethnographic Museum and Sanctuary of San Pellegrino in Alpe, Sanctuary of Madonna della Guardia in Argegna, Rocca Ariosteca and Fortress of Mont’alfonso in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Fortress of the Verrucole and Orecchiella Park in San Romano in Garfagnana, Borgo di Sambuca.
CINQUE TERRE (70 km)
Declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997, are located on the Ligurian coast that offers rocky parts that become bays or overlook precipitous beaches. The show offered by nature is interspersed with small villages typical brightly colored houses or terraces of olive and vine crops. The Cinque Terre are none other than the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore (during the summer they can be reached from the sea with a service that leaves from the Viareggio pier).
ELBA ISLAND (100 km – ferry from Piombino)
The largest of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago offers not only sea, sun and beaches but many places to visit such as archaeological sites and museums, forts and forts from various eras, mines, churches and breathtaking landscapes.
Places to visit: Archaeological Museums in Marciana, in Linguella and in Rio Elba, Mineralogical Museums in Rio Marina and in San Piero, Museum of the Sea of Capoliveri, Palazzina dei Mulini and Villa San Martino, where Napoleon stayed during his exile on Elba, Castello del Volterraio, Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, Forte Stella.
TENNIS COURTS (from 2 KM)
GOLF COURSES (from 5 KM) Versilia Golf Resort – Alisei Golf & Country Club Pietrasanta;
HORSE RIDING (8 KM) horseback riding on the beach with Associazione Il Cavallo e Noi or Ranch Il Gufo in Pietrasanta, nice experience to do with children.
Also in the National Park of San Rossore there are several riding stables that give the possibility of horse riding along the paths of the park or the sandy dunes by the sea;
SOCCER FIELDS (2 KM) available football and soccer fields nearby;
WATER SPORTS canoeing, surfing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding;
SHOOTING POLYGON WITH THE ARCH (2 KM) Ass. Sportiva Kentron Dard;
PARAGLIDES (da 25 KM) Parapendio Versilia;
CYCLE-TOURISM given the naturalistic conformation of our areas wherever cycling routes are present both on the coastal plain, where there are cycle paths that continue also from one coastal village to another, both on the nearby hills up to the peaks of the Apuan Alps for the most experienced and trained.
FITNESS (2 KM) gyms, but also possibility of physical activity at beach clubs;
TREKKING AND ALPINISM (from 10/40 KM) a myriad of paths that offer routes both for simple and relaxing walks and climbs more suitable for experienced hikers.
The morning of every week
MONDAY: Lido di Camaiore (Lungomare Europa) – Seravezza (Piazza Carducci)
TUESDAY: Massarosa (Piazza Provenzali), Viareggio (area Ex Campo d’Aviazione), Capezzano Pianore (Piazza degli Alpini)
WEDNESDAY: Forte dei Marmi (Piazza Marconi), Stiava, Viareggio (area Terminetto)
THURSDAY: Viareggio (Passaggiata and Piazza del Mercato), Pietrasanta (Piazza Statuto), Lido di Camaiore (area Secco)
FRIDAY: Camaiore (Piazza San Bernardino and surrounding streets), Torre del Lago (Via Giovanni XXIII)
SATURDAY: Marina di Piatrasanta (area Tonfano), Viareggio (area Marco Polo)
SUNDAY: Forte dei Marmi (from Easter until the end of September, Piazza Marconi), Lido di Camaiore (summer time, Viale Colombo in area Secco), Torre del Lago (summer period, Via Giovanni XXIII)
LIDO DI CAMAIORE: Second and fourth weekends of the month on the Lungomare Europa fair of typical products and handicrafts organized by Versilia Tourist Promotion Consortium.
FORTE DEI MARMI: First Sunday of the month in Piazza Dante
VIAREGGIO: – Fourth (and fifth) ) weekend of the month in Piazza D’Azeglio – First Monday and Tuesday of the month in the pedestrian area of Via Fratti and Via Battisti – Second weekend of the month in Passaggiata at Piazza Campioni
PIETRASANTA Second Sunday of the month in Piazza Duomo
MASSAROSA: Third Sunday of the month in Piazza Cenami (dates confirmed from February to June)
CAMAIORE: Second Sunday of the month in Piazza San Bernardino
PIETRASANTA: First Sunday of the month in Piazza Duomo
VIAREGGIO: Last weekend of the month in Piazza D’Azeglio
MASSAROSA: Third Sunday of the month in Piazza Cenami (dates confirmed from February to June)
FRIENDLY COUNTRYSIDE: Every Tuesday local food market of local products in Viareggio in Piazza del Mercato
FRIENDLY COUNTRYSIDE: Every Friday a short supply chain of agricultural products (vegetables, fruit, oil, wine, jams, honey and cheeses) in Massarosa in Piazza degli Alpini
FRIENDLY COUNTRYSIDE: Every Saturday a zero-kilometer market of local agricultural producers in Camaiore center in Piazza Romboni and Via Vittorio Emanuele
COUNTRY MARKET: Every Thursday in Viareggio (Quartiere Migliarina)
COUNTRY MARKET: Every Saturday promoted by the Italian Farmers Confederation and Associazione Donne in Campo in Pietrasanta in Piazza Statuto
COUNTRY MARKET KILOMETER ZERO: Second and fourth Sunday in Forte dei Marmi in Via Assisi (between Fortis and Clinica San Camillo) a zero-km farmer’s market with the participation of companies from the Versilia and Lucca areas
Events in the municipality of Camaiore
TIRRENO ADRIATICA IN LIDO DI CAMAIORE AND CAMAIORE
The Tirreno Adriatica is one of the most prestigious races on the national and international cycling scene; born as a preparation race, in the last decade it has grown so much as to be the fourth stage race in the world. It is a test of strength of the many world cycling champions who, in the space of one week, travel over a thousand kilometers at a high technical level, testing themselves in team time trials and individual time trials, stages for sprinters and finisseurs and mountain stages. Everything is obviously followed live on TV worldwide.
This year the 55th edition from 11 to 11 March 2020
– 11/03 1st stage time trial in Lido di Camaiore – 12/03 2nd stage Camaiore-Follonica
CHRONOSQUADRE DELL VERSILIA MICHELE BARTOLI – CAMAIORE
Elite Under 23 national race and amateurs. The route takes place starting from Forte dei Marmi towards Marina di Massa and then going back and, after going back from the starting point, the teams head towards Marina di Pietrasanta and Lido di Camaiore; here they return to the starting point. A circuit of 31 km approximately.
This year the 13th edition on March 15th 2020
TRIENNALE LUMINARA IN CAMAIORE
Every three years in Camaiore there is a religious and cultural event of the highest level, the Procession of the Dead Jesus. From dusk all the historical center is illuminated by the traditional “cincindellori” craft that from the facades of each house form the evocative luminara, a path that winds through the streets of the center like a river of light. Following the procession, the precious wooden group of the Deposition dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries is carried on the shoulders. Unique show in Italy.
Next edition 2022
E’ LA VIA DELL’ORTO A CAMAIORE
E’ la via dell’orto (It is the way of the garden) is a festival that recalls the peasant origins of our area; in April the historic center of Camaiore showcases one of the great passions of Camaiore to vegetable gardens, seeds, herbs and herbaria. During the two days of the event it is possible to taste typical local food and wine products, buy fruit and vegetable products in the market at km 0 and enjoy the various collateral events of various kinds that take place corollary.
This year the 11th edition will take place on April 18th and 19th 2020 from 9.00am to 7.00pm
STREET ARTISTS FESTIVAL IN CAMAIORE AND LIDO DI CAMAIORE
The Street Artists Festival is a well-established event organized by the Versilia Tourist Promotion Consortium that offers all artists to perform in their performances for the joy and amazement of young and old. The Festival, which takes place during the weekend, has two dates, one in spring and the other in summer. Also you can walk among stalls of typical products of the area.
This year will take place on (dates to be definited).
SAWDUST CARPETS FOR THE CORPUS DOMINI IN CAMAIORE
Every year, in the historical center from the sunset and all Saturday night before the solemnity of the Corps Domini, the historical groups of the “master carpets” work hard at the carpets of sawdust, to give life to works of ephemeral but extraordinary beauty suggestion. And it is precisely during the night that you observe the stages of processing that you can enjoy the most engaging experience in admiring with what skill the Camaiore artisans give birth to beautiful “paintings” tens of meters long with wonderful colors. In the morning of Sunday the carpets can be admired until the arrival of the Procession that will wipe them away on the way.
This year’s appointment on June 13th and 14th 2020.
CAMAIORE A TUTTO LUPPOLO IN CAMAIORE
Camaiore a tutto luppolo (Camaiore to all hops) is a review of craft beers; many breweries of Versilia but also from all over Italy will bring their products and you can taste classic and experimental beers. A corollary also of stalls of typical and artisanal products.
This year the 8th edition will take place on (dates to be definited).
FOLLIE D’ALTRI TEMPI IN CAMAIORE
Follie d’Altri Tempi (Follies of other times), which has now become an unmissable appointment in the height of the Versilia summer, is an antiques, modern, vintage and collectibles market that takes place along the pedestrian streets of the center of Camaiore. With a duration of at least 5 days, the event has an interesting corollary of shows, music and theater. Great appeal is the section dedicated to the world of vintage engines with motoraduni and cycle pedaling on the subject.
This year the appointment will be from 12th to 16th August 2020
ALLA SCOPERTA DI CAMAIORE MEDIOEVALE E DELLA VIA FRANCIGENA
A weekend dedicated to shows, exhibitions-market, food and wine and guided tours Discovering Camaiore Mediovale and Via Francigena; the streets of the historic center and the famous street, used by the medieval travelers that united Rome to Western Europe, in particular to France from which it derives its name, are the protagonists of many initiatives ranging from the historical parade with flag bearers following the dressing of a lady accompanied by medieval dances, from the re-enactment of ancient crafts to performances by Falconers and Waders, to the evening show of fire. You can taste typical products prepared according to ancient recipes and buy small artifacts typical of the Middle Ages.
This year will take place (dates to be defined).
BODY PAINTING ON DISPLAY IN LIDO DI CAMAIORE
After the great success obtained from previous editions of Body Painting in Vetrina (Body Painting on Display), the Versilia Tourist Promotion Consortium will once again present this event also born from the collaboration with a local artist. The body painters transform statuarymodels into fantastic creatures that animate shop windows.
This year the 8th edition will take place (dates to be definited).
FESTA PIC IN CAMAIORE
The Festa PIC (pic Party) is a 2-day event entirely dedicated to chili. Exhibition and sale of peppers from around the world, tastings of many dishes to be savored and many side activities all related to the theme of the event.
This year the 13th edition will take place 10th and 11th October 2020.
FIERA DI OGNISSANTI IN CAMAIORE
For the pedestrian streets of the historic center, almost 400 stands give life to the All Saints Fair exposing products of all kinds; quality craftsmanship, typical food products, merchandise of all kinds. A special space is all dedicated to the animal market and agricultural vehicles exhibition.
It takes place every year on 1 and 2 November.
PRIM’OLIO PRIMO VINO IN CAMAIORE
Enogastronomic event that celebrates the first squeezed oil and the first wine produced and not only. The producers of the territory will exhibit their agri-food excellences, including organic ones, of course. There will also be tastings of typical local dishes and shows of various kinds dedicated to the subject.
In 2018 the 12th edition will be held on the days (dates to be defined).
Events in the municipality of Viareggio
CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO
The Viareggio Carnival, considered one of the most important and appreciated in Italy and in Europe, is certainly the highlight of Versilia. The papier-maché carriages, which are the largest and most full of movements in the world, parade along the path between beach and buildings in liberty style preceded by masked figures who try their hand at beautiful choreography. At the opening and closing of the Carnival period not to be missed are the wonderful fireworks shows. But the fun continues for adults and children to local parties in the square: an appointment for anyone who likes to party!
This year parades on 1 – 9 – 15 -20 – 23 – 25 February 2020
CarnevalDarsena from 19:00 from 21 to 25 February
Carnival dates 2021 from 30 Jannuary
YOUTH SOCCER TOURNAMENT “CARNIVAL CUP”
The Carnival Cup was founded in 1949 and is an important event for football “UNDER 21”, a real springboard for young promising football in the national and international that maybe after a few months come to the debut in the top flight. But also an unmissable event for those who have the pleasure of discovering in advance what the champions of the future will be. Since 2009 this sporting event has taken the name of “Viareggio Cup” and lately it takes place during a period following the Carnival.
This year the 72th VIAREGGIO CUP edition will take place from 16 to 30 March 2020
The Puccini Festival is one of the most anticipated lyric events of the summer season in Versilia and Tuscany, not only because of the importance of the event but because it takes place in the same places that inspired the immortal melodies so much to Maestro Giacomo Puccini. The works of Puccini are staged in a large open-air theater on the shore of Lake Massaciuccoli in front of the villa of the Maestro, now a museum, interpreted by the greatest opera stars directed by equally important conductors.
This year the poster is composed of Turandot, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, as well as other concerts and will take place during the months of July and August (dates on www.puccinifestival.it)
Events in the municipality of Pietrasanta
The Carnival of Pietrasanta was born at the beginning of the last century, it traces in small the most popular event of Viareggio with masked parades through the streets of the center. In 1959 a burlesque character was created that was baptized “Stranguglione” and that later changed to “Sprocco” as still today is called the pungent and combative character symbol of the Pietrasantino carnival. Tied to the carnival are various side events.
This year the fashion shows take place on 9 – 16 -23 February 2020
MARINA IN FIORE
Marina in fiore (Marina flowered) is an historic event considered a spring festival; the streets of Tonfano, a seaside village of Pietrasanta, will shine with flowers and plants and everything related to gardening. Of course, also street food specialties and a myriad of entertainment proposals in corollary.
This year the 32nd edition will take (dates to be definited).
FESTIVAL DELLA VERSILIANA
In the heart of the Versiliana park, which stretches along the coast between Marina di Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi, the Versiliana Festival takes place every year in July and August. A series of high-level artists and music events with leading guests from the Italian and international scene at the Caffè della Versiliana, with afternoon meetings between artists, politicians and scholars, and the Teatro della Vesiliana with evening theater, prose and music performances in a particular site where art merges with nature. Throughout the year the La Versiliana Foundation organizes many events for a rich calendar in every season but the highlight of the program is certainly held in the summer (dates on vesilianafestival.it).
Events in the municipalities of Seravezza and Forte dei Marmi
In Seravezza, in the splendid setting of the Medici Fortress, Enolia takes place dedicated to the quality oil and typical products of Versilia, but which this year enriches the Wine Village outside the monument. It is an opportunity for several companies in the area and not only, in view of the exhibition-market to present their production of superior quality, with an eye to the biological and local production of course. During this two days also food and wine demonstrations of many chefs and a good selection of typical Italian products. The oil coming from all of our beautiful Italy, however, remains the true protagonist of the event.
This year the nineteenth edition will take place on 25 and 26 April 2020.
PALIO DEI MICCI
The Palio dei Micci (Donkey race) is a historical-folk event that takes place every year since 1956 at the Stadio Comunale di Pozzi; eight contrade challenge each other in a donkey race led by jockeys. The show is not only given by the race, in itself fascinating, but before this through the streets of the town unfolds the parade of thousands of figures in historical costume, a parade full of colors, sounds, songs and joy and the show offered by the flag-wavers is certainly a very nice attraction for young and old.
It takes place every year on the first Sunday of May.
Events in Lucca
LUCCA SUMMER FESTIVAL
Series of concerts by artists of the entire world music scene that takes place in the beautiful setting within the walls of Lucca; Piazza Napoleone, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and Piazza San Martino definitely make every performance of the many bands and soloists who walk the Lucca stages.
The 21st edition will take place from 13th June to 25 July 2020 (calendar on www.summer-festival.com)
LUCCA COMICS & GAMES
Considered the most important exhibition in Italy and Europe and second only to the Tokyo Comiket in the world, Lucca Comics & Games is a fair dedicated to comics, animation, games, video games and imaginary science and fantasy. All the most important operators in the sector are participating in an ever-increasing number. During the five days of the exhibition there are many events that take place, such as meetings with authors, exhibitions of world artists, concerts and projections, role playing and cosplayer tournaments, as well as shows related to the industry, all in the frame of the Renaissance city. The participation of an ever-increasing public has made a huge success of the event; in 2017 over 240 thousand tickets were selled in five days.
This year the 54th edition will take place from October 28th to November 1st 2020.
Next dates: October 28th to November 1st 2021 and 2022.