Versilia Art & Beaches
It may seem strange that in a town of 27,000 inhabitants there are 20 art galleries, but this is Pietrasanta. It’s not by chance that the most famous art galleries in the world are present in this city of Roman origin, display works of art both internationally renowned and emerging young artists of extraordinary talent.
All are worth going to see, but Pietrasanta is not only art, it’s restaurants, characteristic shops and concerts, all under the stars in a beautiful small historical town.
Pietrasanta’s sea front with it’s soft sandy beaches extends for five long kilometres. It’s clean sparkling sea has a slow sloping sea bed which makes it ideal for children to swim in. The beach lidos are equipped very well, beach umbrellas, beach beds, swimming pools, changing huts and children’s play spaces, it is also possible to do many kinds o sports from surfing to windsurfing and lots more.
It’s is also possible to find ‘free beaches’ in the area where you are completly free to pass your day as you wish.
The strip of land that runs between the sea and the beautiful mountains is covered in pine forests and it is possible to see some of the most beautiful villas of the area.
Close to the sea front you can observe the spettacular Alpi Apuane, a mountain chian of extraordinary beauty, it is from these mountains where many famous marble quarries can be found, very rich of woods with many examples of trees and plants, and small villages with ancient stone laid roads and characteristic buildings.
In this area the Parco delle Apuane was established, with it’s 55,000 hecters of land and it is within this land where you can find one of Italy’s largest grottos with a 1978 metre turistic route.
What to do in Versilia?
Pietrasanta: Historic town with notable monuments mainly contained in the magnificent Piazza del Duomo such us the Church (14th cent.) and the Convent of S.Agostino with the bell tower dating back to 1780. Pietrasanta is also a worldwide important centre for the artistic working of marble and of bronze. Many are the monumental sculture gived by famous artists such as Botero, Mitoraj, Folon, Miozzo etc.
Camaiore: Ancient commercial agricultural centre with important monuments such as “The Collegiate church of M.Assunta” (13th cent.) with the 14th cent. bell tower and the 7th cent. Benedectine Abbey; nearby the halmet of “La Pieve” with the ancient Romanesque church founded in 816 a.D. The resort of Lido di Camaiore is situated along the seaside with its characteristic Versilian beach.
Seravezza: Important marble centre situated 6 km away from the coast in a populated plain surronded by an impressive range of mountains rich with marble from which emerges Mount Altissimo: from this quarries Michelangelo took the white marble for the famous sculture “La Pietà”. Worth visiting the Medici Palace and the Romanesque church of S.Martino-Pieve della Cappella with the rose window, called “Michelangelo’s eye.
Stazzema: This district contains the most beautiful peaks of the Apuan Alps and it is an ideal base for a wide variety of excursion for mountaineers, rock climbers and speleologists; for mountain walkers a good number of easy footpaths leading to huts are available. To be visited in the town is the Parisch Church of S.M. Assunta (13th cent.) remarkable example of Romanesque architecture, whereas an interesting Museum of the Resistence Mouvement is found in S. Anna.
Torre del Lago: Well known place in the name of Giacomo Puccini, where he lived and composed most of his works. Worth visiting his native town. “The Puccini Opera Festival” takes place every summer by the lake.
Camaiore: The sacred art Museum, The archeological Museum – Forte dei Marmi: The Political satire and caricatural cartoons Museum – Pietrasanta: The Versilian archeological Museum, The sketch Museum, The astronomical observatory “Palla”, The Giosuè Carducci native’s house in Valdicastello – Seravezza: The works and popular traditions Museum, The Arkad foundation, an artistical marble workshops. – Stazzema: The Museum of the resistance and the procession route Via Crucis, The Antro del Corchia cavern – Viareggio: The Villa Paolina Museum, Blanc & Pinacoteca Viani Museum.
Boat tour of the lake Massacciuccoli and swamp; Visit of the marble querries of Fantiscritti in Carrara; By boat to “5 Terre”, Portofino, Lerici, Portovenere; In the wonderful grotto Antro del Corchia cavern;
The wondeful “Grotta del Vento”; Malaspina Castle in Massa; Visit to the artist workshop of marble and the bronze artistic foundries in Pietrasanta;
By train throw the S.Rossore National Park, discovering the works of art in papier-maché at La Cittadella in Viareggio.
Numerous pathways of the Apuan Alps; Boat, and nature tours of lake Massacciuccoli and the neighbouring swamp; The marble quarries of Fantiscritti in Carrara; Boat tours to “5 Terre”, Portofino, Lerici, Portovenere; The wonderful grotto Antro del Corchia cavern; Malaspina castle in Massa; The artist workshop of marble and bronze artistic foundries in Pietrasanta; Train tours through the S.Rossore National Park, The works of art in papier-maché at La Cittadella in Viareggio.
For the people who play Tennis there is a great variety of tennis courts. The “Versilia Golf Club” is situated in a beautiful area between sea and mountain, it is well organized in eigtheen holes.
Sailing and surfing are without a limit in Versilia and many bathing establishments employs specialised instructors. There is a sailing club and a large section of the beach is equipped for the lending of sailing craft.
The country roads in the hills and the Versiliana park offer optimal conditions for horse-riding. The coastal roads have cycle tracks but bikers lovers can also cycle along the numerous country side.
Trekking is possible in many areas: in the open countryside, along the country lanes in the Apuan Alps or in the coastal wood of Villa Versiliana.
Teatro Villa La Versiliana: performances of classical and modern theatre, ballet, music concert, cultural meetings and art exhibitions. La Cittadella: various events and concerts. Torre del Lago Puccini: Puccini Opera Festival.
There is a limitless opportunity for night owls to explore the famed nightclub and discotheque scene as such well-knowns, as La Bussola, La Capannina, The Twiga and countless others along the coast.
Not to mention, the boundless Pubs, restaurants, and Gelato shops mixed in along the promenade.
Thousands of shoppers come here annually to investigate the first class dress shops with international brands and jewelry stores offering refined and artistic fashions and accoutrements.
To find the greatest deals and afternoon culture shock, visit the weekly markets to barter with venders for the latest trends and feast your eyes and ears with the exuberant shopping style of the Italians all around you; on Monday: Seravezza; on Wednesday: Forte dei Marmi; on Thursday: Pietrasanta and Viareggio; on Saturday: Marina di Pietrasanta.