Excursions in the surrounding areas
CARRARA (5 km)
Carrara has ever been the World Marble Capital. Carrara and the surrounding area are indeed dotted with several workshops of marble.
To visit: the Cathedral (always open), the Academy of Fine Art, the Marble Museum and Nicoli Sculpture Studios, the oldest marble sculpture studios in Carrara.
The most famous marble in the world is to be found in the mountains surrounding Carrara. Vast white spots blot the mountain peaks and, during the winter, can easily be mistaken for snow!
It is a village of marble quarrymen in the marble field of the Apuan Alps, above Carrara. Colonnata is famous worldwide for its marble and for the "Lardo" (white bacon). On the road that takes you to Colonnata there are a number of marble souvenir shops among which the 'Monfroni' shop.
LUNI (10 km)
To visit: the National Archaeological Museum with visits to the archaeological excavation sites of the antique Roman town. Open from Monday through to Sunday.
NICOLA (15 km)
Picturesque village of perfectly preserved medieval origins, Nicola was part of the possessions of the bishops of Luni-accounts and has a beautiful location on top of a hill. In addition to the gateway to the village of the fourteenth or fifteenth century, are still intact other portals of the late medieval and Renaissance.
MASSA (8 km)
The core of Massa is Piazza Aranci named after the orange trees that border the square on three sides. On the remaining side there is the impressive Duke's Palace (Palazzo Ducale, also known as the "red palace" because of its flame red facade) which was built in 1550. Its spacious inner courtyard is beautiful.
Malaspina Castle is situated just a few minutes walk above the town.
PIETRASANTA (10 km)
The historical centre of Pietrasanta, with its smart Cathedral Square, is one of the most charming centres in Versilia.
Pietrasanta, as a centre for the working of marble and the art of sculpting, has been since immemorial time the meeting place of artists and sculptors, from the Age of Michelangelo to Henry Moore and Botero.
FORTE DEI MARMI (10 km)
Forte dei Marmi is loved by Italians and Foreigners for its beaches, numerous restaurants and the nightlife.
VIAREGGIO (20 km)
Along the promenade several are the 'bars', shops and restaurants available to tourists both in summer and winter.
Thanks to its numerous palaces in the Liberty Style this town, famous not only as a seaside resort, but also the floats parade held during Carnival time (February/March), acquires a special appeal.
TORRE DEL LAGO (25 km)
A short distance south of Viareggio and reachable along the impressive Viale dei Tigli, Torre del Lago is a quiet seaside town known chiefly for being the home of Giacomo Puccini who for years owned and lived in a villa here.
In summer, during the Puccini Festival, the famous operas of the Master are put on. Visits to the home of Giacomo Puccini, today a museum.
Grotta del Vento)
Situated in the centre of the Apuan Alps' Natural Park, this is one of the most complete European caves, presenting an extraordinary variety of phenomena which are outlined with competence and precision by expert speleological guides. Visits on request. Photographies by Stefano Pucci.
Information on transportation and itineraries at USEFUL LINKS.