MASSA CARRARA/LUNIGIANA/VERSILIA AREA
Our real estate agency is in Sarzana, a city located in Liguria and bordering the Tuscan province of Massa Carrara.
Not only borders the province of Massa-Carrara the region of Liguria, but also the region of Emilia- Romagna. This city is characterised by a large coastal area rich in accommodation facilities and modern, well-equipped bathing establishments.
The wide beaches of the Apuan Riviera, with its fashionable clubs and nightlife, include the area of Cinquale di Montignoso, Poveromo, Ronchi, Marina di Massa and Marina di Carrara. This area offers relaxing stays on the beach, and a variety of activities like water sports and sailing.
Carrara: the marble city
In the immediate hinterland are the towns of Carrara, with its cathedral built entirely of marble, and Massa, dominated by the Malaspina fortress. Carrara and Massa offer historic centres ideal for relaxing walks in the pursuit of art and shopping. Carrara is internationally known as “the City of Marble” because it is surrounded by the white bulwark of the Apuan Alps where the intensive quarrying and processing of stone takes place. In addition to valuable monuments such as the cathedral with its Romanesque-Gothic façade, the 16th-century Malaspina residence and the majestic Palazzo delle Logge, Carrara offers the possibility of an interesting marble discovery tour through the Civic Marble Museum (Museo Civico del Marmo) and the artistic workshops in the town.
Close to the sea, the Apuan Alps are a paradise for nature enthusiasts in summer or winter and with comfortable shelters available for accommodation. Situated in the heart of these mountains are the outstanding white marble quarries that open up like a lunar vision in front of visitors. Entering the heart of the mountain, you can touch the precious stone that was once coveted by artists like Michelangelo and Canova.
Coming from the north, nestled between two natural parks (the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines), is Lunigiana, which offers distinctive cuisine and wine tours and accommodation in prestigious farmhouses, surrounded by green hills, castles, Romanesque churches and elegant towns such as Pontremoli, Fivizzano and Aulla.
Lunigiana: nature, art, and more
Lunigiana offers a unique itinerary to discover quaint villages, starting from Fosdinovo, dominated by the medieval castle. In Aulla you can visit the majestic Fortress of Brunella, built at the beginning of the fourteenth century, whose name originates from its interesting colour, and the Museum of Natural History. Through the Passo del Cerreto you reach Fivizzano, characterised by its ancient walls and the Press Museum (Museo della Stampa).
Located near Filattiera and not to be missed is the Pieve del Sorano, a precious Romanesque monument with a suggestive apse, preserved in an uncontaminated environment. In the High Lunigiana is Pontremoli, with a remarkable artistic heritage from the magnificent Piagnaro castle, which houses the Museum of Statue Stele, the Duomo and the characteristic alleys of the village. Finally, surrounded by luxuriant nature and thick woods is Zeri, famous for its gastronomy, including its characteristic “zerasco lamb”.
Food lovers will be able to experience different food and wine tours among ancient villages and the beautiful countryside, enjoying local products and wines.
Various events are held in the area including the Premio Bancarella in Pontremoli (July), the National Award of Painting on the theme “Mare-Monti-Marmo” and the “Exhibition of Marble Crafts and International Sculpture Symposium” in Carrara. In August, amid the spectacular marble quarries, is the historical re-enactment of the “lizzatura“, the ancient way that the quarrymen used to carry the blocks of marble downstream.
There are also numerous feasts and festivals dedicated to typical local products, including the Lardo of Colonnata feast, the blueberry festival in Massa, and the San Domenichino festival in Marina di Massa.
Versilia: nightlife and festivals
Continuing along the coast towards the south, you arrive in Versilia, a land rich in culture and amusement, known to many for its nihgtlife, resorts and clubs. This area is part of the province of Lucca and it stretches between the slopes of the Apuan Alps and the San Rossore Park. Particularly popular for its beaches, it hosts a long coastline – Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, Marina di Pietrasanta and Lido di Camaiore – characterised by fine sand, peculiar coastal dunes and well-known resorts. A symbol of refined worldliness, Forte dei Marmi is built around the remains of the fortress and is distinguished by its villas surrounded by greenery and its famous clubs, such as the legendary Capannina that marked the 1960s.
The lively culture life of the town of Forte dei Marmi is expressed in literary meetings and in the famous International festival of satire, to which a museum housed in the old fortress has been dedicated. Particularly famous is the weekly market, a must-see in Italy.
Pietrasanta is located inland and is the artistic capital of Versilia. Its notable history dates back roughly to the 16th century, with the work of Michelangelo and the influence of marble. Among the artists who frequent the town today is the sculptor Fernando Botero, who has graced the area with his works. Overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Marina di Pietrasanta is a quiet and elegant seaside town, perfect for families.
Viareggio, the southernmost of the Versilia resorts, has been known since the 19th century and for centuries, it has been the outlet to the sea of the city of Lucca. Viareggio is particularly famous for the Carnival. In fact, the Carnival of Viareggio is one of the most important in Italy. In addition, it is an elegant and refined holiday town characterised by worldly cafés and fashionable nightclubs, and its historical centre boasts numerous Art Nouveau architectural pieces. Last but not least, Viareggio is also home to one of Italy’s most authoritative literary prizes, the Viareggio.
There are also numerous festivals and fairs dedicated to typical products, including the lard festival in Colonnata, the blueberry festival in Massa and the San Domenichino festival in Marina di Massa.
Typical dishes of the Northern Tuscany area are taglierini with beans, tordelli di carne and lasagne. One product of notably high quality is the lardo di Colonnata, matured for at least six months in Carrara marble basins with numerous spices.
Other specialties are rice cakes and the “erbi cake“, filled with eggs, cheese and wild vegetables. Similarly recognized is the “testaroli lunigiani”, formed by a sheet of thin dough, cooked in cast iron texts, finished with pesto and pecorino.
The most characteristic dessert is the “spongata”, a puff pastry pie filled with jam and dried fruit. The production of wines is remarkable, one of them is the Candia.