The journey through beauty and history begins here
Tuscany is the home of Chianti Wine and bases its economy on tourism, industry and agriculture. It is a land full of treasures to discover and which brings together many diversities.
Landscapes, artistic heritage and important cities such as Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Arezzo make this region unique in the world.
You can admire wonderful views of unspoiled nature on the Apuan Alps and in numerous protected areas. The harmonious beauty of nature along with the millennial presence of man represent the most characteristic landscapes of the region. Medieval villages, towns rich in history, castles and fortification systems, rural churches (the so-called “Pievi”) and charming abbeys.
It is a land to discover!
La Garfagnana (low latin: Carfaniana) is an historical and geographical area in the Lucca district, between Apuane Alps and Appennino Tosco emiliano. Garfagnana boarders with Lunigiana, Versilia, Massa, Lucca and Emilia Romagna, it is totally crossed by the Serchio river and it is rich of forests.
Garfagnana is divided in 16 little districts and its main city is Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, located in the valley floor. More centers are Careggine, Camporgiano, Castiglione di Garfagnana, Fosciandora, Gallicano, Giuncugnano, Minucciano, Molazzana, Piazza al Serchio, Pieve Fosciana, San Romano in Garfagnana, Sillano, Vagli Sotto, Vergemoli e Villa Collemandina.
Garfagnana offers a wide variety of landscapes, like uncontaminated mountains, sweet hills and breathtaking fields. The Serchio river, with a stoned pebbly riverbed, marks everywhere the center of the valley.
Lucca is one of the main art cities in Italy, popular as well abroad, especially for its city walls from XV-XVI century, long 4.450 meters, all around the historical city center.
Then, also the city center is completely intact in its original look, with several prestigious buildings like the many middle-aged churches, towers, bell towers, and monumental palaces of fine stylistic linearity.
This city boasts as well pleasant urban spaces: the most famous is certainly the Anfiteatro square, born on the ruins of the ancient roman theatre, thanks to the architect Lorenzo Nottolini, unique in Italy. The main central street is Via Fillungo, with the most important shops of the city. Other suggestive squares are Piazza San Michele, historical cornerstone of the city and Piazza San Martino, religious cornerstone, with its well-known San Martino church.
Carrara is, since ever, nkown as the city of the marble. Its identity is strictly connected to the precious bright stone, estracted from the quarries in this district since the Roman age. Certainly, naming Carrara means recalling the marble and the quarries, that whiten gold so well known by artist coming from every place in the world during every age of history. The most ancient area of the city was the “Pieve di Sant’Andrea”, that now is a Cathedral; during the XIII century it was protected by great city walls, that contained as well the Rocca and the Palazzo Comunale. You can’t miss to visit the Malaspina castle, a very important symbol of freedom for this city and the beautiful Marble Museum. This museum was open in 1982 and, inside, you can enjoy a charming and interesting portrait of the local heritage, starting from the roman archeology until the most modern sculpture techniques, in marble and other materials. In Carrara you absolutely have to visit the amazing Apuane Alps park. These mountains, unique in the world, are in 60km along Versilia, Lunigiana and Garfagnana and is it know not only for the beauty of its marbles, but also for the stunning quarries, for the breathtaking view on the sea and for the deep abysses among of them.
Forte dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi is an Italian district with 7.749 inhabitants in the Lucca province.
It is a seaside city on Tirreno sea and its name is coming from the fort located in the city center wanted by Granduca Pietro Leopoldo, to defend the approach to the town. Not far you can see the stunning Apuane Alps, rich of precious marbles.
In Forte dei Marmi the Princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria, currently queen of Belgium. This city is well known by the high society, as several important people like sportmen, showman and popular enterprenauses are used to spend their summer holidays here. The symbol of this town is the Fort, from XVIII century, today surrounded by very modern buildings and streets full of trees. As well the inside of the Fort, where you can find the Museum of the Caricature, one of the most important in the world. By the sea there is the loader jetty, once used to board huge marble blocks to be delivered to all over the world and today, this jetty, is used as a pier by a local ferry to Cinque Terre.
Pietrasanta is an Italian district with 24.931 inhabitants in the Lucca province, Tuscany.
Is the administrative center of Versilia and an important center for the marble and bronze manufacturing, junction of sculptors coming from all over the world.
Thanks to a tidy historical center, rich of monuments, this village has turned, along the years, into an art city, with several galleries and great seasonal shows in the Duomo square and the Sant’Agostino church.
Rising to Capriglia and Capezzano Monte, two little villages at 350 meters on the sea level, you can enjoy a nice view on Ligure Sea and Tirreno Sea, with a landscape that extends from Palmaria Island, in the Spezia gulf, to the Livorno coastline and Gorgona Island. In the sunny days you can easily spot the Elba Island and the Corsica.
In Vallecchia you can find the Santo Stefano “pieve”.
Strettoia is a separated hamlet from the rest of the municipal district, thanks to the Senator Montauti from Lucca, whose sponsors where the Counts Siemens-Schuckert, living in Lucca, owners of a part of the coast pine-woods.
Viareggio is an Italian district of 64.564 inhabitants in the Lucca province, Tuscany.
The city was born in the first half of XVI century, when it was the only window on the sea for the Lucca Republic. In that age the Matilde Tower, the most ancient building of the city, was built as a defensive fortification in 1541 from the Viareggio people, to fight the threat coming from the barbarous privateers.
Viareggio is well known not only to be a nice seaside holiday city, but also for the popular Carnival, began in 1873, with its great floats made of papier-maché, that parade along the main walking avenue of the city. The official Mask is “Burlamacco”, created in 1930 by Umberto Bonetti. During the show there are as well collateral parties usually from Friday to Sunday. Viareggio is also known for its eclectic buildings, liberty and deco style, and to be the city of famous artists like Lorenzo Viani, Federico Bagnoli, Alfredo Catarsini, Renato Santini, Mario Marcucci, Eugenio Pardini, Inaco Biancalana, Galileo Chini, Alfredo Belluomini, Giorgio Michetti e Luisa Cellai.
The city is an active industrial and artisan center, especially in the ships manufacturing, well known in all over the world. As well the fishing and the floriculture al very important.
Viareggio is the headquarter of several prizes and shows like the “Viareggio Répaci literature prize”, found in 1929, the “Viareggio sport prize”, found in 1985, and the “World Carnival Trophy Viareggio”, found in 1949.
Even the Festival Gaber is a very importat show, in memory of Giorgio Gaber, with popular artists from the Italian music overview (since 2004). The city is as well known to be the birthplace of the director Mario Monicelli, the actress Stefania Sandrelli and the former Italian national football team manager Marcello Lippi.
Is the famous hanging tower to make Pisa well know in all over the world; but this city offers much more and really deserves a on-day visit. Reaching the stunning “Piazza dei Miracoli”, your look is immediately captured by the tower and the experience of walking until the top is incredible and amazing (you can purchase the tickets in advance). Once you enjoyed the Tower from every corner, just go on with your visit to the other monuments of the square: the Cattedrale and the Battistero. Along the square you will find as well the Camposanto, the “Opera del Duomo” museum and the “Sinopie” museum. Then, enjoy a nice walk along the river Arno and reach the ancient “Palazzo dell’Orologio” and Cavalieri square, once the center of the city power and then headquarter of the “Ordine Cavalieri di Santo Stefano”. In the “Palazzo della Carovana” there is the eminent “Scuola Normale di Pisa”. On more thing from Pisa you cannot miss? The Cecina! A kind of savoury pie, very thin, made only with chickpeas flour, oil, salt and water. Really delicious!
An ancient city that preserved its charm and its past splendour. Florence, the administrative center of Tuscany, is a stunning city, always able to surprise, thanks to its art masterpieces, the colored marbles, the churches and the amazing architectures of the Renaissance.
The pulsing hearth of the city is Piazza del Duomo, with the monumental complex composed by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Brunelleschi dome, the Giotto campanile, all masterpiece of architectures.
Behind the Duomo you can find the Museum “Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore”, where you can admire a precious collection of works from the Cattedrale, the Battistero and the Campanile. Piazza della Signoria symbolize the historical center of the civil life and guests the “Loggia dei Lanzi”, from 1.300, the Nettuno fountain, and “Palazzo della Signoria” or “Palazzo Vecchio”, a symbol-monument of this amazing city where, just outside, there are some famous statues like a copy of the popular “David” by Michelangelo. Next to the square there is the great “Galleria degli Uffizi”, headquarter of one on the most popular museum of the world, where you can admire works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and several other great artists. A particularly relevant architectonical element in the “Galleria” is the “Corridoio Vasariano”, designed by Vasari during the half of the XVI century; this corridor links the building with “Palazzo Vecchio” and “Palazzo Pitti”. Between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Signoria there are some architectonical treasures like the Orsanmichele Church and the thirteen-century “Palazzo del Bargello”, currently National Museum, one of the most important in the world for the XV-XVI century sculpture. You shouldn’t miss the XVI century “Loggia del Mercato Nuovo”, called also “Loggia del Porcellino”, as you can spot the typical bronze statue of a boar, considered a lucky charm, and also the great “Palazzo Strozzi”, from the end of 1.400, with an amazing inner yard. The middle-aged district of “Santa Croce” is particularly suggestive, with a stunning Basilica, very popular thanks to the Giotto’s frescoes and also for the graves of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. The great monumental complex of San Lorenzo really deserves a visit and also you should take a look to the Santa Maria Novella complex, with a church, that conserves famous frescoes and precious works, and the museum, that includes the popular “Chiostro Verde” and the “Cappellone degli Spagnoli”. Throughout ancient and suggestive “Ponte Vecchio”, rich of historical goldsmith workshops, you can reach the “Oltrarno” district, where you can meet the beautiful square with the great Palazzo Pitti, the important and lavish building, once Medici and Lorena families residence, enriched by a stunning park, the “Giardino di Boboli”, splendid example of Italian-style garden. As well the panoramic “Piazzale Michelangelo”, with its amazing view and the “San Miniato al Monte” church really deserve a visit.