Versilia unforgettable

An encompassing glance from the sea to the beaches, from the pinewoods to the lake, from the hills to the mountains that define and protect this land, the territory of Versilia covers an area of about 170 square kilometres of the North-Western Tuscan coast. From an administrative point of view, it is a part of the province of Lucca, including the municipalities of Stazzema, Seravezza, Pietrasanta, Massarosa, Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio and Camaiore. They have always had a natural touristic vocation as balneotherapy treatments started here during the second half of the 19th century, with the building of the first bathing establishments. Nowadays Versilia is not only a beautiful stretch of coast but it also provides excellent opportunities for spending enjoyable holidays the whole year round, thanks to its mild climate and the wide range of entertainment and leisure facilities available. The area is an important base to reach major Tuscan art cities such as Lucca, Pisa, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra, reachable in a reasonably short time. From a naturalistic point of view, the area is well-known for safeguarding the environment with a rich diversified natural landscape comprising the majestic mountains of the Apuan Alps – offering a magnificent backdrop to the colourful coastline – consisting of some of the highest peaks in the region. These are part of the well-known Apuan Alps Regional Park, providing an ideal environment for trekking, walking, cycling, horse riding or mountain climbing. The Migliarino-San Rossore-Massacciuccoli Regional Park extends towards the south, offering a wide variety of habitats, from the lush pinewood to the salty swamps and lake. Both natural parks are ideal for people of all ages and families and can be enjoyed the whole year round. Futhermore, sea lovers can enrich their holidays taking dolphin and whale-watching cruises to the Cetacean Sanctuary; a water reserve located along the Tuscan Archipelago and the northern Tyrrhenian Sea-where these animals can be observed in their natural habitat.

 

THE SEA

 

Versilia, boasts of 20 km of uninterrupted sandy beaches, stretching from Torre del Lago Puccini as far as Vittoria Apuana (Forte dei Marmi) in the north. The sea-bathing tradition of the region dates from 1833, when G.Giovannetti, a physician involved in medical hydrology, published the first study on the subject entitled: Il manuale per i bagni (Treatise on Sea-bathing), qualifying Versilia as a beach of tradition. The construction of the original bathing establishments began in the early 1900s with boardwalks and chalets. Since then Versilia’s beaches have created a trend from which its culture, entertainment and jet set originated. Today Versilia is in a position to offer a wide range of facilities ranging from affordable public beaches to more sophisticated bathing establishments – capable of satisfying even the most demanding requirements – providing bars, swimming pools, restaurants and night-clubs. An extensive range of accommodation facilities can also be found, from small family-run hotels to luxury hotels with different architectural designs and settings and equipped with all sorts of comfort.

 

VEGETATION & FAUNA

 

The territory encompasses a rich variety of landscapes, forming a harmonic blend from sandy coastal dunes to extensive luxuriant pinewoods, in particular the vast pinewoods of Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli ' and the Mediterranean macchia (bush), alternating with sections of cultivated plots of land. Thanks to the abundant number of waterways, the forest of the macchia contains a great variety of trees, including British oak, ash and black alder trees. Both the coastal and inland habitats abound in fauna. Birds that find the swamp system of the Massaciuccoli along their migratory route enrich the natural patrimony of Versilia. A rich variety of mammals live in both the coastal waters and inland territories.

 
 

  

Nowadays Versilia is not only a beautiful stretch of coast but it also provides excellent opportunities for spending enjoyable holidays the whole year round...
 
Camaiore
The village is located at the bottom of a valley surrounded by hills as well as the northern Appenines. A small town founded in Roman times, with the typical orthogonal layout, it contains many artistic treasures such as the well-known Collegiate Church and Benedictine Abbey. Due to the ideal location and characteristics of the territory, many American and English people have settled in this piece of untouched countryside following the example of prominent Italian families. The local economy is based on specialized agriculture and tourism, with most of the hotels, bathing clubs and restaurants located in Lido di Camaiore, its seaside resort.
 
Forte dei Marmi
It is the most recently-built municipality, having been founded in 1914. Its territory borders with Marina di Pietrasanta in the south and stretches up to Cinquale in the northern part. The modern area is built around its small historic centre near the fort, dating from 1782. Today, its pier, stretching out into the sea for about 100 metres, is frequented by strollers and fishermen but in the past it was used for transporting marble from the Apuan Mountains. Today it is a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world, an ideal place of departure for one-day excursions to the nearby cities in Tuscany. Five kilometres of shoreline with fine, soft sand and clean and attractive waters make Forte dei Marmi an excellent place for everybody, especially for children. More than a hundred bathing establishments are available for the most demanding guests, which make the stay on the beach both pleasant and relaxing. It is located in a unique and extraordinary landscape, between sandy-gold beaches and luxuriant pinewoods. From the shore, you can enjoy a wonderful view: the Apuan Alps, in the background, shelter the town from the wind and make the climate mild in every season. Sport lovers have many options: the sea is perfect for water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and swimming. Forte dei Marmi is a sought-after place for surf lovers, especially during the winter, when the Tyrrhenian beach becomes a perfect place to enjoy the waves. Guests can also find many sport facilities within the town, including places to play football, golf and tennis. The long cycle path, adorned with beautiful palms, runs along the sea and it is a perfect place for jogging or riding a bike. On Wednesday mornings, the open-air market in Piazza Marconi is not to be missed! Fashionable brands and cheap clothes are golden opportunities here. Along the central streets, the shopping area under the open sky offers the best in glamorous shopping. Roma Imperiale, to the south of the town centre, is a maze of small streets lined with magnificent villas completely surrounded by luxuriant vegetation where the night life is enjoyed with moderation but can be as exciting as in other top resorts. High class hotels and residential structures welcome our guests; the selection is wide. There are more than 50 beautiful hotels overlooking the sea or surrounded by exotic vegetation. From the five-star luxury hotel to the family-owned meublé, your stay in the town will be unforgettable! For a longer stay, there are villas for rent in the town centre or in the quiet surroundings. Forte dei Marmi offers many fashionable places to spend a pleasant evening. Many American bars and coffeehouses are open until late at night, and they are ideal places to drink a fruit cocktail, taste nibbles and listen to lounge music. Nearly 300 excellent restaurants are scattered throughout the city, offering simple local dishes or sophisticated high-class menus and dinner on the beach under the moonlight is always an attractive option!
 
Massarosa
Located at the foot of the hills, the territory was inhabited since pre-historic times and possesses peculiar environmental features. It consists of Lake Massaciuccoli, cherished and celebrated by the famous composer Giacomo Puccini, and a hilly area cultivated with vineyards and olive groves which, along with the home cooking of its restaurants, makes it a haven of peace, ideal to spend an afternoon away from the busting life at the beach.
 
Pietrasanta
It is a town of considerable artistic and cultural importance situated at the foot of the ancient Lombardic Fortess overlooking the built-up area around the magnificent Piazza del Duomo, full of marble workshops and numerous sculpture studios. The town also hosts the Museum of Models where sketches and models of famous Italian and foreign artists are displayed. Thanks to all these cultural initiatives, the town has been defined as Little Athens.
Marina di Pietrasanta, its seaside resort, offers numerous welcoming cafés and night-clubs in addition to a beautiful wide sandy beach and a clean sea. From the modern pier a beautiful sea shore and the inland landscape can be enjoyed. (same as above, the sentence must be finished in some way)
 
Seravezza
The town is situated at the foot of the Apuan Alps and its origins are medieval. Its mountainous territory is characterised by marble quarries, the main source of wealth of the place. It has been highly sought after ever since the 15th century, to such an extent that actually Michelangelo came here to choose the raw material for his works of art. Of considerable interest is the 16th century Medici Palazzo with Scuderie Reali, nowadays a venue for exhibitions and cultural events, in addition to a well-equipped Museum of Work and Popular Traditions.
 
Viareggio
It is the largest municipality in Versilia with an ancient city centre dating back to the 12th century. Its name derives from the Via Regia, which joined the coast to the hinterland during the Middle Ages. The city is a renowned seaside resort. Its economy is based on tourism, trade, fishing and floriculture. It boasts of an efficient touristic port containing a large number of boats. Viareggio's shipyards are famous all over the world for the building, maintenance, and repairing of pleasure boats, mostly yachts. Towards the end of the 19th century boat building gave the inhabitants of Viareggio the idea for the construction of the first carnival floats supported by a wooden skeleton. In the course of time these became today's artistically created papier maché floats. The Viareggio municipality also includes Torre del Lago Puccini, home to the Maestro Giacomo Puccini, where he lived and composed many of his operas.

 

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