A JOURNEY THROUGH ROMANESQUE
Sea, mountains, hills, endless stretches of sandy beaches and lush Mediterranean vegetation. Environmental and territorial extremes that perfectly describe an area which has always been synonymous with entertainment, tourism and cheerfulness, but also with culture, nature and high life. Forming a coastal strip in Lucca Province, Versilia is one of the most fascinating areas in the whole of Tuscany, a unique land divided into the seven municipalities of Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Camaiore, Forte dei Marmi, Massarosa, Stazzema and Seravezza and offering diverse natural environments as well as a remarkable artistic and architectural heritage testifying to a rich and culturally varied history. In the winter as well as in the summer, the many historical and environmental destinations, a particularly mild climate and a rich programme of events and art exhibitions attest to the fact that there's more to Versilia than beaches and sunbathing. Visitors will be spoilt for choice with the luxuriant pinewoods, the Apuan Alps, the medieval churches, the charming villages, the archaeological sites and Roman ruins, the marble and iron workshops, not to mention the many nature reserves.
Wedged between the sea and the Alpi Apuane, in whose first valleys it penetrates, the region of Versilia has always been strategic to the geo-political balance of north-western Tuscany, also as a direct access to the sea through the town of Lucca, which attempted to confirm its supremacy in the area with the foundation of Pietrasanta, in the mid-13th century. The main inhabited centres and pievi of Versilia developed right along ancient routes, such as the Aurelian Way and, later, the Via Francigena, being the region a coastal passageway for Liguria and France and the earliest threshold of Apennine crossings.
In particular, the pievi comprised in the municipalities of Seravezza, Pietrasanta and Stazzema fall within the boundaries of the so-called ‘historic Versilia’, a territory run across by the homonymous river anciently marking the border between the diocese of Lucca and that of Luni. Southwards, the ancient Campus Major (Camaiore) – of Roman foundation but refounded in 1255 by inhabitants of Lucca, like Pietrasanta – and the lake of Massaciuccoli mark the junction once connecting the Via Cassia to the Aurelian Way, as well as the bend of Via Francigena, here turning away from the sea towards the hinterland and Lucca.
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