Borgo del Ponte home holidays at Massa Carrara in Tuscany, located 5 minutes from the historic city center, is the ideal starting point for a lot of extraordinary itineraries between mountains, sea, art and culture, food and wine.
The area between the provinces of Lucca and Massa Carrara is indeed a land of unique and seductive beauty; from Massa is also quick and easy to reach cities such as Lucca, Pisa and Florence.
Following there are some suggestions about how to spend time during your tuscany holidays in Italy.
The Apuan Alps
Bounded by the Magra river and Lunigiana, by the Serchio river, by Garfagnana and Lucca plain, by the Apuan Riviera and Versilia, the Apuan Alps with their spectacular peaks, including Mount Pisanino (1946 meters), the highest peak, Mount Cavallo (1895 meters), Mount Tambura (1891 meters), the Pania della Croce (1858 meters), Mount Grondilice (1808 meters), Mount Contrario (1788 meters), the Pizzo d’Uccello (1781 meters), represent a scenery of majestic beauty.
Among the activities which can be done: trekking along the paths of CAI, between the paths to report,there’s the Via Vandelli; mountain bike, guided tours such as the Regional Park, “Antro del Corchia” or the “Grotta del Vento”; for experts, there are also some “vie ferrate” ( mountain routes which are equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges) as the one of Mount Contrario, of Forato, of Sella and of Procinto.
Marina di Massa, Cinquale, Versilia, are precious destinations for those who want to spend a quiet day at the beach, diving himself in the intense blue of sky and sea of this wonderful stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast.
After a tan it is possible to have a good dinner of fish drinking a Candia of Colli Apuani wine, a lively wine with intense fragrance, in one of the excellent restaurants you can find along the waterfront.
To end the evening at the sea you’ll be spoiled for choice between walks on the pontoons of Marina di Massa and Versilia ( Forte dei Marmi, Tonfano, Lido di Camaiore, Viareggio) and the many renowned public places.
In the quieter interior area there’s Pietrasanta, called the Little Athens for the wealth of artworks donated by many world famous artists of marble and bronze which works theer and have worked in the studios of the city.
Further upstream, on the hills, at the foot of the Apuan Alps there are a lot of villages, which is worth visiting for their charm, the natural beauty and local gastronomic offers.
We can’t forget about the Park of Versiliana in Marina di Pietrasanta, with its historic villa which hosted the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, and its open-air theater surrounded by a Mediterranean forest which every year presents a remarkable summer program.
The Lunigiana and the Garfagnana
Two border lands of great beauty, the Lunigiana located in the province of Massa-Carrara and partly in the territories of the Val di Magra in Liguria); the Garfagnana located in the province of Lucca.
The Lunigiana, which takes its name from the ancient port of Luni, is a land of castles, churches, villages, green valleys and mountain passes; to remember the impressive Fortress of Verrucola, the Malaspina Castle of Fosdinovo, the Fortress of Brunella in Aulla, the medieval village of Filetto where in summer an interesting evocation of medieval market takes place.
Numerous are the typical products of this generous land: chestnuts and mushrooms, bean from Bigliolo, Treschietto onion, potato from Zeri, Zeri lamb, apple wheel from Fivizzano, bread from Vinca, the marocca from Casola, oil and honey.
Among typical recipes: testaroli and panigacci, the roasted Zeri lamb, kidskin with sauce, polenta with rabbit; among the desserts the almond cake, the buccellato, the pasteriala, the spongata and the amor from Pontremoli.
Also Garfagnana is a land of ancient villages, castles, forests and valleys, lakes and streams, to mention the village of Camporgiano with its imposing and massive fortress, Castiglione with its medieval fortress, the Pieve of San Jacopo in Gallicano and then Vergemoli, the smallest town of the Apuan Alps, located at the foot of Pania della Croce and Forato Mount with the Calomini eremo and the Grotta del Vento of Fornovalasco, an important karst system.
Among the typical products: mushrooms, chestnuts, sausages, cheeses, farro and chestnut flour; and then spelled soup, the cornmeal polenta, the legume soups, the game.
The Via Francigena
The Via Francigena is part of a grid of ancient roads, the Vie Romee, which from central Europe led to Rome.
In ancient times together with Santiago de Compostela and the Holy Land, the tomb of the Apostle Peter in Rome, was one of the the most coveted pilgrimage destination.
An important testimony of pilgrimage along the one which in the twelfth century is commonly named Via Francigena, dates back to the experience of the bishop Sigerisco who traveled back along it from Rome to Canterbury.
The Via Francigena crosses the Lunigiana, keeps on in Avenza and Carrara, to reach then to Massa along the Via Aurelia crossing Borgo del Ponte to carry on toward Montignoso, and then Pietrasanta (LU).
Borgo del Ponte home holidays of Massa in Tuscany, is located exactly on the stretch of Via Francigena which runs through the village.
The art cities of Tuscany
One of the major art cities of Tuscany, is characterized by a massive wall of more than 4 km enclosing the historical town; the amazing thing is the conservation status of this walls which dates back to the XV – XVII century.
A lot of monuments, churches and squares placed within the walls.
Lucca, in recent years, has become the scene of a grat event dedicated to comics, illustration, animation films and game: Lucca Comix & Games, which attracts every year a wide audience not among fans only.
Pisa, one of the ancient maritime cities, is famous worldwide for its leaning tower; the Cathedral Square, better known as Piazza dei Miracoli, which holds the tower and the Cathedral, examples of pisan romanesque architecture, is anUNESCO World Heritage.
Pisa is home to three of the most prestigious universities in Italy and Europe.
In 1998, during excavations for the construction of railway infrastructure, near San Rossore, were unearthed archaeological finds of extraordinary value, where once there was probably an ancient river port at the junction of three rivers, Arno, Auser and Serchio, magically emerged from the mud several merchant vessels still full of their cargo, mainly amphorae and pitchers, sank probably due to adverse weather conditions; these findings are named: The Ancient Ship of Pisa.
The cradle of art, Florence is recognized as the birthplace of the Renaissance, is an UNESCO World Heritage.
Between architecture and monuments to mention, the main: the Cathedral with the majestic dome by Brunelleschi, Santa Croce, the Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti; artistic heritage kept outside and inside of these buildings is immense and invaluable, among the artwork shown the ones of Michelangelo, Masaccio, Giotto, Botticelli and Raffaello.
Florence, with its many faculty, is home to one of the most prestigious Italian universities.
In recent years, Florence is engaged in the construction of the tramway lines, a project intended to improve the citizens quality of life and to give and to give a modern style to the urban planning of the city.
During your tuscany holidays in Italy you have to visit Florence of course.
In addition to the art cities of Tuscany, starting from Massa is easy to reach less known and closer places: Carrara, Sarzana, Montemarcello, Bocca di Magra, offering attractions deserving to be discovered.
To mention only the jewels of Liguria: Lerici, Portovenere, the Cinque Terre accessible also by sea through a summer daily daily running ferry.
To learn more
To learn more about check out the following websites:
- Apuan Alps – www.alpiapuane.com
- Lunigiana – http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunigiana
- Garfagnana – http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garfagnana
- The Via Francigena in Tuscany – www.regione.toscana.it
- Lucca – www.italia.it
- Pisa – www.italia.it
- Florence – www.italia.it