Botero and Versilia

Love at first sight between an artist and a land rich in charm


From the mid 1970s, the Colombian artist Fernando Botero regularly stayed in Versilia creating works in the artistic foundries and laboratories in the area.

Famous throughout the world for his paintings of women that are as fat as they are beautiful, in 1983 he decided to buy a house at Pietrasanta, choosing the beauty and the quiet of the olive groves that accompany the road up to the Stronghold. It is easy to identify the artist’s house, you just need to find a roof topped with a round, bronze cockerel, whose short wings stretch out forever towards the dawn.

In the little town that bewitched his heart, Botero has also opened an artist’s studio: a large space not far from the Piazza del Duomo, where in the summertime he retires to design and assemble his sculptures.

He loves living in close contact with the people of Pietrasanta, while his art become more and more a part of the town’s fabric: since 1993 two large frescoes entitled “The door of Heaven” and “The door of Hell” have attracted attention in the church della Misericordia; in Piazza Matteotti an opulent Roman soldier shows an ironic bellicosity to the passersby (1992).

In 2001 Fernando Botero was made an honorary citizen of Pietrasanta, a return to his origins: in the long ago year of 1780 his antecedents, the brother Giuseppe and Paolo Botero, sailed from the port of Genoa on their way to Medellin.

Near Forte dei Marmi the town offers a low-key version of the beach holiday
Located in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, this small town dates back to Roman times. After founding Lucca, the Romans created a series of small villages at the foot of Mount Prana. One of these villages is the present day Camaiore, which gets its name from the ancient Campus Major—the large plain that connects Lucca and the gates of Luni. ...