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Parish Church of Santi Giovanni e Felicita

Places of worship

A peaceful place full of charm in the hills of the Versilia

The Parish Church of Santi Giovanni e Felicita, immersed in olive groves, is one of the oldest and most characteristic churches in the Versilia, located in Valdicastello, a hamlet of Pietrasanta known as the being the birthplace of Giosuè Carducci. A historical point on the border between the dioceses of Lucca and Luni, the area is also crossed by the popular Via Francigena.

The earliest mention of the building dates to the year 855, but the Romanesque building we see today dates to the 12th century. There are several sculptures both inside the church and on the façade from this same period that depict human figures and animals. In the 1500s, the church underwent important changes, thanks to a renovation overseen by the local architect Bonuccio Pardini. Following the trends of the day, which tended toward thrusting attention upwards when it came to religious buildings, the façade and central nave were raised; Gothic elements were also added, like a rose window, which is clearly similar to the one found on the Cathedral in Pietrasanta.

Rose window on the parish church
Rose window on the parish church - Credit: Davide Papalini

The interior, simple but evocative, is home to important late-14th-century frescoes and an interesting tabernacle from the 15th century. The community uses the church during weddings and the characteristic blessing of animals in January, when dogs, cats, rabbits and, especially, horses elegantly decorated arrive from all over the area.

More attractions in Pietrasanta