With his words, Giacomo Puccini depicted Torre del Lago, a corner of Versilia nestled between the coastal brushwood of Massaciuccoli Lake, the beaches of the Tyrrhenian and the peaks of the Apuan Alps. Puccini is a recent addition to the original name of Torre del Lago (named after an old guard tower built between the 15th and 16th centuries on the western side of the lake. This move was in honour of the great composer who was so in love with these surroundings that he never left the place.
Torre del Lago was scarcely populated up until the mid 18th century, when the Government of the Republic of Lucca decided to carry out reclamation and forestation work to defend new crops. The reclaiming of vast areas of swampland promoted the arrival of hunters, fishermen and farmers, attracted by the fertility of the land and the wonderful variety of flora and fauna.
A long, tree-lined road (Viale dei Tigli) runs as far as the town centre, offering visitors welcome shade in the Borbone pinewood. From the central Piazzale Belvedere you can go hiking around Massaciuccoli Lake, in the Parco Naturale di Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciucoli, an area protected by the WWF and by L.I.P.U. Guided tours allow you to see interesting flora up close, such as the swamp orchid, hibiscus rose and florid fern. Massaciucoli Lake is also an important bird migratory centre. On the shores of the lake, various well-equipped huts enable birdwatchers to enjoy the park’s nature.
All this natural beauty merges with art and culture all year round, culminating in the "Puccini Festival," an important opera season staged by the lake itself.