Summer is over, the seaside resorts have removed the beach umbrellas from the sand and the weather starts to get cooler, but it is still worth spending a weekend on the coast of Versilia. It's too cold for swimming, although some fearless people continues taking baths and surfers are still looking for good waves in their wetsuits... Anyway, if we like nature but also art and relax, what can we do in Versilia in autumn?
For a fabulous hotel spa, head to Cinquale di Montignoso, located at just 3 kilometres from Forte dei Marmi. The Versilia Spa is best known for its waters particularly rich in mineral salts.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Versilia is that you can move from the coast to the mountains in a short drive. The nearest mountains are those of the Apuan Alps that run parallel to the coast and are mainly composed of limestone rocks. The highest peak is Monte Pisanino (1947 metres), while an easy hike is the one on Monte Matanna. The park is wild and uncontaminated and its mountains hide underground tunnels and deep wells. About this… see the next point!
Perched on the edge of the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps, in Levigliani di Stazzema, there is the Antro del Corchia, a unique underground system that covers more than 60 kilometres of tunnels. It is part of the largest karst system in Italy and one of the broadest in Europe. Put on a warm sweater and come with us to discover underground Tuscany.
The Via Francigena, an important pilgrimage route with plenty of monuments and artistic treasures, is a perfect idea if you want to try slow travel. Legs 5 and 6 of the Tuscan part of the Via Francigena are in Versilia: they run from Massa to Camaiore and from Camaiore to Lucca. Here you can find all the information about the Tuscan legs and a map.
Pietrasanta, also called “little Athens”, is a town at three kilometres from the coast with a high concentration of artists living and working there. Pietrasanta has a long-standing tradition of marble workers and numerous workshops, galleries and art exhibitions. Even the great Michelangelo came to Versilia in search of marble for its works. Here is what to see and do in Pietrasanta.
Under the illustrious influence of the Medici family, the areas including Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza and Stazzema became culturally and economically united thanks to the marble business and the Medici coat of arms. Read more in this post and immerse yourself in history and art.
Following the wine and olive oil trail, it is possible to find several farms that produce and sell wine, extra virgin olive oil and many other local products. Take a look at our page dedicated to Wine and Olive Oil Roads.
Versilia offers different landscapes for your bike tours designed to satisfy travellers with different leisure needs. There are challenging trails for veteran cyclists and easy, relaxing bicycle routes that are perfect for youngsters as well. Follow this link for a map with all the facilities.
Around Massarosa lies a hilly area surrounded by olive groves overlooking Massaciuccoli Lake, with evidence of a glorious past. This is the village of Massaciuccoli, which preserves traces of human presence since prehistoric times. Today we can see the remains of two leading complexes from the Imperial Roman era – a luxurious villa and a station – and a series of findings that suggest the presence of a small settlement and its burial area. Read more about it.
During the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century Viareggio was one of the most elegant seaside resorts in Italy. After a large fire destroyed much of the seafront in 1917, many buildings were replaced with Art Nouveau constructions, an architectural style that was very appreciated at the time. Stroll along the promenade called Passeggiata to see the cafés, bathing establishments, hotels and villas in Art Nouveau style.
Original article by Serena Puosi