Our journey starts in Versilia, a unique area surrounded by the Apuan Alps and the sea.
In the comune of Pietrasanta, in the city of Valdicastello, you can visit the house where Giosuè Carducci was born, which he left at the age of 3, but returned to years after. In 1907, just after the death of the poet, the house became a national monument and in 1912 it was acquired by the comune. Carducci remained however, connected to the place of birth, as mentioned as written in some of his works:
What I like is Piestrsanta: beautiful town,
with a single square, a cathedral of a large city,
and, in the background, the Aupan Alps. And what a country around!
What mountains, how green, what shadows, what rivers,
what fresh resonant streams under the chestnut trees and the olive trees among the green.
Of equal historic and cultural relevance, near to Pietrasanta, is the nineteenth-century villa “Versiliana”, where Gabriele D’Annunzio was a guest during the first years of the twentieth century. Since 1979 the villa has hosted cultural events. D’Annunzio loved to ride in the sunny dunes and along the shoreline, as well as appreciate the beautiful landscape.
Every year, the park of Versiliana hosts a festival of the same name. The festival is internationally renowned, dedicated to art, theatre and shows.
Nicolò Barsanti, was also born in Pietrasanta, the creator and builder of the first functioning internal combustion engine. He was the first to have the idea of transforming thermal energy into mechanical energy, and consequently into movement. A museum has been established in his honour, which displays reconstructions of motor prototypes, documents etc. The “Barsanti and Matteucci International Award” still aims to promote knowledge of invention and technological progress.