It takes a mere half hour to get from the sunny beaches to the top of the green mountain: only in Versilia can the scenery change within just a few kilometres, thanks to a territory that includes not only a long coastal stretch of fine sand, but also the splendid peaks of the Apuan Alps and villages rich in history, like Pietrasanta and Camaiore, where the medieval via Francigena passed through.
If you want to discover this unique and varied land, follow our 7-day itinerary, which includes relaxation on the seaside and hiking excursions through natural oases like Lake Massaciuccoli and the Antro del Corchia grottos, not to mention a tour to discover the Liberty style in Viareggio and shopping in Forte dei Marmi, like a real VIP.
Begin your journey through Versilia at a lesser known destination: Lake Massaciuccoli, on the slope facing the municipality of Massarosa. Here, you can spend a morning immersed in wild nature, visiting the splendid Lipu Oasis and walking above the lake on one of the evocative wooden walkways, observing the animals in their natural habitat.
You can’t forget Massaciuccoli Romana, the archeological area where a Roman villa dating to the 1st century BCE was discovered and attributed to the Venulei family from Pisa. From up here, you’ll have a magnificent view of the lake that stretches all the way to the coast.
Dedicate the second day to relaxing on the beach in Viareggio: the city of Carnevale is filled with seaside resorts, some of which are historic, like Bagno Balena, where you can enjoy maximum comfort as you lounge by the water, while nature lovers can discover the splendid lbera della Lecciona beach, near the Darsena.
You can also tour the Liberty-style palaces on the Passeggiata, perfect for shopping enthusiasts, while lovers of art won’t be disappointed by the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, boasting the extraordinary works of Lorenzo Viani.
Don’t forget to snack on a great Viareggio classic, cecina: a thin pancake-like dish made from chickpeas that are crunchy and golden; best eaten during a walk through the pine forest.
The third day is spent discovering Pietrasanta, the splendid medieval town along the via Francigena, the pilgrimage route that lead to Rome. The town is famously known as the little Athens of Versilia for its great tradition of marble working, attracting artists from all over the world, like Botero and Mitoraj.
You can also admire the cathedral, the Collegiate Church of San Martino and the convent of Sant’Agostino, tour historic workshops and visit the birthplace of the poet Giosuè Carducci, immersed in the greenery of Valdicastello, a hamlet of Pietrasanta.
The fourth day is set for exploring the Antro del Corchia, the most extensive cave system in Europe, located in Levigliani di Stazzema and boasting 53 km of galleries and shafts. Discovered in 1841 by the spelunker and geologist from Levigliani Giuseppe Simi, the cave is open for visits along a 1-km equipped route that leads into the heart of the Apuan Alps.
In the afternoon, your journey through Versilia continues in the splendid village of Seravezza, where you can admire the Palazzo Mediceo, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the other Medici villas. The palace was built by Cosimo I between 1561 and 1564 as a temporary residence for when he wanted to visit the precious marble quarries in the surrounding area.
Versilia isn’t just known for its seaside. For those who love fresh mountain air, the Apuan Alps Regional Park awaits, a large protected area that includes Monte Forato, its most particular element, where a wild and unspoilt environment reigns. The calcareous mountains hide beneath their soil karst phenomena and evidence of the presence of man since the pre-historic era.
The hike winds along green paths that offer unforgettable views of the coast.
Return to the seaside to spend the morning under an umbrella on the soft beach of Lido di Camaiore, with resorts equipped for every necessity and perfect for those traveling with children.
In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to the village of Camaiore, where you can admire the splendid Abbey of San Pietro, founded in the 7th century by Benedictine monks: a historic monastic complex surrounded by a wall that in the Middle Ages was a reference point and resting place for pilgrims walking the via Francigena.
End your week in the Versilia with a day in Forte dei Marmi, with its beautiful historic centre and the ancient Pontile, where blocks of precious Carrara marble were once loaded onto boats and which today is a must-see destination for enjoying a unique view of the beach and the Apuan Alps. After relaxing like VIPs in the trendiest resorts, you can’t miss a chance to go shopping in the boutiques and markets that bring the town to life.