Lucca and its beautiful lands: the Plains of Lucca (Lucchesia), the Serchio Valley, the Garfagnana and the Versilia region
Lucca, the birthplace of the great composer Giacomo Puccini, always enchants its visitors: so livable, so “people-oriented”, with its quiet squares, pedestrian streets, gardens and its marvelous art treasures still enclosed by intact city walls. A small pearl of rare beauty along the ancient Via Francigena (the Road to France), Lucca can be visited on foot or by bicycle. The mighty Medicean walls and the beautiful ramparts that surround the town have been carefully set like a garden, to allow pleasant walks or bike rides and to offer wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding meadows and countryside. Sunny Tuscany & Italy offers a series of proposals for guided tours discovering the wonderful churches, palaces, monuments and art treasures held in the old center.
The lands surrounding Lucca aren’t less lovely either! The Plains of Lucca (known as “Lucchesia”), with its fragrant camellias and its wonderful villas, built between the fifteenth and the nineteenth century as summer residences for the rich families of Lucca, are a sight to see! Adventure through the hills of the Serchio Valley, with its important River Park and extended green-area, where you can walk, go horseback riding or biking, kayak or canoe up the river, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The mountains of the Garfagnana region (called “the green island of Tuscany”), are ideal for skiers, hikers and bikers, who can go through the ancient courses charted by mule tracks, not to mention there are plenty of pit stops along the way in colorful small towns. Some towns worth mentioning are: Castelnuovo Garfagnana, the capital and heart of the green region, and the village Vagli di Sotto, characterized by the presence of the largest artificial lake in Tuscany, well known because it contains a submerged ‘ghost town’ in its depths. Sunny Tuscany & Italy presents a series of suggestions for holidays and guided tours to discover these breathtaking places and sceneries, often precluded to the so-called "mass tourism".
For seaside lovers, the ideal destination is the Versilia region, with its famous long, sandy coastline characterized by the typical Mediterranean scrub and cities. These places are synonymous with good life, summer entertainment and cultural activities. Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio are two great examples, with their comfortable hotels and beach resorts endowed with all the modern comforts, these cities are well-equipped and suitable to house families with children. Another famous tourist destination of the region is Torre del Lago, a peaceful seaside resort located on the coastal lake of Massaciuccoli, which for 30 years has been the summer residence of the great composer Giacomo Puccini and nowadays is one of the Italian beach destinations preferred by gay tourism, because of its colorful nightspots and its free and informal atmosphere. Inland, between the sea and the shining white marble of the Apuan Alps, are two noteworthy places in the so-called "historical Versilia": Camaiore, rich in significant historical-art-monuments and Pietrasanta, the historical capital of the Versilia region and adoptive town of the great Colombian artist Fernando Botero. It is also the town of marble and bronze sculptors along the ancient Via Francigena.