The province of Massa and Carrara and its charming area: the Apuan Alps, the Apuan Coastline and the Lunigiana region
To discover the wonderful lands in the province of Massa and Carrara, nestled among the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, the Cinque Terre and Versilia region, means taking an amazing journey through nature, art, traditions and local products. A unique yet surprising landscape, all to discover and explore by the different types of trips, tours and excursions offered by Sunny Tuscany & Italy!
Situated on the western slopes of the Apuan Alps, about 5 km from the sea, the town of Massa, with its lovely medieval center is dominated by a hill with a beautiful Malaspina Castle at the top which overtakes the surrounding plain.
Close to the Apuan Alps you’ll find Carrara the world’s marble capital. With its charming medieval center and its beautiful Romanesque cathedral, Carrara is truly a site to see! The marble quarries of the Apuan Alps, scattered along the three mining valleys Fantiscritti, Torano and Colonnata were already known and appreciated by the great sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti. They are a wonderful spectacle with 2000 years of history. They have a wonderful landscape, which is almost lunar, suspended between the sea and the peaks of the mountains. The small village of Colonnata is famous not only for its marble quarries, but also for the renowned PGI Lard. PGI is a tasty pork-lard seasoned in basins of Carrara marble, originally a poor food called "the bread of the miners" which has become a product known and valued all over the world. The Regional Park of the Apuan Alps is one of the most unique mountain areas of the Italian peninsula for the richness of its landscapes. In addition to the famous marble, you can also find large cavities and cave openings in karst underground, along with the presence of rich and varied flora and fauna. There are numerous trails within the park and are all quite long and challenging for walking excursions, biking or horseback riding.
Included between the Magra and Versilia rivers and bordered by the massifs of the Apuan Alps, the Apuan Coastline is a beautiful sandy coast about 20 km long, equipped with high-quality beach resorts and nautical centers where you can enjoy water sports such as sailing and windsurfing. The most renowned holiday resorts of the Coastline are: Marina di Carrara, Marina di Massa, Ronchi, Poveromo and Cinquale di Montignoso (with its small picturesque harbor that has often been visited by artists and celebrities, such as the famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio).
The Lunigiana is a historical region located among Tuscany, the Po Valley and the Liguria region. It has always been a land of transit and a natural corridor between different territories. The Tuscan part of this region is a fascinating land, rich in wonderful landscapes and charming historical monuments. Some monuments include: the prehistoric steles of the Magra Valley (the heart of the Lunigiana, from Pontremoli to Aulla), the impressive amphitheater and the Roman archaeological site of Luni (the "Splendid Roman Civitas") and the numerous castles (more than 160), many of which can still be visited, such as the Castle of Piagnaro in Pontremoli, the Malaspina Castle in Fosdinovo and the Brunella Fortress in Aulla. The Lunigiana is a land of fine Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque works of art, with many towns rich in history and traditions, such as Pontremoli, the "gateway of Tuscany" along the ancient Via Francigena and the city of book, and Fivizzano, city of printers and writers, immersed in the wonderful National Park Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The Lunigiana is a genuine and hospitable region. A land of great wines (such as the DOC Colli di Luni), great flavors and traditional dishes, like the PGI honey, the “testaroli” (a particular type of Italian “pasta”), the “panigacci” (bread), the renowned chestnut flour, the olive oils, the typical vegetable pies and the savory meats and cheeses made by local producers.