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The Cathedral of Pietrasanta

Cathedral Square in Pietrasanta

Photo by Eva Gatti

The impressive town of Pietrasanta is one of the main Versilia's towns for marble and bronze artisic working, in fact it often hosts international artists and sculptors who come to stay here, also for long periods of time, to realize their creations (sometimes huge artistic creations, like the Michelangelo or Vasari's ones). During the time, this small town has became a real artistic centre, hosting lots of art galleries, temporary seasonal art expositions and a pictoresque historical centre.
Due to its origins, it has been always considered the historical chief-town of Versilia. In fact, it houses a big quantity of illustrious and important monuments mainly, in the splendid Cathedral Square (the Cathedral dating back to the 14th century, the baptistery, the Saint Agostino church, the municipal palace and the fine monuments to Leopold II).
For art-lovers, it is well worth a visit the famous Art Institute thanks to the craft production it encloses and for the artistical works of marble.
Finally, if you need a relaxant holiday offering a variety of hotels, villas, discos and night clubs, Marina di Pietrasanta (located on the sea) could be the perfect place answering your needs. At the beginning of the last century the boom of tourism on the coast begun to flourish in Marina di Pietrasanta. In a landscape of green pinewoods and the famous large beach, Marina offers a big variety of fashionable discos and clubs where you can enjoy your summer nights, with particular attention payed to culture with La Versiliana festival , a series of cultural events and shows hosted inside the Versiliana theatre. However, if you aren’t a seaside life lover, a pretty option could be a visit to the hilly zone, to enjoy yourself with the impressive view of the surrounding coast. The city also has an underground tunnels net and defensife town-walls still today visible from the central square. Moreover, it is possible to reach the town-walls through a path ending to Rocca di Sala, from which you'll admire the Versilia's plain starting to Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi. During the clearer days some Tuscan archipelago's islands are visible and, more often, the Ligurian coast.

After a visit to the monuments you'll can have shopping through the city centre's streets, but there are really interesting things to see also into the ancient town centre of Pietrasanta, such as via del Riccetto, characteristic for its river's pebbles pavement, or via della Fontanella, where you'll find the Spartaco Palla astronomic observatory.
While in the other squares of the city you can admire several sculptures of different famous international authors, such as Botero ("Il Guerriero" - who abitually stay in Pietrasanta to realize his bronze works) in piazza Matteotti and Mitoraj ("Il Centauro") in piazza del Centauro. Don't forget that in Valdicastello (town frazione of Pietrasanta) the important Italian poet Giosuè Carducci was born, who notably contributed to construct history and tradition of the Italian literary culture.

Pietrasanta is easy to reach by car, cause it is located along the Aurelia street and it is well connected to the streets directed to the closest Versilia's municipalities and mountain sights (first of all Seravezza and Stazzema). There is also a train station where all local trains stop. Long distance trains stops are not contemplated, but it is possible to reach the station by the Intercity couple 1533-1534 'Maremma'.
Pietrasanta has a quite developed bikeway, even if you have to pay attention in Marina di Pietrasanta, because it's usual to find cars and pedestrians in the middle of the streets.

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