Surroundings

Viareggio

Surroundings
At about 4 km from the Hotel, lies the town of Viareggio, also called the “Pearl of the Tyrrhenian”. Worth a visit: the city center with the big market square, called “Piazzone”, the Harbour with its typical fish restaurants, and the famous beach boardwalk, long over 3 km, characterized by shops, cafés, restaurants, theaters and cinemas, here in winter takes place the famous Carnival of Viareggio. In the heart of the town lies the Ponente Pinewood, a large green area where the transit of motorized vehicles is prohibited. Ideal place of recreation for people of all ages, there are kiosks, restaurants, pets areas, bike rentals and rides for children. For the sport lovers there are different jogging paths, tennis courts, Mini-golf, bowling alleys and a skating rink. Here you can taste the famous hot donuts that are served to the public with a miniature blimp. The Levante Pinewood, the other big pine forest, extends for about 5 km and is located between Viareggio and Torre del Lago. Kept largely in natural state is crossed by numerous paths appreciated by lovers of outdoor sports (jogging, mountain biking, nordic walking. Another attraction of Viareggio is its large marina where you can watch the spectacular yachts that have made the shipyards of Viareggio famous worldwide. A “must” for anyone visiting Viareggio is a walk on "lungomolo" (the pier of the port) that will allow you to venture offshore to enjoy an incomparable view of the Riviera della Versilia with the Apuan Alps in the background. For those who love fishing, the pier is also an excellent point for sea fishing.

Cittadella del Carnevale di Viareggio

Surroundings
At about 2 km from the Hotel is located the Citadel of the Carnival of Viareggio, this is the place where the carts of the famous Carnival of Viareggio are built and also the largest and most important thematic center dedicated to Italian masks. Here are concentrated the workshops for the Carnival artists popularly called “wizards”. It also contains the huge hangars in which are built and maintained the giant floats, two museums and a historical documentary center. The set of sixteen hangars and other buildings is a huge square, a perfect setting for festivities, which in summer becomes an arena for big shows.

Camaiore

Surroundings

At 8 km from the Hotel Versilia you will find the main town Camaiore, which has Roman origins and lies in the centre of a very green dell surrounded by mountain peaks that are more than 1200 mt high and scattered with ancient mountain villages – Pedona, Metato, Torcigliano, Peralla, Casoli, Trescolli, Greppolungo, La Culla, Monteggiori, Santa Lucia – from which you can admire stunning panoramas. The CAMAIORE valley is worth visiting not only for its villages, but also for its natural treasures. A network of paths allows access to hilltop places in the mountain pastures and to the highest tops (Monte Prana, Monte Matanna, Monte Gabberi) from which one can admire incredible panoramas of the Tuscan coast from the Elba island to Cinque Terre, with the Versilia region stretching out at its feet. A pearl of the Camaiore valley are the Candalla gorges, where in the wild surroundings flows an ongoing stream that forms puddles and little waterfalls where on very hot afternoons, many people take refreshing baths in the icy water. It is possible, in Candalla, to visit ancient iron industries that centuries ago have settled here to take advantage of the strength of the water to forge the iron. Free-climbing enthusiasts (arrampicata libera) will find in Candalla, as well as in numerous other neighbouring places (Greppolungo, Sant’Anna, Casoli) a training ground unique both because of the environment as for the level of difficulty. Finally, after a brief walk in the greenery, from the town of Casoli, the Onda cave can be reached, a place of prehistoric finds rich in ancestral appeal.

Pietrasanta

Surroundings
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. 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 can do some shopping through the busy city centre.

Forte dei Marmi

Surroundings
At about 7 km from the Hotel lies the beach town of Forte dei Marmi, renowned for being an exclusive holiday resort, where VIPs and celebrities from the international Jet Set are used to spending their holidays away from prying eyes. The famous market (Mercato del Forte) takes place in Piazza Marconi every Wednesday from 8 to 13:30. On the feast of Sant'Ermete, the evening of August 27, is turned on the traditional propitiatory fire in the central Piazza Garibaldi. On August 28, takes place a great fair that ends late at night with fireworks over the sea. Near Forte dei Marmi the Versilia Golf Club offers an 18-hole golf course in a green environment proceeds between the beach and the foothills of the Apuan Alps. Also for golfers at only 2 km from the Hotel is the driving range of the Golf Club Alisei Pietrasanta.

Seravezza

Surroundings
At about 12 km from the Hotel lies the picturesque town of Seravezza home to the visitor center of the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps, and the starting point for many excursions in the beautiful valleys of the area, covered with colorful forests of beech and chestnut and crowned by famous peaks such as Pania della Croce, Monte Forato (drilled mountain) and Monte Procinto. Not to be missed, in the warmer months, a swim in the icy waters of the Puddles of Desiata, in a natural and unique environment, shaped by streams coming down from the slopes of Mount Altissimo.

Cave di Marmo (Massa e Carrara)

Surroundings
At about 25 km from the Hotel, the magic of the marble quarries of the Apuan Alps opens like a vision. We will go into the mountain heart and we will touch the raw material preferred by artists such as Michelangelo and Canova. The visit to the marble quarries is unforgettable and unique, the visitors perform a spectacular journey to discover the marble quarries from which since the Roman times was extracted the pure white Carrara marble. First the huge blocks were extracted from the mountain, then were transported downstream with the dangerous method of sliding "lizzatura" and finally they arrived at the port with the aid of bullock carts. Every year in August the sliding method "lizzatura" comes alive and is recalled in Resceto (village of miners near Massa) thanks to the courage and skill of the last "lizzatori".

Cinque Terre

Surroundings
The charm of the hill overhanging the sea, a wonderful setting that seems to have been created by a romantic painter that sketched a picture of rare emotive intensity. A unique gem, the pride of the Spezia province, that has always been an international tourist destination. Houses and paths suspended between heaven and earth, a unique natural sight that has remained pure and faithful to the maritime tradition. The journey through the splendid towns of the Cinque Terre begins at the motorway exit of Brugnato, then, passing Borghetto Vara e Pignone, Monterosso is reached, the first of the five little towns. The unusual shape of the area, obtained from the rock, makes the arrival even more appealing. The tourist is welcomed by the statue of the Giant, a Neptune supporting the cliff as if shielding the sea. After this, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These last towns are part of the famous Via dell’Amore, the path that goes to the sea is the most romantic and meaningful image of a natural tableau of exceptional charm. And for the lovers of a good wine a unique specialty, the Sciacchetrà, obtained from dense vinyards that are characteristic of the area. Produced in a limited number, it is a ‘white’ for the real connoisseur.

Torre del Lago Puccini

Surroundings
At about 11 km from the Hotel lies the lakeside village of Torre del Lago Puccini, where you can visit the house-museum of Giacomo Puccini or you can make an excursion in boat on the picturesque Lake Massaciuccoli and its numerous channels. By the lake stands the modern theater outdoors where in summer, between July and August, take place the Puccini Opera Festival dedicated to the works of the famous composer Giacomo Puccini, who was born in Lucca but spent his life in Versilia. A few miles away and by the beach lies Torre del Lago Marina, famous for restaurants and her nightlife.

Pisa

Surroundings
At about 20 km from the Hotel is located in Pisa. The city lies on the banks of the Arno River, near its mouth. The Piazza del Duomo, also known as the "Square of Miracles", is the most important artistic and tourist center of Pisa. Since 1987 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can admire there masterpieces of European Romanesque architecture such as the catedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the famous leaning tower. Each year the June 17 is celebrated San Ranieri patron of the city in the evening of the 16 June the Luminara di San Ranieri starts with a fireworks display and then continue along the entire night. On the afternoon of the June 17 the Palio di San Ranieri is held, where the four districts of the historic center compete in a boat race over the river Arno.

Lucca

Surroundings
At about 20 km from the Hotel, lies Lucca "the city of 100 churches". Famous for its historical monuments is one of Italys most visited cities, thanks to its mighty walls of the XV-XVI century. These have allowed the historic center the city to remain almost intact in its original appearance, therefore can include a variety of architectural merit, as the numerous medieval churches and the rich aristocratic palaces. The city also boasts charming little squares, the most famous is certainly Piazza dell'Anfiteatro built on the ruins of a ancient Roman amphitheater by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini. The main artery of the city is the narrow medieval Fillungo street, which brings together the most fashionable shops and cafés. Just because of his wealth of historical monuments has been recently advanced the proposal to include the Walls of Lucca in the list of UNESCO World Heritage

Firenze

Surroundings
At about 90 km from the Hotel is located Florence, capital of Tuscany. The town of about 400,000 inhabitants, is located on the banks of the Arno, between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic, near the center of the Italian peninsula. An important university and research centre, Florence belong to the UNESCO World Heritage. The town is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and is universally recognized as one of the cradles of art and architecture, as well regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world thanks to its numerous monuments and museums, including the Duomo, Santa Croce, the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti. The center of Florence with its hundreds of businesses is a paradise for shopping and entertainment. In addition to high fashion boutiques and historic cafes, you can visit the lively street markets or going to spend a few hours in joy in the numerous nightclubs, discos, lounge bar and meeting places for an aperitif.

Siena

Surroundings
The Chianti area in Tuscany is one of the most beautiful in the whole region, as well as the most well-known and appreciated by visitors from across the world. The borders of the Chianti region are not clearly defined but in general it extends over the provinces of Florence and Siena, covering all of the area between the two cities and extending to the east toward the Valdarno and to the west to the Val d'Elsa. The Chianti wine area extends further beyond the two cities, all around Florence and even toward Arezzo, Pistoia and Montepulciano. You'll often find references to the "Florentine Chianti" and the "Senese Chianti" to define the areas closest to one or the other city, but these often refer to a wine's origin within the Chianti region. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone. The Chianti landscapes are so beautiful and particular that they inspire many photographs which then become postcards and calendars distributed across the globe.

Volterra

Surroundings
At about 90 km from the Hotel is located Volterra. Etruscan town situated in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, about 40 km from the sea, Volterra is a must for any tourist destination because is considered a living sanctuary of architecture and art from various periods, Etruscan, Roman, medieval and Renaissance. The historic citadel, surrounded by a solid circle of walls, stands on top of a hill, 545 m. above sea level that overlooks and separates the valleys of Cecina and Era. Besides visiting the huge city walls you cannot miss a walk across the precious historical center where the tower houses and palaces alternate giving life to a city where the atmosphere is full of more than 2000 years of history.

San Gimignano

Surroundings
At about 95 km from the Hotel lies the village of San Gimignano. For the characteristic medieval architecture of its historic center the city belong to UNESCO World Heritage Site. San Gimignano is situated on a high hill at 324 masl in the beautiful Val d'Elsa along the Via Francigena. The main resource of the city is tourism, aided by the convenient location midway between Florence and Siena. San Gimignano is also famous for the Vernaccia, one of the most popular Tuscan white wines. The village is almost entirely contained in the thirteenth century walls. Overlooking the square and on the main streets are the characteristics towers and tower-houses, which have earned San Gimignano the nickname of "Medieval Manhattan". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gimignano

Isola d'Elba

Surroundings
At about 135 km from the Hotel lies the Elba island. The story would have it, the island was the scene of major events. There is no civilization in the Mediterranean that has not left a trace of its passage. For the Etruscans Elba was an inexhaustible source of wealth, they exploited the mines and exported iron around the Mediterranean basin, reaping huge gains. The Romans appreciated Elba for its iron but also for the curative mud, as evidenced by one of the two rich patrician villas, identified in the island, and whose remains are in the vicinity of the present thermal structure. The Middle Ages saw the domination of Pisa, of which there are some important and impressive buildings to defend the territory, which show that the possession of the island was important. Then follows the rule of the Appiani and Cosimo de 'Medici who built Portoferraio, surrounding it with massive walls which saved the inhabitants from pirate raids. The Spaniards settled in Porto Azzurro and they too put his hand to the defense of the territory with an imposing building: the fort of St. James, which still dominates the charming village. The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to Elba in 1814 and remained there 10 months as ruler of the Principality of the island. As evidence of his stay are the two beautiful villas: Villa Mills dominant in Portoferraio, and Villa San Martino's summer residence on the outskirts of the little Corsican capital of Elba.und gastfreundlich, der Lage, die besonderen Interessen, sondern auch Ihre Träume zu erfüllen. Es gibt noch eine Welt auf menschlicher Ebene.

Garfagnana

Surroundings
The región of Garfagnana is another fascinating and characteristic part of Tuscany. We are talking about the contryside and mountain areas near Lucca. There is no denying that Garfagnana is different and captivating! This land is a real environmental miracle, an "unicum" that springs from a happy coincidence of factors: it looks like a harsh mountain landscape, but it leaves room for broad valleys. It is beautiful in every season and if in winter it is at its most spectacular, with the snow-covered peaks forming a breath-taking sight, in summer it suddenly bursts into bloom. Here we find blue gentians, white jonquils, creamy asphodels and scarlet peonies: every corner is like a naïve art work, a splash of colour enlivening the pastel green of the pastures. The Garfagnana is known for its mushrooms as well as chestnuts, cheeses and roasts. Barga is known for its black and white truffles. The Serchio Valley also produces a farinata which is half polenta and half minestrone. A trekking tour through the Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps is an hiking Paradise! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garfagnana

Colonnata (Carrara)

Surroundings
Colonnata is an Italian ancient village and a hamlet of the comune of Carrara and is accessible by the road that passes through the villages of Vezzala and Bedizzano. It is situated in the Apuan Alps, and is known worldwide for the pork fat delicacy Lardo di Colonnata, and for its marble quarries. Colonnata's history dates back to its settlement, around 40 BC. It was built for the housing of slaves used in quarrying marble after Rome decided to replace expensive imported Greek marble with local marble. The name of the settlement is believed derived from the Latin word columna, indicating the place where columns of marble were extracted to be sent to Rome. The village is still mainly supported by mining. The breeding of pigs, promoted by the abundance of chestnut trees, was introduced to Colonnata, perhaps by the Lombards. Over time, this industry evolved, in particular processing freshly slaughtered meat, which was used as bread spread by the quarrymen, thus starting the traditional production of the famous pork fat delicacy, Lardo di Colonnata. Colonnata is surrounded by quarries in an area known as "Gioia Calagio", which includes the Gioia Pit, which produces the arabescato and bardiglio varieties of veined marble.

Lunigiana

Surroundings
At about 45 km from the Hotel lies the region of Lunigiana, which owes its name to the city of Luni, founded by the Romans in 177 BC at the mouth of the river Magra. Sits still in the valley of this river and its affluents, but its boundaries are now much wider. Situated between Tuscany and Liguria, of both these regions proposes the more peculiar features, in the landscape, in the composite cultures, in the architectural work and the friendliness of the people. A small region, homogeneous and rich in history, which looks like a real kaleidoscope of lights and colors. A prestigious image, like the background of a green scenarios that end, high up in the jagged peaks of the Apuan Alps and the vast grassy expanses of the Apennines. Here you can find everywhere traces of Italian and European history. From prehistoric, through the Middle Ages and up to the modern age, every era has left its mark here.

Chianti

Surroundings
The Chianti area in Tuscany is one of the most beautiful in the whole region, as well as the most well-known and appreciated by visitors from across the world. The borders of the Chianti region are not clearly defined but in general it extends over the provinces of Florence and Siena, covering all of the area between the two cities and extending to the east toward the Valdarno and to the west to the Val d'Elsa. The Chianti wine area extends further beyond the two cities, all around Florence and even toward Arezzo, Pistoia and Montepulciano. You'll often find references to the "Florentine Chianti" and the "Senese Chianti" to define the areas closest to one or the other city, but these often refer to a wine's origin within the Chianti region. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone. The Chianti landscapes are so beautiful and particular that they inspire many photographs which then become postcards and calendars distributed across the globe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chianti

Montalcino

Surroundings
Montalcino is a beautiful village immersed in the breathtaking Val d'Orcia Natural Park, renowned all over the world for the production of its precious Brunello red wine. The town has scarcely changed in appearance since the 16th century. Once you get up to the town, a magnificent spectacle unfolds for your eyes: rolling sunny hills dotted with yellow and red flowers, ancient oak trees, picturesque olive groves, scenic country roads winding through perfect vineyards and isolated cypress trees atop hills. Montalcino is not just wine, it is also very rich in artistic treasures. The historical center is dominated by the mighty and imposing Rocca or fortress built in 1361 to mark the passage of Montalcino under the domination of Siena. The views from its ramparts are spectacular, stretching towards Monte Amiata, across the Crete to Siena, and across all of the Valdorcia and the hills of Maremma.The streets of Montalcino with their stone pavements are truly enchanting and the village is a wonderful place to stroll around among the labyrinth of charming arts and crafts shops, cafes, restaurants and wine bars. If you wish to take home a bottle of superb wine, this is the right place to take advantage! Take some time to fully enjoy the special medieval atmosphere of this magnificent Tuscan hilltop town. Walk slowly through its narrow and characteristic alleys offering extraordinary views over the underlying valley, and then sit and relax while tasting a glass of the delicious red wine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montalcino

Collodi

Surroundings
At about 35 km from the Hotel lies the picturesque town of Collodi, made famous by the author of "The Adventures of Pinocchio", which is the most well-known and most printed secular book in the world. The writer Carlo Lorenzini, in tribute to his village, choose as a stage name "Collodi". The old hamlet behind the Villa Garzoni (Collodi Castello) has preserved its medieval fortified look and even today it can be visited only by foot. The majestic Villa Garzoni Garden is among the most beautiful and best preserved of Europe in the Baroque style, and with the Pinocchio Park and the and the Butterfly House, makes this unique corner of Tuscany really worth a visit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Collodi

Antro del Corchia

Surroundings
At about 25 km from the Hotel, the cave Antro del Corchia is located on the slopes of Mount Corchia in Alta Versilia. The mountain village of Levigliani (Stazzema) is the starting point of the excursión inside the Antro del Corchia. This small village is situated at the edge of the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps at about 600 m above sea level. It is easily reachable by car following the provincial road that connects the Versilia with Garfagana, through the villages of Seravezza, Ruosina and Retignano. The complex (karst) is the largest in Italy, with about 64 km of tunnels known but which to date only 53 km transcribed into paper. The entrance of the cave was discovered for the first time by the geologist Giuseppe Simi in 1841. The hole was called pit of Aeolus because of strong wind that still can be felt at the entrance (up to 85 km / h, which is why there are three air-tight doors). In 2001 the Cave was opened to the public to start visiting, with a path equipped with footbridges, the internal areas for about 1 km. With the slogan "The mountain on the sea" from June to September a free shuttle bus connects the Versilia beaches with tourist cave. http://www.parcapuane.toscana.it/corchia_new/eng/percorso.htm http://www.parcapuane.toscana.it/corchia_new/eng/arrivare.htm

Portovenere

Surroundings
At about 60 km from the Hotel lies the fishing village of Portovenere, a joy of the past arrived intact to this day. Much appreciated from shoppers is the promenade Calata Doria and the picturesque Carrugio worth a visit are the scenic church of St. Peter and the Doria castle. The harbor of Portovenere, although it is the smallest of the Liguria Riviera, in the summer season is always sold out and also host numerous VIPs boats. In the summer months there is a ferry service that connect the marina with the neighboring towns of Lerici, La Spezia and the main villages of the Cinque Terre. On August the 17, takes place the traditional procession of the Madonna Bianca flowing along the streets of the village, followed by a party lighted with the evocative Roman torches of the promontory of Punta San Pietro. The village of Portovenere was included recently among the World Heritage protected by UNESCO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porto_Venere

Il Golfo dei Poeti

Surroundings
The so called Gulf of Poets is a stretch of sea that belongs to Liguria and ends the natural stretch of the coast. Here, the coastal landscape changes, we can't see anymore the endless beaches of Versilia, but sheer cliffs which drop straight into the sea, as in the nearby Cinque Terre and a multitude of small islands in the horizon. This corner of paradise was the favourite destination of English poets and, easy to imagine, it owes its name to its habitual visitors: among the others, the famous poets Byron and Shelley, the latter having visited Lerici. Portovenere, easily reachable by boat from Lerici, is a really pictoresque, tiny port, standing in a natural cove. Opposite this well known port, there is Palmaria island, a very renowned place for the ruined fortifications of the dating back to the period of the Malaspina family and for its unusual natural landscape, very wooded and with numerous caves.

Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane

Surroundings
Situated between the Apennines and the sea, the Apuan Alps, is recognised as one of the most distinctive mountainous areas in Italy which create a natural curve protecting the hills and plains below. The peculiarity of this mountainous range is the variety of the shapes of its peaks. Here you can find endless veins of marble, spas and mineral water springs (known for their low salt content), streams, woods and numerous caves, including the largest and deepest (1210 m depth) cave in Europe called "Antro del Corchia". An infinite number of plants and flowers are protected in the Natural Park of the Apuan Alps, which extends to the Provinces of Massa - Carrara and Lucca. These majestic mountains offer a variegated landscape, full of life or silence, lanes in shady woods, valleys, fields, quaint villages, ancients mills and impressive marble quarries. You can get away from the Versilia Riviera to the mountains in just a few minutes: from the blue of the sea to the green of the chestnut woods, from the wide beaches to the harsh mountain tops, through gentle hillsides, among thick olive groves and luxuriant vineyards. The Apuan Alps have a short story as alpine gym: only in 1863 civil engineer Giordano began their exploration.Today, on the Apuane alps there are nearly 750 km of paths, marked by a special committee. http://www.apuanegeopark.it/ENGLISH_VERSION/apuanegeopark_general_eng.html http://www.parcapuane.it/vetrina/vetrina_dovesiamo.htm

Enogastronomia

Surroundings

Driving for only 30 minutes you can enter the hills of Lucca or those of Massa, renowned for its wine, olive oil and other products that have become emblems of our territory as the  Farro di Garfagnana  (emmer wheat) and Lardo di Colonnata (pork fat), being both important Slowfood Trademarks all over the world. In the province of Lucca are worth remembering the Morianese hills (Maolina wine) and the territory of Montecarlo (Valgiano, Montecarlo, Matraia) for its olive oil and wine. In the province of Massa Carrara, the Lunigiana countryside is renowed for Testaroli (pasta), for the excellent meats and cheeses and for its organic food production. The Candia hills near Massa and the area around the ancient city of Luni (founded 177 bC) are known for its excellent olive oil and white wines (Candia, Vermentino of Luni).

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