Leaving the beach at Viareggio to explore Pietrasanta
If you plan to visit Viareggio this summer, and fancy a change from the beach, I would definitely recommend that you make time to visit the nearby town of Pietrasanta. The Italian province of Lucca seems to have it all: Rolling Tuscan hills, beautiful beaches on an incredible coast line, where you’ll also find the carnival town of Viareggio (home to our beautiful Italian language school) and last but not least, Pietrasanta, with its pristine medieval buildings, and fascinating art history.
I am, without any doubt a girl who loves a plan. I truly love scouring guidebooks and thoroughly researching what to do when I travel. Google is one of my most important resources when planning a holiday, but you just can’t compete with inside knowledge! Despite my extensive planning around Viareggio, this small town hadn’t featured highly in my pre-travel investigations. Pietrasanta was just a last minute addition to my itinerary, based on a recommendation from my host in Viareggio. However, it turned out be one of the absolute highlights of my trip to Tuscany!
Nestled between the foot of the Apuan Alps and the sea, Pietrasanta is an important historical centre. Visit the boutique shops in the beautiful medieval buildings. Walk around the narrow streets and stop for a bite to eat in the main Piazza. Afterwards continue browsing the shops and open air market. All of this would all make for a pleasant experience alone. However, the town’s star attraction is that today, Pietrasanta is an amazing open-air art gallery!
Pietrasanta and Italian art
For centuries, Pietrasanta has been renowned for the its high quality marble work. This is where Michelangelo obtained the marble for the facade of San Lorenzo Church in Florence. This tradition has developed over the years, and Pietrasanta is now home to many international artists, giving the town a prominent reputation as a destination for art lovers.
Many of Pietrasanta’s resident artists have donated pieces to the town. The streets are adorned with sculptures and temporary art installations, not to mention many museums, galleries, and artisan workshops. By crossing the road or turning the corner, you could stumble across a huge bronze helmet, a braying silver donkey or my favourite: a gigantic chili pepper!
If you would like to visit Pietrasanta yourself, and I really recommend that you do, the town’s close proximity to Viareggio means you can easily arrange an afternoon visit after your Italian lessons. There are regular trains and buses from Viareggio. The train ride takes just over 5 minutes, but I would suggest you take the bus. Although this does take a little longer, around 20 minutes, the journey provides excellent views of Viareggio’s promenade and the beautiful coastline!
For information about any of our schools in Tuscany, just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve visited Florence, Pisa and Viareggio and would love to talk to you about this beautiful part of Italy!