The Apuan Alps are an immense marble deposit of some cubic kilometers of volume and whose most significant mass is that of Carrara. Here the excavation has developed in three valleys, Colonnata, Fantiscritti and Ravaccione where, in addition to the white marble of Carrara, other varities are extracted: Statuary, Veined, Paonazzo, Calacatta, Bardiglio. Guided tours are organized.
Fosdinovo’s Castle of Malaspina, built in the second half of the twelfth century, stands in the north of Tuscany between the Apuan Alps and the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Lerici, Cinque Terre, Versilia). Today it is a museum, a cultural centre dedicated to the production and diffusion of contemporary art, a residence for artists and writers. Furthermore, inside the Castle there is also a cozy and picturesque bed and breakfast.
The park includes the mountain chain which extends for about thirty kilometres between the provinces of Lucca and Massa Carrara. Among the thick forests, chestnut and beech forests of higher altitudes, tall dolomitic pinnacles and spires stick out with incredible stone arches. The most famous is that of Monte Forato; the traditional meeting place for the magical celebration of the summer solstice. Many possible activities can be chosen such as hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking depending on the season and your training. The Tourist Centres of the Park and the Orientation Points (open in summer) suggest excursions and itineraries, providing guides and maps.
Cinque Terre National Park is a UNESCO heritage as it offers environmental and cultural characteristics to be protected and enhanced: steep coasts overlooking the sea with bays and small beaches, thousands of kilometres of dry stone walls which mark terraces for the cultivation of the vine, picturesque buildings, medieval villages, sanctuaries, the scenic trails on the sea. Not to mention the precious Ligurian wines, fresh fish, the traditional cooking and craftsmanship, which help to fully understand the value of these places.
It is the first big outlet village of Liguria and it is a few kilometres far from the famous Cinque Terre. It is easily reachable as it is located on the highway opposite to the A12 Genova-Livorno. It attracts fashion addicts from all over the world, thanks to the marvellous tourism context in which it is situated. 70 boutiques for more than 100 brands on display. The finest designer clothes from the best Italian and international designers can be purchased with discounts up to 70%.
In addition to the beauty of its beaches, gardens and its historic centre, Forte dei Marmi is also famous for its elegance and sophistication: its shops and designer boutiques attract tourists in the same way as the nearby cities such as Florence, Pisa, Arezzo. Its bars and restaurants were frequented by the most famous fashion precursors which marked the Italian dolce vita from the 60s onwards. The coast of Versilia is characterized by 20 km of fine sand beaches, up to 200 m long, which gently descend into the sea.
The three major art cities of Tuscany are distant about an hour drive one from the other and worth a proper visit to enjoy the artistic and gastronomic culture of a land rich in emotions. Piazza dei Miracoli is a mandatory stop in Pisa: here, there is the greatest monumental complex of the Medieval Europe which represents a very high example of Pisan Romanesque. Florence is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, UNESCO heritage. In every alley you can breathe the air of that era which saw the highest expressions of literature and the born of the Italian language with Dante Alighieri. Siena, known for the famous Piazza del Campo, is located in the countryside surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, in a unique landscape and many parts unchanged since the Middle Ages. Worth visiting the typical surrounding villages such as Montalcino, San Gimignano, Pienza, Montepulciano and the Val d'Orcia.