The Camaiore Inland Area
In Camaiore you can take a stroll through the old town to discover the history of this area. You can stop in Piazza San Bernardino to admire the majestic Santa Maria Assunta church or visit the Museum of Sacred Art. The Abbey, just outside the centre, and the 10th-century Romantic-style church are both worth a visit.
In the Camaiore hinterland there are also many villages to visit. These ancient villages can be easily reached from the coast and many of them have breathtaking views over the sea. There is Casoli with its “sgraffito”, Montebello on the slopes of Mount Gabberi, Monteggiori, which retains its medieval fortified structure, the Via Francigena that crosses the villages of Montemagno and Orbicciano and many others. Many of these villages are connected by footpaths that allow you to do walk around the Camaiore area, including ancient mule tracks and roads as described in this post. Also, if you are fond of climbing as well as hiking, Camaiore is the place for you.
The Massarosa Inland Area
Massarosa also boasts ancient villages and activities to do when you do not want to spend the afternoon at the beach. The hilltop villages around Massarosa have beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Lake Massaciuccoli. In these villages there are medieval buildings, ancient churches and Lucca-style villas. People go to Corsanico for the unique views of the plain that reaches down to the sea and the organ concerts in the church of San Michele, to Mommio to see a characteristic medieval village up close, to Bargecchia to hear the bells of the Romanesque church of San Martino, also mentioned by Puccini in Tosca, to Pieve a Elici for the beautiful parish church of San Pantaleone.
Lake Massacciuccoli is another major attraction of the area. People come to the lake to observe the birds that nest in these wetlands, to walk along the wooden walkways of the Lipu Oasis, to go kayaking or for a boat ride. The other reason to come to Massaciuccoli is to travel through history. Here, in fact, in the area called Roman Massaciuccoli, are the remains of the ancient Roman villa of Venulei, baths and a pavilion with archaeological artecfacts. Also, if you love cycling in the great outdoors, there is the Puccini cycle path, a succession of gravel roads, bridges and wooden walkways.
The Pietrasanta Inland Area
Pietrasanta is also located inland, a few kilometres from the sea. The city has a remarkable artistic and cultural heritage, so much so that it is called the Little Athens of Versilia. Piazza del Duomo is the essence of ancient and modern beauty: there is the Duomo of San Martino in Renaissance-Romanesque style, its bell tower in Baroque style, the statue of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II of Lorraine, the fountain and the Marzocco column, the clock tower, the municipal theatre and often temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists.
The Via Romea passed through the hills of Pietrasanta fostering the creation of the parish churches of Vallecchia and Valdicastello, where there is also the birthplace of Giosuè Carducci, now a museum. Capezzano Monte and Capriglia are characteristic villages too.
The Seravezza Inland Area
Seravezza is an entirely inland area of Versilia and goes from the slopes of the Apuan Alps to the foothills where there is the main town, wedged in a small valley where the Versilia river is born from the union of the Serra and Vezza streams.
Here the true protagonist is the marble, and it is here amongst the quarries of Mount Altissimo that we can find the Cathedral of Saints Lorenzo and Barbara, and the Medici palace, now used for exhibitions and the Museum of Work and Folk Traditions of Historical Versilia. There are many villages, including Azzano, with the ancient Cappella church located along the ancient road that led to Stazzema and Garfagnana, and Corvaia, with the remains of its fortress. Another village, the most largest, is Querceta, which you can read about in this post: https://www.inversilia.com/il-piccolo-borgo-di-querceta/
The Stazzema Inland Area
Stazzema, at the foot of the Apuan Alps, is the highest town in Versilia and from here many paths lead to the hilltop and mountain villages. There are, in fact, many hiking paths that go up towards the Apuan Alps and that pass through other villages, including Pruno, Cardoso, Terrinca and Levigliani, where you can visit the Antro del Corchia, the largest karst system in Italy with 70 kilometres of tunnels and shafts. Terrinca, at the foot of Mount Corchia, is considered the oldest town of the Versilia area, while Sant’Anna di Stazzema is sadly recalled for the Nazi massacre that wiped out the entire town and where today there is the Peace Park.