Versilia is a truly child friendly holiday area, flat golden fine sandy beaches with the sea gradually deepening is the most obvious advantage of the resort but just one of the many features making a family-oriented holiday here very relaxing. The 28 kilometers of completely flat cycle path that runs along the Versilia coastline connects you with Viareggio - Lido di Camaiore - Forte dei Marmi and Marina di Massa, with a connecting path that leads to the town of Pietrasanta itself. So cycling to and throw is easy safe and fun with child seats available even for the very young babies.
The area is embraced by the beautiful Apuan Alps mountains visible from the beach. It is possible to explore lots of hiking trails here with private guides if you wish, the scenery is wonderful, inside the park you can visit the Grotta Turistica Antro del Corchia an amazing underground cave: www.corchiapark.it full of natural beauty and just a few kilometers from the coast.
Another mountain trip excursion is a visit to the famous Marble Caves in Carrara amongst the many caves in particular in the quarry where Michelangelo sourced his ‘statutory’ white glistening stone for his famous ‘Pietà’ statue and many others. Try a small group visit with a Jeep into the heart of the quarry with all the explanations on how the beautiful stone is quarried.
More info www.marmotour.com
The large nature reserve of San Rossore has a visiting centre and lots to do including carriage, bike or horse rides through woods and children’s activities such as recognizing animal footprints. The WWF also has a bird watching paradise with a pedestrian trail on the lake Massaciuccoli.
More info: Park offices: Tenuta di San Rossore, loc. Cascine Vecchie, Pisa; tel. 0039 050 539111; www.parcosanrossore.org
For fashion followers the most sort after Italian clothing brands can be found in various shopping outlets all within a day trip : www.mcarthurglen.com for example or www.shopinnbrugnato5terre.it who provide a free daily shuttle service from the resort in Summertime. If boutique window shopping is a must Forte dei Marmi is the place; Roberto Cavalli, Liu Jo, Max Mara, Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu and many more found it this lovely town, don’t forget to visit the Pier or one of the many fish Trattorias whilst you are there!
RELAX in one of the SPA establishments, Viareggio for example has lots to offer such as Principe di Piemonte (www.principedipiemonte.com) just a few kilometers away or a short trip by car to a wonderful establishment in a SPA town www.bagnidipisa.com.
Pietrasanta, known as the ‘little Athens’, for over 600 years the workplace choice of great artists, in the last few decades many internationally renowned artists have opened their laboratory here and frequently donated important works to the city. Pietrasanta has therefore become an open sky museum, works of art are found on the principal streets (mostly pedestrian areas) in the heart off the city centre , off the main square you will find the Sant’Agostino church within the grounds of which is the Museo dei Bozzi where you can view the plaster casts of around 300 of these sulptures. The lovely town centre offers the perfect place to pass any time of day , picturesque square with its ancient walls is a beautiful ambience and perfect for a Capuccino, an apertivo or dinner, lots of boutique shopping on hand as well. Just three kilometers from the town by the beaches you will find a magnificent pinewood that extends for almost 1000 square meters very popular with Joggers and local walkers. An important to note however is that the area is the ideal base to visit the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Tuscany all on of which are hand ; Pisa, Lucca the fabulous walled city, Florence and the Cinque Terre fishing villages are all easily reachable in a half day or full day trip and with Pietrasanta train station bang in town no need to use a car!
Chianti has numerous working vineyards which can be visited in a day excursion, just pick your famous red wine lable and we can then suggest the exact district to head for. Versilia has also some prize wining red and white wines. Then we have the Montecarlo district of Lucca to which is a good choice. Worth a mention also in the Ligurian area Cantina Lunae wine producers in Sarzana famous for their award winning wines for example the Lunae Vermentino wine especially the ‘black label’.They have a great visiting centre with wine tasting in a lovely ambience: cantinelunae.com well worth a trip.
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