SERAVEZZA: how to get there
BY MOTORWAY: From Genova, Motorway A12 to the South exit Versilia;
from Milan Motorway A1 and A15 up to La Spezia, then A12 to the South exit Versilia;
from Florence Motorway A11 up to Lucca, then link road to Viareggio;
from Rome Motorway A1 up to Florence, then A11 exit Versilia. From the toll-house at Versilia go on towards Seravezza.
BY TRAIN: stations: Forte dei Marmi, Querceta and Seravezza. Long distance trains stop in Viareggio. You can find timetables on the web site www.trenitalia.it
BY AIRPLANE: Airport “Galileo Galilei” in Pisa, 50 km far.
BY BUS: CLAP Service from Pietrasanta or Massa
WEEKLY MARKET: Seravezza: Mondays, Querceta: Saturdays
Placed at the confluence between the Vezza torrent with the Serra, encircled by the chain of the Apuane Alps with its important marble fields of Ceragiola, Cappella and Monte Altissimo, Seravezza is only 6 km far from the sea.
Its origins go back to 11-th century, when iron and marble extractive activity began and the caves became destination of artists like Michelangelo, Gianbologna, Vasari. Being close to Pietrasanta, Cosimo I built there a palace in order to supervise these activities.
Its history therefore has always been linked to the iron work and the marble excavation, going through times of development or crisis. Another boost impulse came from foreign entrepreneurs, like the French Henraux , that founded in 1820 an export marble company. Seravezza began therefore to specialize itself in the excavation and the crude working of the marble, while Pietrasanta was specialized in the artistic working.
During the War, Seravezza became for months the forehead of the “gotica” line, suffering very serious damages and destructions.
Its more important monument is the Mediceo Palace, built in 1565 on the left side of the Vezza from the young Buontalenti according to the will of Cosimo de Medici. The beautiful building built in marble and ashlar, accommodated Medici and Lorena, beside the noble families that used to go from there to Forte dei Marmi’s beach. Today the palace houses the Communal Library, the Historical Archives, some important art exhibitions, some feast markets like “Enolia” (review of olive oil and typical products), and the Museum of Craft and Popular Traditions in Versilia, that presents a wide section dedicated to iron and marble extraction and working, with a special collection of religious majesties (called “marginette”), placed along the mountain routes.
You can appreciate a religious fervour that rises again every year in the solemn Via Crucis of the Holy Friday and the ancient Fair of S. Lorenzo (10 August).
Concerts and exhibitions are carried out also at Henraux Villa (19-th century), built in liberty style. In Querceta it is very interesting to see the long and choreographic historical procession, followed by the donkeys race, called “Palio of the Micci“, ridden by jockey of each town district that compete for the precious Palio after six turns of the field (on the first Sunday of May).
Once you have seen the Dome of Saint Lorenzo, the town does not offer more artistic attractions, while in the surroundings it is worth going up to Azzano just to see the Pieve della Cappella or Pieve di San Martino, built in Romanesque style, whose porch (whose right arcade remains) and rose window seem to have been made by Michelangelo, who went there looking for marble for the Vatican.