Guida Alla Versilia



Stazzema

STAZZEMA: 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 first to Forte dei Marmi,  then towards Seravezza, therefore to Stazzema (Pontestazzemese)
BY TRAIN: station: Forte dei Marmi- Querceta- Seravezza. The long distance trains stop in Viareggio. You can find timetables on the on the web site www.trenitalia.it
BY AIRPLANE: Airport “Galileo Galilei” in Pisa
BY BUS: CLAP Service from Pietrasanta or Massa

The commune of Stazzema, the smallest in the historical Versilia, with a population of 3.500 inhabitants, scattered in 18 small villages, is part of the Park of the Apuane Alps and is crossed by a single road artery that connects the Versilia with the Garfagnana, in a wonderful natural atmosphere.
Stazzema (443 m. above sea level) is the smallest chief town in Versilia;  it is 12 km far from Seravezza, to which it is connected with regular buses.
Not being within the communal territory, the town hall is placed in the small village of Ponte Stazzemes. Its history is tied to the one of the greatest towns in Versilia; independent “small city states” (among them Stazzema) were in fact constituted after the foundation of Pietrasanta which submitted themselves to the Medici, so Florence took advantage of its marble caves in order to embellish the Medicea Chapel.

In 1776 all the small city states were loosed from Peter Leopoldo di Lorena and re-united under the community of Stazzema.
Within the Reign of Italy foreign entrepreneurs, like Henraux and Beresford, arrived with the intent of renewing the marble activity, which is even nowadays the main economic activity together with Cardoso’s stone.

Economic opportunities are related to the opening of the Apuane Park, that is developing ecological and naturalistic tourism.

In this village the Pieve  di Santa Maria Assunta deserves a visit. It was cited in 871; it is in Romanesque style and shaped into three aisles, with its external lodge connected to the canonical one, its marble window wheel and the organ made by Tronci inside. In the vicinities it is possible to find the only sanctuary in Versilia, the Sanctuary of the Piastraio, built up on the place where in the sec. XVIII the Madonna appeared to a few inhabitants.
Entering the village you find the Church of Maria SS delle Nevi, the Fountain of Carraia  (16-th century) and the Medicea Tower or Clock Tower (1739),that is still working with the original mechanism.
From the village starts a net of paths that lied up to the summits of the Apuane, up to the Arni valley, which is the geographic crossroad between Versilia, Garfagnana and Massa.

The villages

  • Farnocchia (m 450 above sea level) offers wonderful panoramas of the Apuane, from Matanna to Corchia, from Forato to Panie. The Chiesa of San Michele (11-th century) has a monumental organ.
  • Levigliani (m 650 above sea level) boasts Etruscan rests and a necropolis of Liguri and it is the starting point to the Mosceta Valley, the Pania and the Antro of Corchia.
  • Pomezzana (m 600 above sea level) is famous for iron working and production of war weapons. Cardoso (m 265 above sea level), nearly destroyed from the alluvium in June 1996, was famous for the working of a grey stone used for doorsteps and stair steps.
  • Then Pontestazzemese (m. 160 above sea level) where even the administrative center of the town hall has suffered the damages from the alluvium in June 1996.
  • Ruosina (m 100 above sea level) was the fulcrum of iron working in Versilia, since it was the center of the Magona Medicea. The quarrying activity, that in the past was common to all the Versilia, is nowadays almost left behind.
  • Terrinca (m 500 above sea level), placed at the foot of the Corchia Mount, is the more ancient village of the High Versilia thanks to its Longobard origins.
  • Sant’ Anna (m 660 above sea level) is sadly famous for the slaughter of 560 persons perpetrated from the Nazis in August 1944. In their memory the Historical Museum of the Resistance has been built.
  • Finally Pruno (m 470 above sea level) with the Romanesque Pieve di S.Niccolò di Pruno gives place to a small museum of traditions and crafts, and at the end of December celebrates the traditional Living Manger that draws the attention of believers and visitors all through the Versilia.

During the summer each village offers various gastronomic feast presenting typical products, a tasty and flavoured cousine although its simplicity, due to its peasant origins.


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