Historic Versilia comprises the current Communes of Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza e
Stazzema, whereas "Touristic Versilia" comprises also the Communes of Camaiore, Massarosa and Viareggio.
The latter, larger area offers visitors 20 kilometers of sandy beaches, public and private, and mountains
that rise as high as 1800 meters; it is bordered on the north by the mouth of the
Cinquale River, the east
the Apuan Alps, the south the
Lago [Lake] di Massaciuccoli
and the west the Ligurian Sea.
There are numerous pine forests all along the coast, only a few meters in from the sea; the most renowned of
these, the parco della Versiliana is in Marina di Pietrasanta.
This particular pine forest became famous
thanks to poems by Gabriele D'Annunzio who lived there and was inspired by it.
The town of Pietrasanta,
called "little Athens" because of its artistic and cultural riches, is considered the capital city of the
Forte dei Marmi with its fancy shops, restaurants and nightspots that
cater to élite tourists is one of
the most exclusive and fashionable attractions on this coast; it is
the home of Italy's oldest night-club,
the Capannina di Franceschi, opened in 1929.
The name of the town, Forte dei Marmi [Fortress of Marble],
explains its origins: it is located at the end of the road (built at the request of
used to transport marble from the quarries in the Apuan mountains.
The communes of Seravezza and Stazzema,
just a few kilometers in from the coast, frame Versilia with the parco
delle Alpi Apuane, where one can take guided excursions, do trekking and rock climbing, and stay overnight in
any of the many mountain huts.
Viareggio, called "the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea" thanks to its many characteristic Liberty style buildings,
is famous above all for its Carnevale [Carnival festivities], held in winter before Lent, that attracts visitors
from all over Italy and abroad. The town is also well known for its shipyards that produce some of the world's
most elegant sea-going yachts.
Versilia presents numerous events and recreational activities for all tastes: discos with music and dancing,
music revival shows, concerts, exhibits, and Church and local holiday festivities.