Province of Lucca, Tuscany
It is a beautiful province with some wonderful old historic towns and several well known seaside resorts.
The beautiful, historic town of Lucca is an unspoiled medieval centre which is totally enclosed by walls. The town has expanded and been modernised many times but the walls have remained intact and in excellent condition throughout... read more
Bagni di Lucca
Well known for its thermal springs, Bagni di Lucca is a very pretty and interesting little town to visit.
In the valley below the town is the famous bridge the Ponte della Maddalena which is generally known as Ponte del Diavolo (Bridge of the Devil). There are many myths and stories as to how it came to be called this. The most consistent one is that while a man was constructing the bridge late at night the devil arrived and offered to help if he could have the first passenger. When the bridge was finally finished a dog wandered across, disappeared and was never seen again.
Ponte del Diavolo - Photo: H005
The scenery here is very reminiscent of Scotland and it is known as 'The most Scottish town in Italy'.
The main sites, other than the spectacular scenery, are:
The Cathedral which is a good example of Romanesque architecture. The 12th century pulpit has four red marble columns, each one resting on the statue of a lion.
Barga Cathedral - Photo: H005
Loggia del Podestà which dates back to the 14th century.
Church of San Francesco.
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
This village has been inhabited since the 8th century and was once an important market town.
The main points of interest are:
The Rocca Ariostesca, a castle dating back to the 12th century and is now home to an archaeological museum.
The Rocca Ariostesca - Photo: Sailko
The Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, built in the 16th century with a Renaissance style façade and a Baroque interior.
Fortress of Monte Alfonso, built in the late 16th century.
Giardino Montano dell'Orecchiella which is both a park and a botanical garden.
The Capuchins' Convent
The town of Viareggio is the second largest within the province of Lucca and is a popular, up-market seaside resort. It is a major part of the Tuscan Riviera, known as Versilia, which has a sandy beach stretching for more than 20km... read more
Forte dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi is a high end coastal resort which is packed in the summer months with wealthy holiday makers.
Il Fortino, Forte dei Marmi, by night - Photo: o2ma
It takes its name from the fortress that stands in the middle of the main square and which was built to defend the coastline from attack.
One of the best beaches in Italy can be found here at Pietrasanta Marina where the sand is golden and the facilities are first class.
Points of interest to visit in the town are:
Cathedral of St. Martin, constructed in the late 13th century.
Cathedral Square, Pietrasanta - Photo: Hans Peter Schaefer
Church of Saint Augustine, built in the 15th centuy in the Romanesque style.
The Gothic Civic Tower.
Column and Fountain of the Marzocco from the 16th century.
Palazzo Panichi Carli, again from the 16th century.
Palazzo Moroni, built in the 16th century and is now the local Archaeological Museum.