Massa and Carrara Travel Guide - Tuscany, Italy

A dip in the clear sea, the effigy of Versilia oldest, a white landscape and a protected nature in the heart of pristine hiking Lunigiana.
A province splitted in two: clear sea and white marble mountains: This is the effigy of oldest Versilia, white landscape and protected nature in the heart of Lunigiana. The charm of the steps of the pilgrims is strong and clear on the Via Francigena...
Marina di Carrara, Tuscani, beach and sea
Marina di Carrara, Tuscani, beach and sea, ph. by Mauro Borghini, via flickr

1. Best things to do in Massa-Carrara

On the coast you can find Carrara, with its "lunar" Duomo entirely built with marble, and then you will find the beautiful Massa, dominated by the fortress Malaspina: two towns steeped in history and culture.

Carrara has always been the city of marble, controlled from the White Alps where this stone is extracted and worked. The Museum of Marble and art workshops in the city are a must even for those who want to sea...

Massa extends slightly over the green hills at the foot of the Apuan Alps. The old town has a beautiful medieval dress with narrow, winding streets and a sumptuous sixteenth area. Visit it all and do not miss the Cathedral and the Ducal Palace.

The suggestions that gives Pontremoli at night. Photos of Franco Beccari via Flickr
The suggestions that gives Pontremoli at night. Photos of Franco Beccari via Flickr

2. Lunigiana and surroundings

In the heart of the Apuan Alps the famous white marble quarries stand out between two natural parks (the Alps and Tosco Emiliano Apennines); after that you will find the Lunigiana, introducing food and wine tours and beautiful farmhouses. The small village Groppodalosio is located in Valdantena, along the ancient route of the Via Francigena. Do not miss the beautiful "Tibet" bridge on the Via Francigena of lunigiana, you can find it along the stretch running from Pontremoli.

The strip between Liguria and Tuscany is full of olive and cypress trees, here you will find the village-castle Bibola and the Parish of St. Andrew in Sarzana.
Cinquale, in Versilia, has always attracted artists and enchanted people with its harbor and views on the Apuan Alps.

Testaroli with pesto, photo by  « R☼Wεnα » via Flickr
Testaroli with pesto, photo by « R☼Wεnα » via Flickr

3. Tastes and local foods

Massa is rich and tasty in its food: let’s try the delicious noodles with beans, stuffed tortellini and lasagna larded. Yes, the product of excellence is the lard, rested in Carrara marble basins with many spices. Literally it melts in your mouth. Combine it in every way: with crustaceans and fish, with tigelle or bread.
The famous "testaroli" lunigiani, made of thin dough, topped with pesto and pecorino are another delicacy not to be missed.

The Bridges of Vara that pierce the quarries
The Bridges of Vara that pierce the quarries

4. Nature, sport and green itineraries

A nice ride can begin from the train station of Carrara-Avenza moving to Via Petacchi to reach Viale XX Settembre, in Carrara direction.
Once in Carrara, turn right in via Don Minzoni and after the village of Codena bends right until Bedizzano. From here a nice climb leads to Colonnata and reach Ponti di Vara, built to withstand a steam train that until the 60 was carrying marble to the port. A succession of white and bright green not to forget.

The small village of Colonnata, Massa Carrara, Tuscany, famous for its bacon, photographed from a marble quarry.
The small village of Colonnata, Massa Carrara, Tuscany, famous for its bacon, photographed from a marble quarry, ph. by Mauro via flickr

5. Where to stay in the city and surrounding

Discover all ecofriendly accommodations in the province of Massa-Carrara: in the footsteps of the Via Francigena you will find organic farm immersed in the heart of Lunigiana that counterbalance to small ecological B&B overlooking the Versilia.

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Massa-Carrara

Author: Angela Sebastianelli

Cover photo: Versilia coast, photo by Michael Bertulatvia via Flickr

Eco-friendly accommodations

Agriturismo Campo di Luna

Sarzana (Liguria)

Starting from 75,00 €
B&B Alla Casalta

Arcola (Liguria)

Starting from 35,00 €
Camping Taimì

Massa (Tuscany)

Starting from 72,00 €
Agriturismo Di là dall'Acqua

Fivizzano (Toscana)

Starting from 70,00 €
La Dama del Bosco casale in Toscana

Pietrasanta (Toscana)

Starting from 295,00 €
Casolare Bio-Energetico

Albareto (Emilia-Romagna)

Starting from 68,00 €
Agriturismo Casa delle Erbe

Albareto (Emilia-Romagna)

Starting from 95,00 €
Agriturismo Cascina dei Peri

Castelnuovo Magra (Liguria)

Starting from 83,00 €
Casa Vegan Gingerbread

Villafranca in Lunigiana (Tuscany)

Starting from 60,00 €
Il Corniolo

Castiglione di Garfagnana (Toscana)

Starting from 60,00 €
Baita Pania

Molazzana (Toscana)

Starting from 20,00 €
Pania Forata hostel

Stazzema (Toscana)

Starting from 35,00 €
Il Vigneto

Volastra - Riomaggiore (Liguria)

Starting from 70,00 €
Podere Memolandia Cinque Terre

Beverino (Liguria)

Starting from 150,00 €
La Bottega 13 B&B | KAMart project

Cereggio (Emilia-Romagna)

Starting from 40,00 €