- LUCCA -
(31 Km from Viareggio) Lucca is a city in Tuscany, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Lucca Province and is famous mainly for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.These walls around the old town remain intact as the city expanded and modernized and as they lost their military importance, they became a pedestrian promenade. They are still fully intact today; each of the four principal sides is lined with a different tree species.The Academy of Sciences (1584) is the most famous of several academies and libraries.The Puccini's House was re-opened to the public on 14 September 2011.At the nearby town of Torre del Lago, there is a Puccini opera festival every year during the summer (http://www.puccinifestival.it/). Puccini had a house there as well. In Lucca there are many richly built medieval churches with rich arcaded façades and campaniles, a few as old as the 8th century.
(104 Km from Viareggio) Firenze is the capital city of the Tuscany Region. It is famous for its history: a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time; Firenze is considered the birthplace of the Reinassance. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions.The Historic Centre of Firenze attracts millions of tourists each year. Firenze was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace. - PISA - (23 km from Viareggio)
Pisa is principally famous for its Leaning Tower. Many visitors arrive into this university town and visit the Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Tower, the Cathedral and Baptistery form the city's main attraction. A few blocks away, the Piazza dei Cavalieri once was the heart of power in the city and later the headquarters of the Knights of St. Stephen. Today, it is a center of culture and learning as the famous Scuola Normale di Pisa. Pisa vaunts several museums, such as, National Museum of St. Matteo, exhibiting sculptures and paintings from the 12th to 15th centuries, national Museum of Real Palace, exhibiting the belongings of the families that lived in the palace, National Museum of Calculation Instruments, exhibiting a collection of instruments used in science, between whose a pneumaticmachine of Van Musschenbroek and a compass probably belonged to Galileo Galilei, Natural Hystory Museum (University of Pisa), located in the Certosa di Calci, outside the city. The Museum houses one of the largest cetacean skeleton collection in Europe. - PARCO REGIONALE MIGLIARINO, SAN ROSSORE, MASSACIUCCOLI -
Dunes of Marina di Vecchiano (Pisa) foto by G. Cordoni
The Regional Park was established in 1979. It covers about 24,000 hectares situated along the coast from Viareggio until Livorno. Although it is located in the middle of a strongly urbanized area, this territory has maintained considerable natural features and, here, it is possible to find one of the rare examples of non-built coastal area. The territory stretches along the coastal strip of the Pisa and Lucca Province. In the past, the area was covered by lagoons and marshes which have been gradually filled up with the detritus carried by the rivers Serchio and Arno. A great variety of animal species is present in the different habitats of the Park. Sandy shores and dunes form the sandy shoreline stretching for about 23 km along the coast from Calambrone to Viareggio.Water plays an essential role in the Park; in fact, the area covered with marshes, rivers, lakes and ponds is of about 3,000 hectares.The territory is crossed by important rivers and watercourses, such as, the rivers Arno and Serchio, Canale dei Navicelli, Fiume Morto, Burlamacca. Over a third of the Park is covered with woods. These zones strongly changed during the centuries: the forests dominating the Whole plain have gradually given way to clearings used for agricultural purposes or have been transformed into pinewoods.