Massa and Carrara

The Malaspina castle of Massa, a medieval fortress, overlooks the city from a rocky outcrop upon the slopes of Alpi Apuane. For centuries the castle and its towers have dominated the Riviera Apuana and its valley, with fortifications which bear witness to local history and culture.

Palazzo Ducale - Massa

The castle, known as the Rocca Malaspina castle overlooks the city and has dominated it since the Middle Ages. The castle can be reached by walking the old streets and affording breath-taking views. The online page Tuscany People provides many interesting suggestions for your visit at the fortress. Before you reach the fortress, focus on the old town, in which you can find Piazza Aranci, easily recognized by orange trees, which surround the square, and the red facade of the Palazzo Ducale. Further on is the Cathedral of San Francesco (locally known as Duomo) with its marble steps and marble loggia sheathed in dark and light. From the most beautiful views of Massa, you can find Piazza Mercurio, the favourite haunt of young people for its numerous bars.

The city of Carrara, located at the foot of the Alpi Apuane, is justly famed across the globe for its marble (discover more about the quarries) which has been quarried since Roman times. From the town centre it is possible to see the three marble quarries at Colonnata, Fantiscritti and Torano. Marble has been extracted from the quarries for over 2,000 years. Various artists realized their works using this marble, most notably the famous artist Michelangelo.

“Aronta è quel ch'al ventre li s'atterga,
che ne' monti di Luni, dove ronca
lo Carrarese che di sotto alberga

ebbe tra' bianchi marmi la spelonca
per sua dimora; onde a guardar le stelle
e'l mar no li era la veduta tronca”

(Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia - Inferno, Canto XX)