Camaiore, a town between Versilia and Alpi Apuane
Camaiore is a Municipality in the province of Lucca located in a very varying territory. On one side there are the mountains of Alpi Apuane, on the other side we find the Versilia coast with all its very renowned locations and, at last, around there are also hilly areas. The wide variety of this territory make Camaiore an ideal destination for a vacation that’s planning to assemble the sea, nature and culture.
The archaeological findings found in the area around Camaiore document a very ancient human presence: two archaeological sites in this area, Grotta all’Onda and Buca del Tasso, returned the remains of some Neanderthal who lived here around 40,000 years ago. If you are looking for an excurtion between nature and archaeology, Grotta dell’Onda could be the perfect destination!
Coming to more “recent” ages, before the Roman conquer, this area was inhabited by the Etruscans and by the Liguri, but the hamlet started to grow only since the Middle Ages also thanks to the proximity of the via Francigena.
What to visit in Camaiore?
- Porta di San Pietro o Porta Lombricese
- Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta
- Chiesa di San Michele
- Museo d’Arte Sacra
- Museo Archeologico
- Badia di San Pietro
In 1374 Lucca decided to convert Camaiore into a castle, that’s why the village was provided with an imposing curtain wall, with 13 towers and 4 city gates. Today, only a small section of these defensive structures is survived: a parte of the walls and one of the city gates, Porta di San Pietro (or Porta Lombricese) located in the north-eastern area of the hamlet.
Exactly in the center of Camaiore we can see the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta. This church was built in Romanesque style in 1278, while the bell tower dates back 1365. Inside there are some marble art-works as the baptismal font and some paintings as the fresco inside the dome, Coronation of the Virgin by Benedetto Brandimarte and the Communion of the Apostles by Piero Dandini.
Museo d’Arte Sacra di Camaiore
From the Collegiata take via Vittorio Emanuele to get to piazza Armando Diaz; here there is the chiesa di San Michele, founded during the Middle Ages but rebuilt during the twentieth century, and the Confraternita del Santissimo Sacramento where is housed the Museo d’Arte Sacra. The museum exposes paintings, sculptures, jewelries and sacred furnishings coming from the territory of Camaiore. Among these art works, raging fro mthe 14th to the 18th centuries, are very interesting a wooden statue Annunciated Virgin by Matteo Civitali and a Flemish tapestry with scenes of the Passion of Christ dated 1615.
Address: via IV Novembre 71
October – May: thursday-saturday: 15.30-18.00
June – September: tuesday, thursday and saturday: 16.00-19.30
Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore
As we said in the beginning, in the area around Camaiore there are traces of humanity since the prehistoric times. The Archaeological Museum rebuild this long history through a didactic approach that aims to educate the visitor either on local history that on work methodologies typical of archaeology. In addition to the archaeological findings, the visitors can find some designated stations that are used to create an interaction between the visitor and the museum.
Address: piazza Francigena
October – 9 June: tuesday-friday 9.00-12.00; saturday and sunday 10.00-13.00 and 15.00-18.00
10 June – September: tuesday-friday 9.00-12.00; saturday and sunday 10.00-13.00 and 17.00-20.00
Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced 2 euro; groups 3 euro; free for kids till 5 years, schools, disabled, tourist guide
Just outside to the city centre, near the graveyard, we can find the ancient Badia di San Pietro, documented since 761. The current church was built between the 11th and the 12th centuries, the period when the abbey reached its peak. In front of the church, there is an arch once the main entrance to the monastery.
Things to do around Camaiore
In the surrounding area of Camaiore for sure is worth the Pieve di Santo Stefano e San Giovanni Battista; a church built during the 12th century even if it is documented since 817. The church is located in a place called La Pieve about a couple of kilometres from Camaiore. A little further away there is Pietrasanta (8km) and the nice hamlet of Monteggiori (4km).
As far as the seaside resorts, there’s plenty of choice since the Versilia coast is really two steps away. The closest one is Lido di Camaiore (7km), a bathing destination very famous since the start of 20th century. Here you will find waiting for you dozens of beach resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, various pubs and playgrounds.
Hoe to get to Camaiore
By car: from north A12 highway till the exit Viareggio-Camaiore, then continue on SP1 till destination
From Florence A11 highway till the exit Viareggio-Camaiore, then continue on SP1 till destination
From Rome you can choose between A1+A11 highways or A12 highway
By train and bus: the closest train stations are: Camaiore Lido Capezzano (6km) and Viareggio (10km). Both stations are linked to Camaiore through the bus line E02 by Vaibus.