A day in Pietrasanta, the main town of Versilia
Historic capital of Versilia and center famous for marble working coming from the Alpi Apuane, Pietrasanta has a small historic centre rich of art and monuments.
Things to do in Pietrasanta: the tour
Our visit starts from the train station where there are also many car parks.
From the station of Pietrasanta we get to the Rocca Arrighina and the Porta pisana, the only surviving city gate. The city gates along the via Francigena, Porta a Massa and Porta a Lucca, has been demolished.
Passing through the Porta pisana we get to the Piazza del Duomo. This square is the centre of the historic town and, of course, also the center of the tour.
The Duomo of Pietrasanta
We begin from the “main dish” of our visit: the Duomo.
Dedicated to San Martino, the Duomo of Pietrasanta was built starting from the 13th century. The exterior, entirely covered in marble, is very elegant; the facade is enhanced by a stunning rose window and opened by three beautiful portals with decorated lunette. The interior is very rich. Every element is noteworthy; the Luigi Ademollo‘s nineteenth century frescoes are the backdrop to a series of works by various artists such as the marble choir, the pulpit and altarpieces made in the 17th century.
The bell tower, built in the early 16th century but never completed, is in bricks but in the original project it had to be covered with marble just like the Cathedral.
Also known as the baptistery, the Oratorio di San Giacinto is on the right of the Duomo. Inside there are two impressive baptismal moved here in the 19th century when the oratory became part of the opera del Duomo. The first one, dated 1389, is a hexagonal tub attributed to Bonuccio Pardini. Sui suoi lati sono presenti dei bassorilievi che raffigurano le virtù. L’altro fonte battesimale è un’opera cinquecentesca di Donato Benti. Arricchiscono l’interno del battistero alcuni dipinti murali di Pietro Cavatorta ed una pala d’altare di Filippo Martelli.
Museo archeologico Versiliese “Bruno Antonucci”
Hosted inside Palazzo Moroni, the Archaeological Museum exhibits finds ranging from prehistoric to medieval times. The exposition is organized in chonological sections such as the section of paleontology, the etruscan one, the roman and the medieval sections.
Currently the Museum is closed for refurbishment.
Museo dei Bozzetti
At the bottom of the square, just beyond the archaeological museum, there is the chiesa di Sant’Agostino. No longer used as a place of worship, today this beautiful church is used as exhibition space and inside the former monastery of Sant’Agostino There is the Museo dei Bozzetti (Museum of sketches).
The museum gathers more than 700 between sketches, models and drawings of sculptures of italian and foreign artists. The exhibits represent the idea at the basis of definitive works. These preparatory works are true works of art that allow us to understand the work behind the works done.
Principal museum: via S. Agostino 1, Pietrasanta (LU)
New museum: via Marzocco 1, Pietrasanta (LU)
Opening hours principal museum:
Winter hours: monday14-19; tuesday-saturday 9.00-13.00 and 14.00-19.00; sunday and holidays 16.00-19.00
17 June – 10 September: monday 9.00-13.00; tuesday-saturday 9.00-13.00 e 19.00-24.00; sunday and holidays 19.00-24.00
Opening hours new museum:
Winter hours: saturday-sunday and holidays 16.00-19.00
Summer hours: friday-sunday and holidays 19.00-24.00
Ticket: free entrance
Rocca di Sala
Built at the time of the Lombards but expanded towards the end of the fifteenth century, the Rocca di Sala is on a hill a short distance from the city centre. This castle is at the top of a triangle, which has as its basis the town and whose sides are highlighted by two long sections of walls.
How to get to Pietrasanta
By train: Pietrasanta ha a train station located just outside the historic centre.
By car: from Florence highway A11, then A12 in direction of Genoa till the exit Versilia, here continue towards Pietrasanta.