The Tuscan Riviera

Cinque Terre, one hour distant


Our home is in a hamlet 1.5 km from Camaiore, a historic town renowned for its ideal location at the foot of the Apuan Alps. The Versilia’s famous beaches are less than 10km away. Pietrasanta, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi, known for wonderful restaurants, art, shopping and night life, are also very close.

Camaiore has a central walking street lined with cafes, restaurants, chic shops, and gourmet food stores. Portions of the original fortifications surround the center of town, including the main piazza. Local specialties are sold in fresh pasta shops, pastry shops, and two excellent wine shops where you can try and buy local varietals for several Euros a bottle. The church dates to the 12th century. This fertile valley has long supported grape, olive and foodcrop production, as it does today. Sentieri, or centuries-old footpaths, lead from behind the house to neighboring towns and are ideal for hiking and trail running.

La Versilia

Our region of Tuscany—the southern seacoast, La Versilia—has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age. Italians have been coming here to vacation for centuries, drawn to the warmth, natural beauty (and amazing food and wine!) tra mare e montagne—between the mountains and the sea.

Enjoy the "Super Tuscans" of the Chianti wine producing region

In all directions there are lovely drives into the mountains to hidden, tiny and ancient towns, many with excellent and reasonable restaurants. We have our list of favorites, which you will find in the house, along with directions and recommendations on dishes to try. Every road has a local restaurant with a featured regional specialty, from grilled meats to the renowned tordelli of the region.

The famous beaches of the Tuscan Riviera are just six miles distant, and nearby Forte dei Marmi offers world-class shopping. Pietrasanta, where Michelangelo carved marble mined from the mountain range that rises above us, remains a primary destination for sculpture.

The nearby town of Gombitelli is famous for its cured meats

Lucca and beyond

The beautiful walled city of Lucca, capital of the province, is a 30-minute drive. Its encircling medieval walls are completely intact, making a perfect raised vantage from which to circumnavigate the whole city--or sit to enjoy an alfresco lunch and the wonderful views. A Roman amphitheater is now home to cafes, shops and art galleries, and a number of superb restaurants specialize in ancient Tuscan cuisine. Lucca's duomo has some notable sculpture, including the first equestrian statue made in Europe after the Classical period, and the city has other wonderful early examples of ecclesiastical and domestic architecture.

Pisa, its famous sights and its convenient airport are 30 minutes away; immortal Florence is an hour by car or train; Siena and the Cinque Terre are easy day trips, with train service available. The quaint and well-preserved city of towers, San Gimignano, and Tuscany’s wine regions are also easy day drives.