FORTE DEI MARMI
Forte dei Marmi means "Fort of the marbles". The town takes its name from the fortress that rises in the middle of the main square, built under Grand Duke Peter Leopold, who was to become Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1788. The fortress was built to defend the coast from outer attacks, but in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century it became the place where the marble quarried from the Alpi Apuane (they are the same mountains of the famous marble of Carrara) was stocked before being sent to the pier for shipping.
Pietrasanta has always been an important cultural centre in Versilia. The important artisan tradition has been kept alive by the local workshops and atelier, by the firms specialized in the artistic-mosaic sector and by many artistic-foundries. The rich artistic context has functioned as catalyst for many italian and foreigner artist that have chosen Pietrasanta as the land where to work and have participated to the urban fittings with the works and deeds of gifts. Among these artists is Fernando Botero, the Spanish artist whose paunchy warrior guards the entrance to the village. The best observation-point to watch Pietrasanta's town-planning plant is Sala fortress.
LIDO DI CAMAIORE
Viareggio is known as a seaside resort as well as being the home of the famous carnival of Viareggio (dating back to 1873), and its papier-mâché floats, which (since 1925), parade along the promenade known as "Passeggiata a mare", in the weeks preceding Easter. The symbol of the carnival of Viareggio and its official mask is Burlamacco, designed and invented by Uberto Bonetti in 1930.
The city traces its roots back to the first half of the 16th century when it became the only gate to the sea for the Republic of Lucca. The oldest building in Viareggio, known as Torre Matilde, dates back to this time and was built by the Lucchesi in 1541 as a defensive fortification to fight the constant manace of corsair incursions.
Viareggio is also an active industrial and manufacturing centre; its shipbuilding industry has long been renowned around the world and its fishing and floricultural industries are still fundamental sectors to the city’s economy.
Viareggio hosts the Premio letterario Viareggio Répaci for literature, established in 1929. Amongst the other events organized around the year, it is worth mentioning the Festival Gaber, which has been held every August since 2004 to celebrate the memory of Giorgio Gaber, and is attended by several high-profile Italian musicians.
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