Massa

The natural characteristics of the zone have always made Massa distinctive and different from other places, making it especially popular to the visitors. In fact it is rare to find such a variety of landscape within only few kilometres: from the sea to the cultivating field , from towns to hills and the Apuan Alpswith their hidden treasures which have been always known to the man: the marble, excavated and worked since roman times in the quarries of the nearby Carrara, the oligomineral springs which flow from mountain sources. All this protected by a mild and healthy climate with no snow ; in fact orange trees have no difficulties in growing here, as well as other cactus plants. Not very far from the plain you can see the ancient mountain settlements which extend towards the Frigido river, settlements(such as Altagnana, Antona, Pariana) probably inhabited since the end of the prehistoric period.

The most ancient traces of the human settlements in the massese area dates back to Paleolithic and Neolithic articles (Resceto); and Bronze remains of Pariana and burial niches to the Iron Age at Cirinea di Pariana. A place name such as “Taberna Frigida” along Via Emilia Scauri before Luni is mentioned in the “Tabula Peutingeriana”, a real road map of the 3Rd century A.D. During the Curtense period the first inhabited parts of the the town were formed and from the 10Th century to the first half of the 13Th century we see Massa as a central part of the domain of the Obertenga Family.

The 13Th and 14Th centuries were very troubled with a succession of dominations by different powers (i.e. Florence, Lucca). In 1442 began the Malaspina marquisat, it was Alberico Cybo- Malaspina who , towards the middle of the 15Th century, undertook to enlarge and improve the small hereditary estate.The last successor of the Cybo-Malaspina family, Maria Teresa, married Ercole Rinaldo D’Este, duke of Modena, in 1741; then the state of Massa passed on through succession to the daughter Maria Beatrice and in 1829 on her death it was finally taken over by Modena. In 1860 the province of Massa Carrara officially became part of the Kingdom of Italy. During the interwar period (1938) the Apuan industrial zone was created. During the second world war Massa was the centre of many bloody episodes being the immediately behind the Gothic line. Its recovery was long and hard, but in spite of this it had a considerable urban development and a strong expansion of the tourist sector.

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