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.
From this point you can see Cathedral Square and the main citizen monuments: the Cathedral with its red bell-tower, Maroni palace, St. Augustine precious front, Hours tower. Between the coast and the Apuan Alps, Camaiore, like Pietrasanta, is a "founded village". It was wanted in the first half of the XIIIth century by the inhabitants of Lucca (rivals of the inhabitants of Pisa) in addition to many other enterprises to reorganize the zone in order to have control over Versilia.
The birth house of Giosue Carducci
The house where the poet Giosue Carducci was born in 1835 (declared national monument) is located a few kilometres away from Pietrasanta, in the district of Valdicastello. Giosue Carducci, the famous Italian poet who received the Literature Nobel Prize in 1906, was born in Valdicastello ( a district of the town of Pietrasanta) on July 27th 1835. Carducci, who moved to Pietrasanta with his family when he was only 3 years old, remained however attached to his land of birth, which he mentioned several times in his verses.
The birth of the explosion engine
In 1854, Eugenio Barsanti, born in 1821 in Pietrasanta, and Felice Matteucci (physicist) patented and built the first internal combustion engine which ever worked. On top their friendship, the two studious men started a professional collaboration in the technico-scientific field from 1851 onwards. Today, it is fair to remember that Father Eugenio Barsanti, on top of his genial intuitions and his determination to carry them through, had other merits too. He was the first to understand that the explosion engine would have also changed our souls.
The Sketches Museum
In the furrow of a tradition that dates back to Michelangelo and has seen this part of Tuscany cultivate the art of sculpture, the Sketches Museum is a real proof of the consolidated role played by Pietrasanta and Versilia as key international reference for those who operate in this artistic field. The sketches (in reduced scale) and the models (in real dimensions) represent the original idea before its translation into completed work of art. They are made in the most varied materials such as chalk, wood, terracotta, paper, etc. The works which sketches the Museum exposes are found in museums, private collections, parks and squares all over the world. Therefore, visitors find gathered here examples of the main artistic trends of the 1900s and, this way, can have an ample and complete vision of contemporary sculpture.