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Tuscany/Elba

Tourist information














Collodi - Pinocchio

Not far from Lucca, on the secondary road, direction Pescia, there is Collodi, where you will find the park of Pinocchio. For opening hours I advise you to take a look on the Collodi website.

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Le Dieci Castella(PT)

Le Dieci Castella is a group of ten early mediaeval villages, which are situated along the valleys of 'Val di Torbola' and 'Val di Forfora'.

A number of years ago, this region - in order to conserve its historical character - was designated protected area and therefore no new building construction is allowed. The landscape is outstandingly beautiful, with hills and mountains densely wooded with chestnut and pine, olive groves and fruit trees.

As well as asphalt roads, these villages are connected by footpaths for walking holidays and have all been clearly charted by the 'Valleriana Trekking'. The names of these villages are as follows: Vellano, Aramo, Lanciole, Castelvecchio, Pontito, Pietrabuona, Stiappa, Medicina, San Quirico and Fibbialla.

Vellano is sort of 'head' of the Dieci Castella. In Pietrabuona you will find the Museo della Carta (there used to be produced a lot of paper in this area). Stiappa was known for its beautiful ladies and the older people still remember that very well! From Stiappa you can go down untill the Mulino del Fontanone, via a trekking-route named 'Via dei Mulini'. Medicina is known for its olive grafters. In San Quirico you can visit the Museo della civiltà contadina (farmer's civilisation) in agriturismo Il Frantoio. From Aramo you can make beautiful walks where you will find among other things many stone houses that were used to dry the chestnuts under a low fire. Fibbialla maybe is one of the most unspoilt villages amongst all, probably due to the moving of the locals during the last decades.

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Firenze (Florence)

Florence, in the heart of Tuscany, situated along the river Arno, is one of the richest art towns in the world.

Worth seeing: the Duomo (cathedral), Piazza della Signoria, Galleria degli Uffizi, the Ponte Vecchio with its gold- and silversmith shops, Palazzo Pitti with the Giardino di Boboli, and for a beautiful view over the city Piazzale Michelangelo.

Souvenirs: beautiful lace tablecloths, suede/leather wear, shoes and fashionshops, really too much to be mentioned. Some of the markets: Mercato di San Lorenzo, Mercato Nuovo.

How to get there: easily to reach by train; from Firenze station S.M.N. (Santa Maria Novella) you will find yourself right away in the heart of town.

Tip: if you are a lousy walker, or in short time you want to see as much as possible of the city, you could take a special trolley-bus driving into two different directions. You can get in and out during the whole day on every desired stop.

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Garfagnana

The Garfagnana area is situated in the north-west part of Tuscany and comprises parts of the Alpi Apuane, the Apennines and the Serchio river-valley. It is a very rough and densely wooded mountain area (untill 2000 mt height) where you can make beautiful walks. Many of these walks are charted by the Italians Alpinist Club.

Worth seeing:The Ponte del Diavolo over the river Serchio, the Grotta del Vento, the marble mines in Mass Carrara, the monastery of the Eremiti di Calomini, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana,....

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Lucca

Lucca is mainly known for its city walls and its great number of churches.

Worth seeing: the Duomo di San Martino (cathedral), the Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, the birthplace of the opera-composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) and the Piazza Anfiteatro.

Souvenirs: It is good shopping in Lucca, e.g. a lot of ceramics, shoes- and fashion shops. Please bear in mind that during the lunchtime the shops are closed for several hours.

How to get there: Lucca has it's own train station; from the station you walk to the city walls in approx. 15 min. Against a low parking rate you can park your car inside the city walls.

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Montecatini (PT)

Montecatini is known for it's luxury health resorts and especially older people go there for taking thermal baths. Furthermore Montecatini is known for it's horse races course. On Thursday morning there is an extensive market very suitable for buying souvenirs. Not far from Montecatini, in Monsummano, you will find an 18-hole golfcourse.

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Pescia (PT)

Pescia, situated along the river Pescia, is a medium-sized town known for it's international flower market.

Pescia has a post office, several banks, a train- and busstation, a regional very good hospital and various supermarkets. On Saturday morning there is a general market on the Piazza Mazzini, and a smaller vegetable market right behind it.

How to get there: Pescia is very well reachable by train or bus from f.e. Florence, Pisa and Lucca.

Tip:Take a wonderful cappuccino at the bar "I Portici", right on the vegetables market, or: a super ice-cream at "La Baracchina" along the river Pescia, right in front of the busstation.

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Pietrabuona (PT)

Pietrabuona is at 10 min's drive from Pescia. It offers a bar with a bakery, a good butcher and a small grocery-shop that also sells take-away meals. Furthermore it has a post-office and a lady's hairdresser. One of the old papermills has been designated as paper museum.

Tip: At 'Da Nerone' you can enjoy a local meal at a very reasonable price, including the house wine.

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Pisa

Pisa, situated along the river Arno, is mostly known for it's leaning tower from 1173. Who is going to put it upright again?

Worth seeing: the leaning tower of Pisa, the Duomo (cathedral), the Battistero (baptisterium). You can find all three of them on the green field of the Campo dei Miracoli.

Souvenirs: many 'kitsch' souvenirs with images of the tower.

How to get there: Pisa has it's own train station. From the station there is a direct bus to the Campo dei Miracoli. Walking from the station to the centre takes about 25 min.

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Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) has written many famous opera's, f.e. the "Tosca", "Madame Butterfly" and "La Bohème"

In Lucca, his place of birth, you can, not far from the Chiesa di San Michele, visit his parental home which is now made into a museum where his personal belongings are being preserved.

In Torre del Lago, not far from the west-side of Lucca, during Summer months the full of atmosphere "Festival di Puccini" takes place with many open-air opera-performances.

For the programme/reservations:
Festival Puccini Ticket Office / tel. 00-39-0584-359322 /
fax -0584-350277 / e-mail: ticketoffice@puccinifestival.it

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Vellano (PT)

Vellano (height 500m) pinned like a painting on the top of the mountain is part of one of the so-called 10 Castella-villages.

Vellano has two bars, a restaurant/pizzeria, a bakery, a post-office, a hairdresser and the local social club 'Il Circolo'' which holds dances throughout the summer. Vellano is one of the little villages in the region where stone is still being worked on. Worth a visit is the Museo storico etnografico del minatore e cavatore, a private-collection about the ancient life of mineworkers and stonecutters.

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Flying to Tuscany

The two nearest airports are Pisa (Galileo Galilei) and Firenze.

Companies that fly from the Netherlands are f.e.
to Pisa:

to Firenze:

  • KLM and Meridiana from Amsterdam.
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