Environs: Hotel 3 Stelle near Lucca in Toscana, Porcari

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Cities: important neighboring centers to visit include Capannori, the largest town that stands above the drained Lake of Sesto, Altopascio, known all over Europe for its bread and as a resting place for wayfarers traversing Via Francigena, Montecarlo, city of wine and oil, Porcari itself, famous as the first paper-making center of Italy and defined the “rural Pompeii” for excavations of war-related artifacts recently discovered in the “Fossa Nera” region. Cities of historic relevance like Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa, extraordinary jewel-cases of art, are only a few minutes away.

Sea and mountains: the ski slopes of Abetone and the Bolognese mountainside of Corno alle Scale are also just a quick trip away. For those who prefer the beach, there is the nearby Versilia coast, with attractions like Viareggio, famous for its carnival, Lido of Camaiore, where a summer of theater beckons with the famous “Versiliana” festival, and Forte dei Marmi, where besides pleasant evenings in its night spots, one can visit the Apuan Alps and the ultra famous marble quarries.

Near the Versilia coast is Lake Massaciuccoli, noted for having inspired Giacomo Puccini’s operas which, each year, are presented against this incredible backdrop. Parks and spa: the Natural Parks of Orecchiella (mountains) and San Rossore (seaside) offer landscapes of rare beauty.

The thermal baths of Montecatini Terme, Lucca and San Giuliano (Pisa) offer an opportunity to pamper oneself with wellness treatments. For children, there are two attractions: Pinocchio Park in Collodi and the Pistoia Zoo where many animals can be viewed up-close.

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