Skip to content


Pietrasanta, the Little Athens of Tuscany.

The town of Pietrasanta was founded in 1255 by Guiscardo da Pietrasanta from Milan. Today it is known as the ‘Little Athens of Tuscany’. For centuries, the greatest sculptors have been drawn to Pietrasanta like Michelangelo Buonarroti and, in recent times, Henry Moore, Fernando Botero, Pomodoro, Folon, and Igor Mitoraj. Today it is an open-air museum with many works of art on display in the streets and squares. Artists come from all over the world to produce their marble and bronze sculptures here thanks to the proximity of the marble quarries and bronze foundries. There are many workshops, local specialty shops and boutiques, art galleries and temporary exhibitions. In Pietrasanta, you can admire both classic and contemporary art.

For many years, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, and Genoa battled to gain control over Pietrasanta because of its strategic position. From 1318 – 1328, Pietrasanta achieved its maximum splendor under Castruccio Castracani of Lucca who constructed a fortress and named it Rocchetta Arrighina after his son Arrigo, part of which is still visible today. In 1513, Pope Leo X Medici passed Pietrasanta to the Medici of Florence and it remained under Florence, then the Duchy and Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the Unification of Italy in 1861. After a period of decline, between the 17th and the 19th centuries, Pietrasanta underwent a rebirth in the 19th century thanks to reconstruction projects carried out by Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany.

With your guide, you will visit the following:

Cathedral of San Martino (13th – 14th century), faced in marble with a magnificent rose window. The interior has many important works of art by various artists including frescoes, paintings, a marble pulpit, rail, and altars. There is also a 14th-century painting of the Madonna del Sole, patron saint of Pietrasanta and the Versilia, invoked by the locals against flooding, drought, pestilence, and the ravages of war.

Church of Sant’Agostino (15th century), Romanesque style, today the seat of art exhibitions. Some of its 14th – 15th century frescoes are still visible.

Church of San Biagio, with frescoes by the contemporary artist, Botero

Palazzo Panichi Carli (16th century)

Palazzo Moroni (16th century), home of the local Archaeological Museum

We strongly recommend a visit to one of the many marble workshops/studios. Due to the fact that they work at full capacity, we will choose the best available based on the date of your reservation and the workshops’ accessibility.

Book now

Discover Tuscany with the Tourist Guides of La Giunchiglia!​