Discover Fernando Botero's artwork

Take a stroll down Pietrasanta’s main street, the Via Mazzini, and visit La Misericordia. It’s a tiny chapel adorned with Botero’s Heaven and Hell frescos. Once you’ve marvelled at his paintings of chubby cherubim and red-hot hell fire, seek out his Warrior sculpture just around the corner.

  • Via Giuseppe Mazzini

Hit the beach

Public service announcement: in summer everything in town closes at midday, at which point almost everyone makes a beeline for the beach. Rent a couple of bicycles in Albergo di Pietrasanta and cycle down Via Apua through pinewood forests until you hit the coast. Once there, hire a tent from one of the many “bagnos” that fringe the beach.

Tour the city of Lucca

Hop in the car and set the satnav for Lucca. The 40-minute drive will be worth it for all of the renaissance art, “enotecas” (wine bars) and grand old churches you’ll discover packed tightly into the stony confines of this medieval, walled city. We suggest saddling up and skirting the city’s crumbly walls by bike.

Browse the flea market in Forte dei Marmi

On Wednesday and Sunday mornings the most fabulous flea market unravels slap bang in the centre of Forte dei Marmi, just a 30-minute bike ride away. After you’ve picked up as many supple leather goods and as much boho beachwear as your suitcase will allow, order a cappuccino and a fresh spremuta d’arancia at Caffè Principe.

Visit the marble quarry in Carrara

Drive out to Carrara. It’s a centuries-old marble quarry that some say provided the raw material for Michelangelo’s David. Either way, it looks impressive – especially when viewed from one of the open-top jeeps that take visitors up the cliff face for a small fee.

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