Massa is the main town in the Massa-Carrara Province and has approx. 70,000 inhabitants. It is about 5 km from the sea and the beaches of Marina di Massa where the landscape alternates between flat and hilly. Because of its location, Massa has a very mild climate.
Most people are probably more familiar with the neighbouring town of Carrara, which is known for its splendid marble quarry. It is from here that the marble has been founded for many important buildings in Italy, going way back to the days of Ancient Rome.
The historic centre of Massa spreads out from Piazza Aranci , where one finds orange trees on three sides and an obelisk surrounded by four lions in the middle. On the fourth side is the campsite Il Palazzo Ducale , which houses one the Malaspina-family villas. Via Dante Aligheri leads from the north side of the square to the city's cathedral Duomo di Massa.
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Today, Massa survives partly by industry and partly by tourism. The city offers a wide selection of restaurants and shops. In June and July the historic centre is closed to cars on Friday and Saturday evenings and shops open for longer. The grand castle Castello Malaspina, originally a medieval castle from the 15th Century, sits on a hill majestically overlooking the town. Nearby places that are worth a visit include Pietrasanta (15 km), Lucca (50 km), Le Cinque Terre in Liguria (55 km) and Wind Cave (34 km).