Massarosa is a town of little over 21,000 inhabitants in the province of Lucca in Tuscany. It is located east of Viareggio and west of the provincial capital Lucca itself.
Massarosa city guide
Province: Lucca. Region: Tuscany. Phone: +39 . ZIP Code: 55040, 55054.
By car/public transportation
By car: Massarosa is located along the A11 and the SS439 between Tombola and Lucca.
Public transportation: The city has its own railway station, called Massarosa-Bozzano. It is located near the Massaciuccoli Lake, on the line between Viareggio and Lucca.
The most beautiful church of Massarosa is the Santi Jacopo e Andrea Church. Although it is first mentioned in a late 11th century document, it is probably much older.
The other interesting churches and villa’s are mostly found in the suburbs of the city.
Massarosa has several suburbs: Bargecchia, Bozzano, Compignano, Corsanico, Gualdo, Massaciuccoli, Mommio (Castello), Montigiano, Montramito, Piano del Quercione, Piano di Conca, Piano di Mommio, Pieve a Elici, Quiesa and Stiava.
The most important one of these is Massaciuccoli, thanks to its Oasi Lipu nature reserve, which is considered a bird-watcher’s paradise. Other attractions in Massaciuccholi are ruins of thermal baths and of a Roman villa. The local church is dedicated to San Lorenzo.
The most interesting churches are the Romanesque San Pantaleone Church (Pieve a Elici), the San Frediano Chapel (Compignano) and another Romanesque church in Corsanico. The latter has a 13th century bell tower and mullioned windows.
The Borbone family had a summer residence called “la vallina” in Pian di Mommio and a villa (“Villa Borbone” in Stiava.
Of the other villas dotting the territory the most interesting ones are the Villa Spinola, on the road to Sarzana, and the Villa of Compignano, where the sister of Napoleon, Paolina Bonaparte used to stay. Paolina is famous because she modeled one of Canova’s best known sculptures, which can be seen in the Galleria Borghese in Rome.
A brief history of Massarosa
Thanks to archaeological finds near the lake, it is evident that the territory was already inhabited in prehistoric times.
The part at the foot of the hills was later inhabited by the Romans. Ruins of thermal baths have been found here.
During the middle ages the city was property of the Cathedral of Lucca. After a period in which Marquis Pelavicino had the power, the city returned to its former owners (1242).
From 1801 to 1870 Massarosa was governed by Viareggio.