Versilia is a very interesting part of Italy. People usually come here for one of two reasons. They want to spend time at an Italian beach or they want to explore the world of marble extraction and artistry.
Pietrasanta lies at the heart of this region, a little above the beaches and a little below the marble mines. It is here that sculptors come from around the world to work with their own pieces of Carrara marble and with the teachers who can show them how it is to be carved.
In a simple an unassuming central piazza, you can find a few shops and restaurants and a beautiful old local church.
When we visited, they were promoting a festival of the films of Gina Lollobrigida. There was a lively and vivacious statue of her in front of the church, replaying a scene from one of her most famous films.
I was thrilled to see the contrasts of ancient and timeless religion and the enduring appeal of a great cinematic talent.
It was one more piece of Italy to take back home and explore in a little more detail. Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren are stars of my childhood years, when I was not taken to these kinds of films. But now there is plenty of time to go back and experience them for the first time.