A series of foothills is covered in olive groves which produce some of the finest oil in Italy. Then, the land rises to the wild and mountainous areas of the Garfagnana, the Alpi Apuane (Apuan Alps) and the Lunigiana, with its fortified towns and castles built by the Dukes of Malaspina. Here you will find some of Tuscany’s highest peaks, rising to 2,000 m (6,550 ft) or more. Vast areas of the mountains are designated as nature parks and the wild scenery attracts ramblers, trekkers and riders as well as hang-gliding enthusiasts. Finally, the coastal area, known as the Versilia, includes some of Italy’s most elegant and popular beach resorts. It stretches from the famous marble-quarrying town of Carrara in the north down to the area’s main town, Viareggio, and to Torre del Lago Puccini, the lakeside home of Giacomo Puccini, where he wrote nearly all his operas. VIAREGGIO Exploring Northern Tuscany The beautiful town of Lucca is a favourite base for exploring. Northwards, industrial suburbs give way to the olive groves, chestnut woods and bare mountains of the Alpi Apuane and the Garfagnana region, a popular area for outdoor sports, from trekking and canoeing to skiing. Castles dot the rugged Lunigiana, while beaches line the Versilia.
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