Over centuries, Massa, has been influenced by the domination of the Malaspina Family (who ruled the city between the 15th and 16th centuries) and also by the certain changes made to the city during the 19th century which still have a strong influence over numerous aspects of the city's aesthetic appeal.
At the beginning of the 19th
century Massa was under the
control of Elisa Baciocchi,
the sister of Napoleone, who
governed the city as the Grand
Duchess of Tuscany.
Elisa Baciocchi had a huge influence over the city of Massa making many significant changes throughout her reign to the aesthetical appeal of the city.
It was thanks to her that
some of Massa's most important
areas of the city (such as the
Piazza degli Aranci, which was
appointed as the focal point
of all activity in the city by
The urban renewal of Massa during the 19th century succeeded in reorganising and improving the old regions of the city. However, consequently there are now few traces of the city's original medieval structure.
One of the only examples of the city's Medieval heritage is the imposing Rocca (as shown in the first photo on this page) which is city's most prominent building, noticeable from almost anywhere in the vicinityof Massa. La Rocca "The Rock" was constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries, and which exemplifies classical Medieval style.
The centre of Massa is a busy place, with several bars, cafes and designer boutiques. Not far from the historical centre of the town are beautiful white sand beaches which span the coast.
Visiting the coastal region in addition to the towns of Pietrasanta, Massa and Carrara make for a fascinating day in Northwest Tuscany.