Massa, Province of Massa-Carrara, Tuscany
- Altitude: 65 m a.s.l
- Population: about 70,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 54100
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0585
- Patron Saint: St. Francis of Assisi, celebrated on 4th October.
Provinces of Tuscany
- The Circoscrizioni: 1 - Zona Montana; 2 - Destra Frigido; 3 - Centro città; 4 - Largo Viale Roma; 5 - Marina di Massa.
- The Frazioni: Altagnana, Alteta, Antona, Baita, Bargana, Bergiola, Bondano, Borgo del Ponte, Bozzone, Ca' di Cecco, Caglieglia, Campareccia, Canevara, Capaccola, Casania, Casette, Casone, Castagnara, Castagnetola, Castagnola, Cervara, Cinque Vie, Ciremea, Codupino, Cupido, Forno, La Gioconda, Gotara, Gronda, Grondini, Guadine, Le Iare, Lavacchio, Marina di Massa, Mirteto, Monte Pepe, Ortola, Pariana, Partaccia, Pian della Fioba, Poggi, Poggiolo, Poggioletto, il Ponte, Porneta, Poveromo, Poveromo Macchie, Pratta, Puliche, Quercioli, Redicesi, Remola, Resceto, Ricortola, Rinchiostra, Rocca, Romagnano, Ronchi, San Carlo Terme, San Cristoforo, San Leonardo, San Lorenzo, Santa Lucia, Il Santo, Sei Ponti, Turano, Tombara, Vergheto, Le Villette, Volpigliano, Zecca.
From the 15th century Massa was the capital of the independent Principality, later a Duchy, of Massa and Carrara, ruled by the Malaspina family, and the town grew around the Malaspina castle. In 1829 the city passed to the Dukes of Modena, the Este family of Austria. In 1859 it was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia.
The city of Massa and his people suffered greatly during World War II. Beacuse of its location along the Gothic Line in September 1944 and April 1945 it was repeatedly bombed by the Anglo-Americans, while the Nazi-Fascists brutally slaughtered countless civilians. In memory of those terrible days, on April 25 2006 Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi awarded the city the Gold Medal for Civil Merit.
What to see
- The Renaissance Palazzo Ducale, overlooking Piazza Aranci, named after the double row of orange trees that surround it.
- The Rocca Malaspina, a medieval fortress overlooking the town of Massa, located in the district of Massa Vecchia perched on a rocky spur, and existing since around 1000 AD.
- The Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Pietro and Francesco; the original church of St. Pietro in Bagnara rebuilt on a project by Alessandro Bergamini on a previous construction that collapsed in 1672, was in demolished in 1807 by order of Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, and the title of St Peter was added to the church of St Francis.
- The Orto Botanico "Pietro Pellegrini" at Pian della Fioba, on about 3 hectares, that preserves many endemic species typical of the Apuan Alps.
- The 20-km long coastal area, including the centres of Poveromo, Ronchi, Marina dei Ronchi, Marina di Massa, with long sandy beaches and a pinewood, popular summer resorts since the early 20th century.