Pietrasanta is the cradle of International Art Activities for more than six centuries!
The DAP Festival promotes the collaboration of the arts between the scenic space and the city, between modern technologies and the ancient tradition of the Renaissance shops.
The idea of the Festival arose from the desire to combine the various aspects of the Pietrasanta area, famous for its marble studios, bronze foundries and International art galleries, in a unique project with a focus on dance and art.
In a territory where numerous are the evidences of Etruscan, Ligurian-Apuan, Roman and Longobard installations, in the 13th century rose Pietrasanta, historical administrative center of the Versilia region.
Its origin and denomination is bound to the nobleman from Milan, Guiscardo Pietrasanta, who, podestà of the Republic of Lucca, founded it in 1255 at the bottom of the pre-existing Longobard fortress and the village called Sala.
The town “behind itself has the mountain, and southwards has in front itself an oblong strip of plain, that finishes in the sea, to which, therefore, it remains very close.”
For its strategic-military position on the Francigena Way and its proximity to the ancient landing place of Motrone, it acquired soon a remarkable importance. Characterized by a structure with an orthogonal plan inside a regular perimeter, it was fortified in the 14th century by solid curtain walls. After having been reason for continuous disputes and conquests by the forces of Pisa, Genoa, and Florence, with an arbitration award by Pope Leo the Tenth, in 1513 Pietrasanta and its territory passed definitely under the domination of the State of Florence, following in this way the fortunes of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the completion of the unity of Italy.
The government of the Medici and Lorena families in Tuscany guaranteed the Captaincy of Pietrasanta (which covered also the present Municipalities of Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza, and Stazzema) a long period of political and administrative stability with a sensitive economical and social development.
Beyond the agricultural resources, the economy registered increases in the mining and metallurgic activities of the mountain inland, and in the excavation and manufacture of marble of the Apuan Alps.
A drainage was carried out in the marshy and unhealthy plain and there have been activated structural changes on the territory, which supported the economical and commercial activities and the settlements on the territory.
As evidence of the presence of an artistic, very up-to-date and refined culture, the administrative center of Versilia, which has been provided with valuable monuments since the 14th century just around the central Piazza del Duomo, continued to enrich itself and produce distinguished works of architecture, sculpture, and painting. Under the consideration of its antiquity, the beauty of its buildings, the importance of its institutions, and the number of noble and wealthy families, on March 22nd, 1841, Leopold the Second of Lorena elevated it to Noble City.
Four and a half kilometers of deep, soft, and golden beach, fresh pinewoods, and in the background the very close and impressive Apuan Alps: the tourist site of Marina di Pietrasanta, already famous and in great demand since the beginning of the 20th century, with its centers of Fiumetto, Tonfano, Motrone, and Focette, offers the opportunity of unforgettable sojourns, with a vast and varied range of offers.
The tourist reception is characterized by both extreme qualified hotel and residential structures, suitable for any request. The uninterrupted sequence of comfortable and super-equipped bathing establishments, intercalated also by free spaces, offers a bathing capable of satisfying any expectations. It is possible to practice water sports; to attend courses of sailing, swimming, windsurfing, aquagym in the pool or in the open sea; to take regenerating walks by foot and by bicycle in the silence of the pinewoods or to practice riding, tennis, and jogging, and then enjoy, from sunset on, the most animated and frenzied worldly life of the many and renowned night clubs of the Versilia coast.
Comune di Pietrasanta: http://www.comune.pietrasanta.lu.it/
Museo dei Bozzetti (Maquettes’ Museum):
International Park of Contemporary Sculpture:
In Versilia, the artistic manufacture of marble has very ancient roots, at least since the 14th century.
A remarkable impulse was registered under the Medici government, when the quarries of “white and mixed” kinds of marble were opened, along with the presence in Pietrasanta of Michelangelo, who used the local workers.
In the 19th century, the reopening of the excavation sites of Monte Altissimo and the foundation of the School of Fine Arts, favored an increase in the field and a growth in the sculpture activity.
Since the 20th century then, when the manufacture of marble was expanded to the one of other stone materials, this field has become the supporting axis of the local economy. Artisans with specific professionalisms for sculpture, architecture, and decoration have earned national and international fame, such to receive a very high number of commissions.
Besides the marble manufacture, also the one of bronze has been consolidated, which, starting at the end of the 19th century, is characterized by the high quality of the specialized artisans, such as the moulder, who from the maquette creates a model in plaster and its “negative” in rubber.
Parallely developed the production of mosaic, with important artistic and architectural productions. The companies present in the stone field are around 160, of which 40 specialized in sculpture and ornato, 6 mosaic studios, and 8 artistic foundries.
With important initiatives of revival of marble in sculpture, architecture, and design, since the Sixties there has been an extraordinary attendance of the Versilia area and in particular of Pietrasanta by major contemporary artists, who come here from all over the world to realize their works.
The new generations of artisans, in addition to continuing their more classical activity of sculpture, put at disposal of the artists their mastery in the execution of works in the different trends of contemporary art.
Very numerous sculptors, often clearly renowned, have been attending and working in the Versilia workshops, sometimes also establishing their residence in Pietrasanta.
Among these, there are Jean Hans Arp, Fernando Botero, César, Pietro Cascella, Sandro Chia, Pietro Consagra, Salvador Dalì, Folon, Jacques Lipchitz, Giacomo Manzù, Marino Marini, Francesco Messina, Juan Mirò, Igor Mitoraj, Henry Moore, Costantino Nivola, Isamu Noguchi, Giò and Arnaldo Pomodoro, Ivan Theimer, Giuliano Vangi, Kan Yasuda, and many others.
The tight relationship of Pietrasanta with art and culture is very well demonstrated by the very intense activity of temporary exhibitions and events of national and international level that are organized all year long in the charming exhibition sites of the “Luigi Russo” Cultural Center with the Church of Saint Augustine and the wonderful scenario of the nearby Piazza del Duomo.
Important in Pietrasanta is also the Museo dei Bozzetti, started in 1984, which collects more than 600 maquettes and models, especially in plaster, of sculptures of more than 300 Italian and foreign artists, who worked and work at the local workshops.
In its headquarters at the Saint Augustine Cloisters and at its branch, the Museo dei Bozzetti 2, it is possible to have a broad and overall vision of the various sculptural tendencies of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ideal prosecution of the museum is the International Park of Contemporary Sculpture. Formed by monumental works of marble, bronze, and other materials, located in public spaces, it is a magic, outdoors museum path, which continuously increases and unwinds itself along streets, squares, and gardens of the entire municipality.
The works, appropriately adapted in the environment, build up an exceptional patrimony of urban setting and splendidly witness the tight bond with the masters of sculpture, who, by working in Pietrasanta, decided to donate some of their pieces to the city.