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Salsomaggiore Terme, which is situated among the hills of the Parmesan Apennines, is renowned for its thermal waters, but also for the large number of works by the Liberty architect, painter and sculptor Galileo Chini.
Parma: Ducal city
Parma is one of the most beautiful cities of art in Italy. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral with the Baptistery, the massive Palazzo della Pilotta, the Ducal Palace and the Teatro Regio, cradle of musical drama. Thanks to its gastronomic tradition and its important food factories, Parma is also the headquarter of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
The Castles of the duchy
An icon of the courtly and chivalric romances, the dense network of the castles of Parma is a defence system that stretches from the Po river to the ridge of the Apennine.
The strategically placed castles, cornerstones of the domain over the surrounding lands, are connected through waterways to the Po and the Adriatic Sea in the plains, while those in the mountains are perched upon peaks overlooking the routes towards Tuscany and the Tyrrhenian region.
The castles of the province of Parma are one of the most interesting itineraries for the enthusiasts of ancient castles, art and nature.
Forte dei Marmi: the heart of Versilia
Forte dei Marmi is one of the most famous and exclusive seaside resorts in the world. The heart of Versilia will host the participants with an unforgettable beach party.
The Lake of Massaciuccoli
Already known by the Romans as the lake of the Papirian Pits, the Lake of Massaciuccoli is famous for being the favoured hunting ground of the Luccan composer Giacomo Puccini. Today, the lake lost its former brackish lagoon look and is considered a typical lake-pond, due to its depth and salinity.
The city of Pisa contains invaluable treasures. The heart of its precious artistic and architectonic capital is the famous Duomo Square, called the Square of Miracles, where rise up the characteristic Leaning Tower and the Baptistery. Part of an artistic wealth of the city is spread among the rest of the city, in its territory, and in Pisan countryside.
The birthplace of great composers like Giacomo Puccini or Luigi Boccherin, Lucca is one of the few cities of the world that kept intact its fortified walls, 4.450 kilometres long. The historical city centre is well preserved, and has numerous medieval churches, towers, bell towers, Renaissance palaces and monuments, all of which are in complete harmony with newer structures. All the cars of Terre di Canossa will ride on the ancient walls of Lucca.
The Apuan Alps
The Apuan Alps, known since the Roman Empire for their bone-white marble, are the wonderful background of Forte dei Marmi and the whole Versilia.
Michelangelo and the Caves on the Mount Altissimo
In spite of its name, the Mount Altissimo (“The Highest Mount”) is one of the lowest peaks in the Apuane Alps, but it appears as most prominent one from the Tyrrhenian coast. Composed mainly of high quality marble, which was discovered by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1517, it was also divine inspiration for Gabriele D’Annunzio. It is also possible to visit the trenches of the Gothic Line along the sides of the mountain, which were built by the Germans during World War II.
The region enclosed between the Apuane Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, called Garfagnana, offers a wide range of landscapes, like the inaccessible and uncontaminated mountains, rocky on the Alps and grassy and gentler on the Apennines, which become beautiful hills at lower heights. The abundance of water characterizes both the climate and the environment of this area, making it green and lush, so much so that the Garfagnana is called the “Green Island” of Tuscany.
The Tuscan-Emilian Appenin National Park
The Tuscan-Emilian Appenine National Park is better known as the “Parco del Gigante” (Park of the Giant) and it is noted for its luxuriant vegetation. You can also find castles, villages and mediaeval towers, archaeological sites, and burial grounds, the hot springs of Quara, important country houses and residences. Between the plains and the Tuscan and Ligurian sea coast, the Apennines rise in a long line of more than 2000 metres and links Europe with the Mediterranean.
The castles of Matilde di Canossa
The imposing defence structures the teams will encounter as they cross the Apennines, allowed Matilde di Canossa to counter the frequent attacks of Emperor Henry the 4th, and became a symbol of her authority when she became Queen of Italy.
Reggio Emilia, City of the Tricolore (the Italian flag)
Founded by the Roman consul Marco Emilio Lepido, Reggio Emilia is the place where the first Italian flag was born, in 1797. Today it’s one of the most industrialized provinces in Italy, and is also a “capital” of pedagogy, thanks to its nursery schools that are considered the best in the world.
Designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava, they are the modern door of Reggio Emilia. The North Bridge will host the last three time trials of the rally.