Massa is a town and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the administrative centre of the province of Massa-Carrara.
Located in the northern part of the Tuscany region, where sea and land naturally join in a wonderful and unique contrast, Massa has a population of approximately 69,000 people, distributed in five boroughs.
The Massa area is of high touristic value and also hosts a concentration of some 600 industrial and craft activities, located within the so-called Apuan Industrial Zone, with a direct employment of more than 7,000 people. Together with the twin town of Carrara, Massa is worldwide known for the extraction and production of marble.
HistoryFrom the 15th to the 19th century, Massa was the capital of the independent Principate (later Duchy) of Massa and Carrara, ruled by the Malaspina and Cybo-Malaspina families. Massa is the first recorded town in Europe in which the magnetic needle compass was used in mines to map the mines and determine the extent of various mine owners' properties.
In 1829 the city was handed over to Austrian branch of the Este family. In 1859, during the unification of Italy process, it joined the Kingdom of Sardinia
Main sightsMassa's attractions include:
- The Malaspina Castle (10th century)
- The Renaissance Ducal Palace, on the Piazza Aranci
- The Cathedral
- Piazza degli Aranci
- Piazza Mercurio
- Marina di Massa.
The Orto Botanico delle Alpi Apuane "Pietro Pellegrini" is a mountain botanical garden maintained by the city.
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