Capital of the small Duchy of the Cybo-Malaspina, whose independence ended during the Napoleonic domination. Massa still preserves important traces of its illustrious past. One of these is the Ducal Palace, commonly known here as the Palazzo Rosso or Red Palace, which together with Piazza degli Aranci in front of it forms the heart and symbol of the town; the imposing Castello Malaspina which looks down n the town from its high position and is materially a piece of history of fortified architecture from the twelfth to the seventeenth century; then the churches, which are perhaps the clearest and most authentic signs of the period under the dukes, from the tiny baroque jewels of the Misericordia and San Giovanni Decollato to the majestic Cathedral, rich in works of art, containing the chapel and tomb of the Cybo family. Montignoso had a quite different history, being linked for centuries with the Republic of Lucca. It lies in a narrow valley, at a point where the Apuan Alps decline towards the sea, dominated from above by Castello Aghinolfi, an old manor of Longobard origin. This little town, long and narrow in shape, between the mountains of Pasquillio and the beaches of Cinquale, is an emblematic representation of the dual attraction of the Apuan Riviera, mountains and sea.

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