Pietrasanta: Arte e Storia
city of art, recognized worldwide as a centre of cultural and artistic importance, known and appreciated for the merit and craftsmanship of its marble, bronze and mosaic artisans..
In the past years among the most famous national events we can find the great summer expositions: Botero, Mitoraj, Folon, Theimer, Yasuda, Nall, Dalì etc
All these events took place in the heart of the city: The Piazza del Duomo
What I like is Pietrasanta beautiful town, with a unique piazza and a cathedral like a great city and in the background, the Alpi Apuane. And what country all around!
With this invitation Pietrasanta welcomes us in its piazza, beautiful and evocative.
Endowed with a Duomo of which we first hear in 1223, it is amplified and finished in 1330, in the romanic-gothic style. The facade is like an open book that tells the story of our city. Pietrasanta, crossed by the Franciscan way, became in the middle ages a crossing point for pilgrims travelling towards Rome and the Holy Land, many of them did not know Latin, thus the importance of the images on the Duomo's façade, such as the inlay of Saint John the Baptist(by Bonuccio Pardini) that urges the pilgrims to get baptized and the crest of Pope Leone X that tells of the Florentine dominance in our land in the sixteenth century. Next to the Duomo the brick belfry with its beautiful coiled internal staircase, which has been attributed by some experts to Michelangelo.
On the piazza del Duomo we can also find the church of Sant'Agostino (XIV century), built in the romanic style by the same masons that built the Duomo di San Martino in Lucca. Over the piazza stands the Rocca di Sala, the first Lombardic settlement (VI century) with the beautiful summer residence (XV) of Paolo Guinigi and Ilaria del Carretto. The rocchetta Arrighina tells us the story of the condottiero Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli.
The small church of the Misericordia or of San Biagio, patron of Pietrasanta, hosts an ancient work by Jacopo della Quercia e the frescoes by Fernando Botero: the Door to Heaven and the Door to Hell.
This last monument rappresent Pietrasanta's distinctive trait: a place where the ancient meets and blend with the Modern and the Contemporary.
Pietrasanta's roots are buried in this ancient tradition. In sacred art Pietrasanta, already during the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, is characterized by the artistic manufacturing of marble.
Antonio Pardini ars magister of the Duomo di San Martino in Lucca worked at the San'Agostino of Pietrasanta and Michelangelo chose our town as the place to stay while searching for marble for his works that still astound the entire world. And furthermore Bonuccio Pardini, local craftsman, in 1380 shipped around Europe lunettes and capitals produced in the laboratories of Pietrasanta.
Finally Stagio Stagi, another celebrated fellow citizen, was he who Michelangelo wanted to absolutely meet, because, according to the great Maestro, he was capable of turning "marble to soft wax''.
The "little Athen", as it was described by Professor Antonio Paolucci, continues to maintain this peculiarity, and consequently being chosen as the place of "the phenomenological manifestation of the idea" by famous artists such as Gio Pomodoro, Kan Yasuda, Fernando Botero, Igor Mitoraj, Cesar Tarabella, Gina Lollobrigida and hundreds of other artists that have found in our laboratories of marble and mosaic, and bronze foundries, great quality and professionality. The artist comes to Pietrasanta with an Idea and the artisan turned it into "tangible work". Many are the artists we can define "adopted citizens of Pietrasanta" that have left a mark on the world's artistic heritage.