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A Visit to Camaiore 13/07/2011

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c. 1910

Camaiore may be reached by a tramway from Viareggio, or by a pleasant drive from Massa in a couple of hours, or in about an hour from Pietra Santa. The piazza is entered through a castellated gateway, all that remains of the mediaeval fortifications. The Collegiata of Sta. Maria Assunta was built in 1278. It has, however, been restored in an uninteresting manner. Over the door is the sacred monogram given to the citizens by S. Bernardino of Siena, with the promise that its due veneration would protect against plague. To the right of the main street is the small Church of S. Michele, said to date from the eleventh century. Following the street to the east end of the town, and turning to the left brings the visitor in a few minutes to the Badia, a Benedictine church supposed to date from the eighth century. The abbey was destroyed in 1400, but the church, although recently restored, retains its original character. The little piazza is entered through a fine gateway. To the right of the church is a pretty cloister. The campanile is modern. The general effect of the interior is very good. The masonry is of fine quality; the forms are simple and the design spacious. The round arches of the nave arcade rest on five piers: nave and aisles are covered with wooden roofs. Over the altar is a picture in five compartments, Madonna and Child with saints, on a gold background set in a pointed design.