Camaiore is also a land of flavours, perhaps the most authentic and identifying of all Versilia’s cities: throughout the territory, food-and-wine reigns, offering experiential activities that represent part of its most important distinctive features.
A salty pie to try is undoubtedly the Scarpaccia. A particular name, almost funny, referring to the fact that, once cooked, the final product takes the appearance of an old shoe sole. Reference, however, not suitable for the taste: very tasty dish, it is based on courgettes and courgette flowers, whose scents are clear, not covered by a simple mixture of onion, water, flour, salt, pepper and oil. It’s perfect as an appetizer or as a picnic snack and it remains delicious even when cold, earning the label of Queen of Camaiore’s street food.
Also the historic Torta di Pepe, or “Torta co’ pizzi”, is absolutely characteristic: a pastry made with water, flour, eggs and salt is placed on a round baking tin and then filled with a mixture made with rice, chard, parsley, pecorino cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. It is necessary that the dough protrudes from the baking tin by (at least) two fingers, so as to be able to create the so-called “pizzi”: small “pyramids” of dough folded on itself that surround the entire cake. After having completed it with a sprinkling of pecorino cheese and having cooked it in a very hot oven for about 3-4 hours, it will be a true explosion of flavor in the mouth.
But the real characteristic dish of Camaiore are certainly the Tordelli. It is of course the most typical meal of Versilia, which was consumed by farmers’ families in peasant houses only on special occasions. That preparation is rooted in the territory, handed down from generation to generation, which over time has undergone various variations while maintaining unchanged the veracity of the taste. A minced of beef and pork, together with bread softened in broth, parmesan and pecorino chees, nutmeg, parsley and the inevitable “peporino” (i.e. thyme), create a filling of the traditional “tordelli” of fresh pasta. They must be seasoned with a good meat sauce and finished with a sprinkling of cheese directly on the plate. An unforgettable flavor. The true flavor of Camaiore served at the table.
Points of interest
Camaiore is a territory that has a vast tourist-cultural offer. The potential for a tourist is immense: in a few minutes by car, he can pass through the wonders of the hills, organized for footpath activities – included in the Francigena and Camaiore Antiqua routes -, trekking and climbing – currently a very popular practice, of which the Camaiore is one of the major Italian stages -, to arrive, passing from the green countryside, to the crystalline water of the sea, embellished by hundreds of bathing establishments, organized for each activity, and by the many clubs where you can spend the summer days.
The spearhead of the Lido coast is the “Bellavista Vittoria” jetty, which, with its 300-metre promenade on the sea, is a must for the citizens and the thousands of customers that come every year. Moving slightly to the north-east, there is the Bussoladomani Park, a historic area where, starting from 60s, stood the legendary Sergio Bernardini’s big tent, where internationally renowned artists sang and played throughout its decennial activity: it can boast of having welcomed Mina’s last public concert. After years of silence, now Bussoladomani has returned to play: presently it’s home of La Prima Estate, the flagship event of the musical season worldwide.
Heading inland, Camaiore is home of many events that promote local and territorial excellence. From “È la Via dell’Orto”, a two-day spring event in which are told local traditions related to the agri-food and food sector, to the centuries-old All Saints Fair (November 1 and 2), passing through the Pic Festival, an October fair to homage spicy flavors in collaboration with the National Academy of Peperoncino, and the fair-market dedicated to vintage and antiques things from the past, “Follie di Ferragosto”. From a historical point of view, events such as Corpus Domini take on a central role: a religious event which in Camaiore has taken on an absolute folkloric trait, thanks to the mastery of the “tappetari”, “carpet makers” who, every year, work in the night before the Solemnity creating real squares, all along the very central Via Vittorio Emanuele, with the sole use of colored wood sawdust. Of the same traditional importance is the appointment with the Processione di Gesù Morto, an event that every three years, on the Friday before the Easter, light up the Historic Center, during the evening, with thousands of oil lamps (the “cincindellori”) and helping to create a unique, magical, almost supernatural atmosphere.
Then going up towards the hilly areas, can be visited the hamlets of Monteggiori – a medieval citadel that preserves a fascinating thousand-year-old beauty -, and Casoli – a characteristic village that finds its own peculiarity, apart of the nearby Candalla waterfalls, in the wonderful Sgraffiti, ancient wall decoration technique deriving from the fresco on plaster, which embellish the town making it a unique pearl of its kind. It’s a stage of studies for hundreds of artists: the painter and sculptor Rosario Murabito fell in love with this village, until the decision to move there with his wife Grace Albert. But, in any case, each hamlet has unique characteristics that are worth experiencing and discovering.
Camaiore is a true land of colors and traditions, rich in history that lives on in the events and places and whose beauty transpires, with perpetual and bewitching strength, in every village and in every corner of every street.