Marina di Massa, typical seaside resort, is one of the tourist spots of the Tuscan Riviera offering a vast choice of accommodation and sport facilities, besides the numerous bathing establishments equipped with private changing cabins, parasols and restaurants.
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.
From 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 them and determine the extent of various mine owners' properties.
In 1829 the city was handed over to the Austrian branch of the Este family. In 1859, during the unification of Italy process, it joined the Kingdom of Sardinia