Soak up this summer’s heatwave - from the Tuscan resort of Viareggio!

June, 28 2019 ( Updated August, 26 2021)

Fun for kids
Food & Restaurants

Beside the seaside…

The famous resort of Viareggio forms the main city in the Tuscan riviera of Versilia. With its perfect beaches and  avibrant coastal energy that sets it apart, Viareggio provides the perfect summer holiday destination.

The harbourside of Viareggio

Originally a medieval fishing village, before its prosperous leap into ship building, Viareggio established its fashionable seaside resort status during the mid-19th century. Today, beautiful Liberty style and Art deco buildings adorn the streets, forming an alluring backdrop for the annual Viareggio Carnival (one of the most famous in Europe). The seaside city is a holiday mecca for a refreshing range of visitors, from beach-lovers and partygoers to culture vultures and nature fans.

For those looking to explore, there are some must-see sights in Viareggio.

Top tourist sites of Viareggio

The beautifully restored ‘Villa Argentina’ is an architectural gem of the Italian ‘Liberty style’, otherwise known as Art Nouveau. Dating back to 1868, the villa and the fashionable Art Deco buildings of town provide breath-taking diversity next to the much older heritage sites of Viareggio, such as the ancient ‘Torre Matilde’ (built in 1542).

After taking in these local landmarks, some popular seaside walks await! Visitors and locals alike adore nothing more than people-spotting along the boardwalk ‘La Passeggiata’ and savouring a romantic sunset stroll along ‘L’attesa’.

Beaches & Lidos

A trip to Viareggio must involve a beach at some point!

A sandy beach in Viareggio

Before you stroll out in your bikini or swimming shorts, it’s worth mentioning that most beaches in Italy are private lidos and beach clubs – so don’t forget the Euros! One of the most popular lidos in Viareggio is ‘Bagno Maurizio’. Located next to a beautiful pine wood along the promenade and on the doorstep of ‘Piazza Mazzini’, this lido promises a warm welcome for families. Complementing the 30 metres of beach frontage and kid’s playground are a host of cafes, restaurants and shops. Another popular lido in town is ‘Bagno Irene’, which serves up delicious beachside food; making it perfect for those hoping to savour a holiday snack from the comfort of their rented sun lounger.

For those looking to simply dip their toes in the water, the free public Viareggio beach is also on the doorstep (with the added option to rent parasols, chairs and changing rooms, in case you change your mind).

An aerial view of the beaches in Viareggio

For those who prefer a natural beach setting and perhaps the chance for a scenic stroll and laid-back picnic, the free public beach, ‘La Lecciona’ is absolutely ideal. Reached by parking along ‘Viale dei Tigli’ near Villa Borbone, visitors walk along a path through pine woods, past ponds and natural sand dunes, before the trail opens to greet visitors with a vast stretch of pristine coastline. The sand, sea and unspoilt setting of ‘La Lecciona’ makes this arguably the best free public beach in Tuscany!

If you have time to soak up anymore beaches, then the neighbouring lidos and beach clubs found in Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore are well worth dipping into.

Boat Tours

Sailing boat off the Viareggio coastline

One of the best boat tours in Viareggio is ‘Pescaturismo Evolution Viareggio’. A perfect example of Pesca-tourism at its best, this personal boat tour to Pisa departs in the morning, with Captain Alfo behind the helm. Once out on the water you’ll then have the chance to assist in bringing in the fishing nets, which are cast out the evening before. The freshly caught ‘catch of the day’ (usually prawns, ‘canocchie’ and other fish) is then cooked fresh as-can-be on board, for lunchtime. The delectable seafood dishes wash down very well with the accompanying Italian vino and homemade pudding! Visitors will get the chance to spot dolphins along the way and snorkel in the pristine waters which lap a small tucked-away beach. The intimate and enjoyable boat tour is a great way for adventurers and families alike to interact with the beautiful bounty of the sea.

Viareggio offers many more chances to book a fishing charter, a sightseeing boat tour and to soak up the fantastic cruises and sailing lessons on offer at ‘Vela Mare SSD’ and with the Cinque Terre tour, which offers a carefree way to take in the captivating, photogenic coastline of Italy.

An aerial view of Cinque Terre

Alternative tours

Other ways to take in the beauty of Viareggio and the Versilian coast are by private helicopter ride. For more grounded visitors, an E-bike tour along the coast, or through one of the local nature parks is a must. The resort also boasts a fantastic range of cookery schools, which offer everything from private food market tours to authentic cookery lessons - with the promise of lunch and/or dinner! Those looking for a more personal experience can even savour the food and company of an authentic Italian meal at a local chef’s home, in nearby Lido di Camaiore.

For the crème de la crème of tours, try the bespoke service of ‘Wishversilia’. This specialist tour company personalise the holiday experience to suit; from wine and food tasting tours, to regional discovery days across Tuscany!

Carnival Fever

Arguably the most popular, highlight for Viareggio is its annual carnival! The famous spectacle is one of the most important carnivals in Europe, dating back to 1873. Held each year along ‘Viale Regina Margherita’, many of the politically minded floats depict strong adult themes and are decorated with caricatures of famous people and eminent world leaders; for something a little different, to be sure!

The unique and beguiling parade is complemented by authentic Italian hospitality; which culminates in exciting fine dining opportunities, live theatre shows, masquerade balls and a thrilling festival-themed nightlife.

Shop (or eat) ‘til you drop!

Viareggio offers a wealth of shops and authentic restaurants to complement a self-catering holiday along the Tuscan coast.

Diners in Viareggio

For fans of fine dining, the resort will spoil you! Some of the very best include ‘Il Piccolo Principe’, ‘Ristorante Romano’, ‘Ristorante Deco’ and ‘Ristorante Acquasalata’.

Those in search of something more authentic can savour the tasty dishes on offer at the ambient eateries of ‘Fior di Sommelier’, ‘Ristorante Amaro Braceria’ and ‘Osteria Pazza Idea’, as well as with gourmet street food served up at the popular ‘L’Ottavo Vizio’.

Foodies who enjoy relaxed bites out will enjoy a plentiful supply of pizzerias here; with one of the most popular being ‘Pizzeria Il Piccolo Flaminio’.

An Italian chef making pasta

Alongside its traditional offering of eateries, restaurants and upmarket shops, Viareggio enjoys a great range of gift shops and delicatessens - for that perfect souvenir. Be it a bottle of Tuscan wine, a homemade chocolate or some artisan homeware; you will want to make room in your suitcase for these regional treats…

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Viareggio and the beautiful Tuscan coast this summer, we wish you a fun and fantastic stay!


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