Viareggio is an Italian Riviera style resort located on the Mediterranean coast and it is the largest beach town in Tuscany. It is on the west coast of Italy, known as the Versilia Coast, and it is the second largest city in the Province of Lucca. The town is in between La Spezia and Livorno, and to the west of Florence. It is a major Tuscan town and a favorite holiday resort, which is famous for its long, lovely beaches, delicious seafood, great shopping, pinewoods, liberty period architecture and lively nightlife.
Its promenade is lined with Art Nouveau buildings that house shops, cafes and seafood restaurants. Historically, it was a medieval fishing village, but today it is a renowned ship building town.
A Little Bit Of History
The Ligurian tribes invaded the mountains of Versilia during the 3rd century BC and stretched their settlement as far as the river Arno.
Canale Burlamacca in Viareggio
In 180 BC the Ligurians were defeated by the Romans and the town became a Roman colony.
It is widely believed that the city got its name from the Latin Via Regis, which means King’s Road, referring to the medieval road built to link the fortification on the beach to Lucca.
Viareggio became a commune in 1701, when the marshlands were completely drained and noblemen from Lucca started building their palaces here.
The city came under under Napoleon for a short period and was under the Austrians until 1817. Charles Louis of Parma contributed largely to the expansion of the town but it was taken over by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1847.
The view of Viareggio and Apuan Alps behind it
The port town prospered economically during this period. During WWII, the entire suburbs were destroyed, but the city has recovered and today it is a renowned seaside resort.
Italy’s famous Carnivale di Viareggio is celebrated with great pomp and show. There is an elaborate parade that runs along the seafront promenade, and theater, music, masked balls and other events are held during the Carnival season.
Some of the other festivals and events are the Cittadella Jazz and More, Puccini Opera Festival, and theater and dance performances that are held during summer.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous English Romantic poet (and a husband of Mary Shelley, the author of that not-so-romantic ”Frankenstein”…) is one among the well known personalities who found his inspiration in this charming, old port city.
Where is Viareggio?
- 103.1 miles/ 166 km from Siena, Italy
- 27.3 miles/ 44 km from Livorno, Italy
- 36 miles/ 58 km from La Spezia, Italy
- 14.9 miles/ 24 km from Pisa, Italy
- 62.1 miles/ 100 km from Florence, Italy
- 88.8 miles/ 143 km from Genoa, Italy
- 16.1 miles/ 26 km from Pisa International Airport, Italy
- 58.4 miles/ 94 km from Florence Airport, Peretola, Italy
- 92.5 miles/ 149 km from Genoa Airport, Italy
Thing to See
- Torre Matilde
- Pineta di Ponente
- Piazza Shelley
- Villa Paolina
- Monument to the Resistance and to Peace
Viarregio’s endless sandy beach
- Fiumetto and Lido di Camaiore
- Forte dei Marmi
- Stabilimento Balneare Vittoria
- The Apuan Alps
- Siena and San Gimignano
A visit to Viareggio means mingling with Italians and enjoying the seafood delicacies of Tuscany.
It is an ideal holiday resort for people who love sunshine and sea.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!