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Things to do in Viareggio, Tuscany
Set against the sea, mountains, hills, endless sandy beaches and rich Mediterranean fauna, Versilia has always been synonymous in the collective imagination with fun and sophistication, rich in culture, nature and outdoor activities.
Located along the coast of Tuscany in the province of Lucca, Versilia is one of the most fascinating parts of the region. A unique district that is divided into the seven municipalities of Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Camaiore, Forte dei Marmi, Massarosa, Stazzema and Seravezza, it is enriched with several natural environments together with a significant artistic and architectural landscape that serve as testimony to a rich eventful past, well-varied from a cultural standpoint.
In all seasons, thanks to its many historical and environmental destinations and to a particularly mild climate, Versilia allows visitors to enjoy the well-equipped beaches for bathing and the lush hinterland of the Apuan Alps with their famous marble quarries and trails suitable for hiking and mountain biking.
At the same time, the flat strip of land immediately behind the coastal towns provides the setting for peaceful walks in the pine forest and cycling trips along routes that are easy-going but rewarding in terms of landscape and culture.
In the summer, Viareggio offers entertainment, shows and fun thanks to the many clubs, pubs and cafes and throughout the year it hosts events ranging from the famous Carnival of Viareggio to the Puccini Festival, including the International Political Satire Award and Lucca Comics.
Visit the Carnival Citadel, where you can discover the art of the papier maché float masters, which is unique to Versilia.
Don't forget the "one-day" excursions: take a trip to the Cinque Terre, Portofino and the Islands of Elba and Capraia by motorboat. Viareggio is also an excellent starting point to visit the most famous Tuscan cities like Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano and the entire Chianti region.
The first seaside resort of Viareggio was inaugurated in 1823. It was at this time that Maria Luisa of Bourbon imposed separate bathing areas for men and women. The bathhouses "Dori" and "Nereo" were born and in 1870 they were joined by the "Balena" and "Nettuno".
However, it was in the early 1900s in the wake of growing tourist demand, albeit unusual for the period, that the town was enriched with beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and elegant shops, becoming an international showcase where the opulence of high society joined the artistic and literary fervour of the time. Even today in the Versiliana city you can see how many buildings, particularly the ones in the two streets next to the beach, have retained the soft shapes of Art Nouveau, considered an exceptional feature. As a centre of entertainment, home of the Carnival and with lively clubs offering sophisticated nightlife, Viareggio is never far from the spotlight thanks to its vast array of tourist attractions available all year-round.