Exploring the Enchanting Beaches in Viareggio and Beyond

April 12, 2024

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Tuscany lies the charming seaside town of Viareggio.

Situated in the province of Lucca, this Italian gem boasts a rich history and stunning architecture. But perhaps most notably, it is the pristine beaches in Viareggio that attract visitors from around the globe.

Known as one of the premier tourist destinations in Versilia, Viareggio stretches along 10 kilometers of coastline, offering a diverse range of experiences for travelers of all ages.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best beaches in Viareggio to visit, as well as some other sites and things to do, should you want to take a trip having been on a tour to nearby Florence or Pisa.

A brief history of Viareggio

history of viareggio

Viareggio become a popular holiday spot for Italian nobility more than 200 years ago and has continued to grow every since. Photo credit: Inja Pavlić

Viareggio boasts a rich and storied history that stretches back centuries. Its origins can be traced to ancient times when it served as a humble fishing village, situated at the mouth of the Burlamacca River.

In the 16th century, the town began to emerge as a prominent seaside destination, favored by Italian nobility and aristocracy for the pristine beaches in Viareggio and therapeutic waters. The town’s popularity continued to rise throughout the Renaissance period, attracting artists, writers, and intellectuals seeking inspiration and relaxation along its shores.

By the 19th century, Viareggio underwent a significant transformation with the advent of tourism and the rise of the bourgeoisie. The construction of elegant villas, grand hotels, and fashionable promenades transformed the town into a fashionable resort destination, frequented by European elites and high society.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries marked a golden age for Viareggio, characterized by prosperity, cultural vibrancy, and artistic innovation. The town became synonymous with the Carnival of Viareggio, an extravagant celebration of creativity and spectacle that continues to captivate visitors to this day.

Top beaches in Viareggio and the surrounding areas

Forte dei miami

Forte de Miami is just one of the amazing beaches in Viareggio to visit. Photo credit: Sonse

As mentioned, for many years, the beaches in Viareggio have been favored by Italian nobility for many years, and are now a popular choice for both Italian holidaymakers and visitors to Italy. So let’s take a look at some of the best beaches in Viareggio for you to consider should you be planning a trip to stay for a few days in Tuscany.

  • Viareggio: Viareggio’s allure lies in its expansive shoreline, dotted with over a hundred bathing lidos. Whether you seek serene relaxation or lively entertainment, you’ll find it here. The beaches of Viareggio cater to every taste, making it an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.
  • Forte dei Marmi: Renowned as one of the most prestigious seaside resorts along the Tyrrhenian coast, Forte dei Marmi exudes an air of exclusivity. Frequented by royalty, celebrities, and affluent travelers, this elegant town offers not only sun-kissed beaches but also a vibrant nightlife scene. The name “Forte dei Marmi” derives from its historic fort and the prized marble that once graced its piers, symbolizing the opulence and sophistication of Versilia.
  • Lido di Camaiore: Located between Viareggio and Marina di Pietrasanta, Lido di Camaiore beckons with its expansive golden sands and breathtaking views of the Apuan Alps. The well-equipped beaches are complemented by a lively promenade, adorned with an array of shops, boutiques, and dining establishments. Whether you’re lounging in the sun or strolling along the shore, Lido di Camaiore offers an idyllic coastal experience.
  • Marina di Pietrasanta: Embraced by soft, golden sands and framed by the majestic Apuan Alps, Marina di Pietrasanta epitomizes natural beauty and elegance. The pristine seabed and verdant pine forests create a tranquil retreat, while the town’s stylish entertainment options add a touch of sophistication. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Marina di Pietrasanta offers an enchanting seaside escape.

Other things to do in Viareggio

visiting pisa

If you need a break from the beaches in Viareggio, a trip to nearby Pisa is well worth it. Photo credit: Laura Hart

Visitors to the region are drawn in their thousands every year, but not just for the beaches in Viareggio though. For those looking to get out and explore, here are some of the top things to do in Viareggio.

  • The promenade of Viareggio: Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic promenade of Viareggio, lined with palm trees and elegant Art Nouveau buildings. Indulge in some people-watching, savor gelato from a local vendor, or simply bask in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The pier of Viareggio: Extend your seaside adventure by visiting the historic pier of Viareggio. Originally constructed in the 19th century, this iconic landmark offers panoramic views of the coastline and serves as a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
  • Visiting Pisa: Immerse yourself in history by taking a day trip to nearby Pisa. Explore the iconic Leaning Tower, marvel at the grandeur of Piazza dei Miracoli, and soak in the cultural heritage of this charming Tuscan city.

Away from the beaches in Viareggio: Hidden gems in the hill towns

visiting lucca

Lucca is a beautiful Tuscan town full of bustling pizzas and historic churches. Photo credit: Cristina Gottardi

For travelers who like to get off the beaten track more and check out some of the beautiful towns in Tuscany, if you are looking for a break from the beaches in Viareggio, you should consider visiting these hidden gems:

  • Pieve a Elici: In the tranquil town of Pieve a Elici, it’s impossible to miss the imposing Romanesque church. Built in the 13th century, its origins date back to the 4th and 5th centuries. Situated on a hilltop, the church boasts a panoramic view extending all the way to Lake Massaciuccoli. Even with its sober, bare façade (a common characteristic of the Romanesque style), the church—and its 95-foot bell tower—make for an impressive sight. While the interior is also simple, it includes frescoes and a striking Gothic marble masterpiece at the altar.
  • Corsanico: In search of a truly authentic Tuscan experience? Then head to Corsanico! Despite having only some 1,000 inhabitants, this small town is rich in art and history, and hosts plenty of musical and sporting activities. Corsanico is also known for the impressive organ in the Church of San Michele Arcangelo. Built in the early 17th century, it’s a masterpiece that has attracted famous musicians, thanks to its incredible sound quality. It’s made up of more than 800 pipes—making it able to produce an amazing variety of instrumental sounds!
  • Lucca: Discover the timeless charm of Lucca, a historic town renowned for its well-preserved Renaissance walls and cobblestone streets. If you decide to visit Lucca, wander through ancient churches, bustling piazzas, and hidden alleyways, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Tuscan culture.

When to go to Viareggio?

when to go to viareggio

As well as the beaches in Viareggio, there is plenty more to do all year round, such a visiting vineyards and trying some of the fantastic wines. Photo credit: Marco Priore

It goes without saying that to visit the beaches in Viareggio, you should really go in the summer to experience them at their best. However, as seen, there is also plenty more to do in and around the area – such as taking part in a wine tasting tour in Tuscany. So what’s it like in Viareggio through the rest of the year?

In spring, Viareggio awakens from its winter slumber, with mild temperatures and blooming flora. Enjoy long walks along the beach, vibrant festivals, and outdoor dining experiences as the town comes to life with renewed energy.

As summer crowds dissipate, autumn offers a more tranquil and introspective atmosphere in Viareggio. Enjoy the lingering warmth of the sun, indulge in seasonal delicacies, and take advantage of reduced rates on accommodations and activities.

While winter brings cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, Viareggio retains its timeless charm and allure. Embrace the cozy ambiance of seaside cafes, explore cultural attractions, and witness the town’s festive decorations during the holiday season.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a taste of la dolce vita, Viareggio and its surrounding areas promise an unforgettable journey filled with beauty, history, and endless possibilities.

So pack your sunscreen, embrace the coastal breeze, and embark on an enchanting voyage to the beaches in Viareggio and beyond.

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