Viareggio is a town located on the Tuscan coast. It is a destination with a thousand artistic resources ranging from the most ancient art to be admired on a succession of beautiful buildings up to the more contemporary art linked to the Carnival tradition that manifests itself, as well as during the typical parade, even in the inevitable museums dedicated to this party. If all this fascinates you, find out more about what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening in Viareggio !

What to see in Viareggio

1 – Margherita Walk
The Lungomare di Viareggioit is better known as Passeggiata Margherita and it is famous above all for being the place where the famous Carnival of Viareggio takes place. In addition to this reason, however, it is called a promenade because it not only runs along the beach as is usual for every Lungomare, but on the other side of the road there is a real artistic street with a succession of historic buildings in Art Nouveau style . Along the walk you will observe domes, balconies and artistic facades that will leave you speechless and you will meet important structures such as the Gran Caffe Margherita, the Clock Tower, the Palazzo delle Muse and the Politeama Theater.

  • How to get there: it is connected to the rest of the country through alleys and secondary streets that make it accessible from many different points based on the area in which you are – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

2 – Villa Argentina
Villa Argentina is a stately home , one of the many historic buildings in Viareggio but one of the most elegant. Like almost all of the structures, Villa Argentina was also built in the 19th century in Art Nouveau style and in fact you immediately notice its ceramic decorations, stuccoes, soft colors and all the other typical elements of the aforementioned style. Outside, the large garden immediately stands out while inside there are halls decorated with paintings, columns, carvings, ceramics and mosaics . From time to time the villa hosts art exhibitions and other events, so if you are in Viareggio it is worth inquiring about it.

  • How to get there: it is located not far from the historic center and can be reached in a few minutes on foot – Get directions
  • Hours: open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30
  • Ticket cost: free

3 – Villa Paolina Villa Paolina
is also a historic building in Viareggio built in the 19th century and belonged to Napoleon’s sister , Paolina Bonaparte. This villa was Paolina’s retreat after the death of her brother but it was a place of culture as the princess liked to surround herself with artists and musicians. To date, the villa has undergone restorations before being open to the public as the seat of the Civic Museums , precisely the archaeological museum and museum of musical instruments, and of the contemporary art gallery . Inside there is obviously no shortage of sumptuous decorations such as painted ceilings and walls with decorative ceramics affixed to it .

  • How to get there: it is located a few steps from the historic center and the seafront – Get directions
  • Hours: open from Wednesday to Sunday from 15:30 to 19:30 and only on Sundays and also open in the morning from 9:30 to 13:30
  • Ticket price: full € 3.00 – reduced € 2.00

4 – Church of San Paolino
The Church of San Paolino is a minor basilica located in the historic center. It was built around 1896 and a few years later expanded further, however the bell tower was added later in 1921 but was immediately destroyed during the Second World War even if no time was wasted in rebuilding it. The interior of the Church consists of three naves, a large organ and a triumphal arch but above all a mosaic representing San Paolino and the angels on a gold background stands out .

  • How to get there: it is located in the historic center of Viareggio very close to the other points of interest – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

5 – Basilica of Sant’Andrea
The Basilica of Sant’Andrea and another minor basilica of Viareggio. It is located in the historic center and its construction, with the rectory attached, dates back to 1842 based on the design of the engineer Cervelli from Lucca. The external architecture is simple and classic but there is no lack of decorative elements, as well as interesting works of art and numerous relics such as those of Sant’Antonio Maria Pucci can be observed inside.

  • How to get there: it is located in the heart of the historic center of Viareggio and can be easily reached on foot from any other central point – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

6 – Torre Matilde

The Torre Matilde is the oldest building in Viareggio dating back to the 16th century . The tower is an example of military architecture even if the name “Matilda” was wrongly attributed when it was thought that its construction was in some way linked to Matilda di Canossa. This structure, on the other hand, had an important supervisory role and was subsequently used as a prison, while today it is open to the public to enjoy a beautiful view of the coast and is used periodically to exhibit art exhibitions and present new books.

  • How to get there: it is located not far from the historic center from which it takes about 3 minutes on foot to reach it – Get directions
  • Hours: open every day from 9:00 to 17:00
  • Ticket cost: free

7 – Palazzo delle Muse and Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
The Palazzo delle Muse is one of the historic buildings of Viareggio. It was originally named after Vittorio Emanuele II but then its name was changed. The current name was chosen due to the fact that the construction of the building was possible thanks to the money obtained from works and gifts from artists of various kinds such as painters, sculptors, architects, musicians and poets. Today, inside the building, the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art is developed, born after the Carnevalotto Prize which rewards the most artistic float. Inside the museum there are about 3000 works of contemporary art which include paintings, sculptures and graphics,

  • How to get there: it is located a few steps from both the historic center and the seafront – Get directions
  • Hours: open from Wednesday to Sunday from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Ticket price: full € 8.00 – reduced € 4.00

8 – Citadel and Carnival Museum
The Carnival Citadel is a square in Viareggio from which this great event that makes the town so famous starts. The square was inaugurated in 2001 and is considered the largest center dedicated to masks in Italy as there are none of this size and services. Inside is the Carnival Museum dedicated to papier-mâché, a fundamental element in the creation of the structures to be presented on the wagons. In the exhibition itinerary there is therefore a historical, artistic and cultural heritage linked to the tradition of the Viareggio Carnival and there is no shortage of spaces to touch the raw material and closely observe the various stages of realization of a work. On the ground floor there are also educational workshops where you can try your hand at working with clay and paper, an interesting activity especially for school groups and children.

  • How to get there: it is 4 km away from the historic center, but can be easily reached by car in just 7 minutes – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

9 – Beaches of Viareggio
In addition to the Carnival, we remind you that Viareggio is also a famous seaside resort . If you want to go to Viareggio during the summer, know that waiting for you there will be a long coastline of golden sand on which there are, one after the other, numerous bathing establishments that alternate with small pieces of free beach . It goes without saying that on the beaches of Viareggio you will not miss any type of tourist service such as umbrellas, bathrooms, changing rooms, bars, sports rentals and beach volleyball courts, just to name a few. The only note to keep in mind: the beaches of Viareggio can be very crowded in the height of summer so, if you are not a lover of chaos on the beach, we advise you to carefully consider the period of your holiday.

  • How to get there: the seaside area is 4 km from the historic center but can be reached by car in 9 minutes or on foot in about half an hour – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

10 – Pineta di Ponente

The Pineta di Ponente is a small park in the middle of Viareggio to explore on foot or by bicycle . Inside you can isolate yourself from the chaos of the city by immersing yourself in a completely natural and well-kept place where there are bars, games for children, long avenues and rest areas , ideal for a walk, for a small afternoon stop, to eat an ice cream or enjoy an aperitif in the midst of nature.

  • How to get there: it is just 2 km from the historic center and can be reached in 20 minutes on foot or 8 minutes by car – Get directions
  • Hours: always open
  • Ticket cost: free

One day itinerary in Viareggio
The itinerary includes the main stages of the city, excluding museums and attractions that would take too long to visit. Furthermore , most of the attractions are only open in the afternoon .
Here is the suggested one-day itinerary:

  • Morning : the itinerary starts from the historic center. Admire the Matilde Tower, and then enter its streets, among period buildings and architectural beauties. Take the opportunity to also visit the Church of Sant’Andrea and the Church of San Paolino.
  • Afternoon : after lunch, visit the Citadel with the Carnival Museum, definitely a must see, especially during the celebrations! Return to Viareggio and enjoy a walk along the Margherita Walk at sunset.
  • Evening : end the evening in the city, in the historic center if you are here in autumn or winter, near the seaside resorts if you are visiting the resort in the summer!

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Torre Matilde – opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 17:00 – ticket price: free
  2. Church of Sant’Andrea
  3. San Paolino Church
  4. Cittadella del Carnevale – opening hours: always open – ticket price: free
  5. Palazzo delle Muse – opening hours: from Wednesday to Sunday from 15:30 to 19:30 – ticket price: full € 8.00 – reduced € 4.00
  6. Margherita walk

There are also many alternatives to choose from , for example, in the afternoon instead of the Carnival Museum you can visit other museums in the historic center : Villa Paolina (€ 3.00) and the seat of the Civic Museums and the Contemporary Art Gallery; the Palazzo delle Muse houses the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, with over 3,000 works. For the scheduled visits at least 2 h.
But Viareggio is also a famous seaside resort: if you visit the city during the summer you can dedicate the afternoon to relaxing on the beach ! You will find numerous bathing establishments equipped with all services, which alternate with stretches of free beach. Also consider at least one afternoon along the Versilia coast, among wonderful beaches such as Forte dei Marmi, Lido di Camaiore and Marina Pietrasanta.

Where to eat in Viareggio

  • Antica Locanda da Luca traditional Tuscan cuisine that meets fish-based cuisine, all prepared with fresh and local ingredients
    Average price per person: € 28.00
    Address and contacts: Viale Michelangelo Buonarroti, 63 Get directions / tel: 0584 425529
  • Amaro Braceria earthy cuisine with fresh pasta and specialized in grilled meat main courses, but there are also some proposals based on fish fish
    Average price per person: € 30.00
    Address and contacts: Via S. Martino, 73 Get directions / tel: 0584 962183
  • La Baracchina sul Molo cooks completely based on fresh and local fish, excellent raw food
    Average price per person: € 40.00
    Address and contacts: Piazzetta Golfo Aranci Get directions / tel: 0584 31583
  • Branzo Gourmet burger and much more. All based on fresh fish
    Average price per person: € 25.00
    Address and contacts: Via San Francesco, 91 Get directions / tel: 388 473 5390

What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and the best clubs
In Viareggio there is certainly no shortage of pubs, discos and other places where you can spend a pre-evening and a night full of taste and fun. In fact, you can choose between aperiena, cocktail bar or go wild in the disco dancing for a few hours or throughout the night various types of music in different places scattered in the historic center and near the seafront . Here are the ones we recommend:

  • Dancing Trocadero : disco with smooth dances in the early evening and revival or Latin music to follow with the possibility of eating from a rich buffet / Address: Viale Capponi, 4 Get directions / Facebook page
  • Carpe Diem : a place specializing in aperitifs that offers aperitifs with excellent cocktails and good food / Address: Viale Europa, 25 Get directions / Facebook page
  • Maki Maki : restaurant and disco with various types of menus and modern music throughout the night with free admission and thematic evenings / Address: Viale Europa, 23 Get directions / Facebook page
  • Il Corsaro Rosso : restaurant and cocktail bar with meat and fish menus, live music of all kinds and a wide choice of cocktails / Address: Viale Europa, 34 Get directions / Facebook page
  • Amadeus : cocktail bar with a wide range of alternative cocktails created by the house and evenings with live music / Address: Viale Cristoforo Colombo, 35 Get directions / Facebook page

Plan your stay in Viareggio: info and useful tips

  • How to get there: Viareggio is well connected to the entire surrounding area. The nearest airport is Pisa, 30 minutes by car or one hour by train. By car you can reach Viareggio via the Strada Statale 1 which runs along the coast and the A11 motorway which connects it to Lucca. It is also possible to arrive by train and bus from any direction thanks to the multiple connections between Viareggio and the main surrounding cities such as Lucca, Florence and Pisa.
  • How to get around : the historic center is easily explored on foot but you can also rely on the urban service thanks to the different buses that travel around the country
  • Where to park : Viareggio has several parking lots, especially the so-called exchange parking lots where there are plenty of parking spaces to leave the car for free and continue by public transport. A car park of this type is the one in Largo Risorgimento (Get directions) which, among other things, is a ten-minute walk from the center. Other convenient car parks are Stazione Vecchia (Get directions), Via Bixio (Get directions) and Terrazza della Repubblica (Get directions). Usually you can always find a place in these large squares, but if you are really unlucky, you will also find many paid parking spaces along the avenues
  • Where to sleep: Hotels and b & b starting from € 42.00 per room – see the offers
  • What to see in the surrounding area : of particular interest in the surroundings of Viareggio we recommend Massa, a village full of very decorated Renaissance churches and palaces just 30 minutes away, and the artistic cities of Lucca and Pisa respectively 35 and 26 minutes away.
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