The short walk from the train station to the beach takes you past a variety of shops, restaurants and beautiful architecture. On arriving at the beach you will find at least three miles of golden sand propped up by many hip and trendy bar/restaurants. A day trip to Viareggio complemented our stay at the stunning nearby city of Lucca, which is easily accessed only 40 minutes away by train.
Google map: bit.ly/HKzSNa
An affordable alternative to an agriturismo, this B&B is part rural retreat and hippie haven - everything here is 'organic', from the home-made and home-grown breakfast to the natural paint on the walls.
Ten minutes on foot to the sea and surrounded by the pine-forests of San Rossore National Park, the house is surrounded by natural beauty, and the owners treat guests like a member of the family.
It's the homely touches that really make this B&B stand out, from the bikes laid out for guests to use, to eating our (free) breakfast together in the garden - the feast of muesli and yoghurt, sticky cakes and fresh bread and honey was washed down with juice and herbal tea.
If you are visiting Viareggio at Carnival time, the owner will drive you into town to join in with the festivities, and medieval city Lucca, artists's haven Pietra Santa and Puccini's house at Torre del Lago are a short train ride away.
Rooms are around 30 euros a night - a bargain for Tuscany!
Via Moses Levy, Viareggio, Toscana, Italy 55049
Fascinating boat trip you can book and join for an unforgettable day with the dolphins.
Every day (9.30-17.30) the catamaran KRILL (takes max 10 people) leaves from the Viareggio harbour, called “Molo della Madonnina”, for a cruise in the sea of Versilia.
If you're taking a stroll (La Passegiatta - you'd better be expensively dressed) along the promenade at Viareggio, you absolutely must try some of the (takeaway only) pizza from La Rusticanella.
If you're walking from the south side, the harbour (darsena), then you've gone too far if you reach the gap in the front and the clock tower - it's just before there. Easy to miss, it's small and usually has a large crowd outside. Fight your way to the front, see what's available and order by the portion. Specialities include the potato pizza, the margherita is splendid, but my all time favourite is the onion pizza (cipolla).
A glass of beer from one of the bars to the right (they own the seating outside, but as long as you buy drinks you're welcome to eat your pizza there) and you're sorted. Not to be missed!
Viale Margherita 80
Viareggio (on the promenade)
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