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The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea
We visited Viareggio, Tuscany when staying in Lucca. A short train ride away, we came to this beautiful seaside town. Upon exiting the train, we noticed something special. Something very striking about this town.
We couldn’t put our fingers on the reason.
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We strolled through the town making our way to the sea. Of course, because it was November so no sunbathers could be found along the stretch of beach. Just us on a very large open sandy beach. It was peaceful and serene. The view from this beach can’t be beaten. Walking along the shore, on one side, the small waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea trickled their way to land while looking back toward the town, the stark white marble peaks of Massa Carrara can be seen and enjoyed.
It was at this moment
We suddenly realized what we couldn’t put our fingers on when exiting the train upon arrival. Almost the entire train station is created out of beautiful white Carrara marble! The floors, stairs, walls, and benches were breathtaking. Not only is this town very clean, but it is also decorated in marble. All due to the proximity of these beautiful mountains that I thought at first were covered with snow. Silly me.
In Viareggio, there are both public and private beach clubs along this stretch of sand. As a result, with almost two miles of a wide promenade, it is a perfect place to gather before or after enjoying the water. Gelato stores, cafès, bookstores, shopping, and restaurants can be enjoyed the entire length of this “La Passeggiata Margherita.”
Arriving at the promenade, Viale Regina Margherita, you will catch a glimpse of the sea in between all the shops. Standing in front of the large arch, Nettuno (for Neptune, God of the sea) you will first come across mainly private beaches decorated with their colored umbrellas. Head towards the harbor and you will come to an open pathway to the beach. This area next to the jetty is part of the “free” beach in Viareggio.
As we walked the beach, bundled up against the cool breeze coming from the water, I see Gary bend down to pick something up. He holds up his “find” and declares we can bring back something for dinner! Such a sense of humor!
At the end of the promenade, you’ll come to the harbor. A high white pedestrian bridge will take you over the Burlamacca Canal should you want to investigate this part of the town.
While on the beach or out on the jetty next to the harbor, take a moment to turn around. You will have an amazing view of the mountains to the northeast – the striking white stone in the mountains in Carrara, famous for its marble.
Can’t Get Fresher Than This
As we headed back to the promenade from the end of the jetty, we came across this amazing fishing stand and boat restaurant! Of course, we had just finished lunch at one of the restaurants and couldn’t eat another bite but the fishing “food truck” looked so appetizing!
The Marina at Viareggio
Along the sea wall or jetty, as I call it, you can walk for breathtaking views and watch the fisherman. We came across a bronze sculpture called L’Attesa. This statue was re-created by Gionata Francesconi from an original wooden one from 1947 done by a local artist, Inaco Biancalana. This statue represents a family of a seafarer anxiously awaiting his return. It was made a permanent fixture of the harbor in 2007.
How to Get There
Viareggio is located in Tuscany and can be reached easily from Florence by train and takes about 1.5 hours. We took the train from Lucca and it was a quick 15-minute ride. The beach is an easy five-minute walk from the train station in Viareggio.
Although we had the beach practically to ourselves on this day, this town’s population explodes during the warm summer months and also during the season of Carnival.
Most of all, visit a different part of Tuscany, enjoy and explore the little town of Viareggio!