What to see in Viareggio, Tuscany

If you're on vacation in Versilia and you're staying at the magnificent Grand Hotel & Riviera in Lido di Camaiore, here are some ideas on what to see in Viareggio.

Although known for its Carnival, this picturesque town on the Tuscan coast is worth visiting at any time of the year.


Passeggiata Margherita and its Grand Café

The first thing to do in Viareggio is undoubtedly to walk the long promenade Passeggiata Margherita, full of historic buildings inspired by the canons of Art Nouveau.

Among the noteworthy monuments that can be admired in the area are the Clock Tower, the Statue of Burlamacco (the Carnival's Mascot), Piazza Mazzini, and the Palazzo delle Muse with its splendid art collection.

However, in particular, one building stands out in the panorama of Viareggio's promenade: the Gran Caffè Margherita. It is characterized by two turrets decorated with yellow and green ceramic tiles and is also built according to the Art Nouveau style. The Café was also the favorite place of the famous composer Giacomo Puccini, who loved to go here while working on his renowned masterpiece, the Turandot.


Villa Paolina and its museums

Villa Paolina is another destination to see in Viareggio. It is a historic building that belonged to Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister.

It is also called Venus' refuge because when the Princess lived there, it was frequented by artists and musicians.

Nowadays, the building houses the Civic Museums of Villa Paolina and the Museum of Musical Instruments. The former illustrates the earliest forms of human life in northern Tuscany, with artifacts, panels, and environmental reconstructions. The latter is named after Giovanni Ciuffreda and houses, as the name suggests, a rich collection of musical instruments mainly of ethnic origin.


La Cittadella del Carnevale and the papier-mâché floats

La Cittadella del Carnevale is another attraction not to be missed in Viareggio. It is the most prominent thematic area dedicated to masks in Italy, where you can find laboratories, the hangars where the floats are built and stored, the Carnival Museum, and a historical documentary center.

At the very center of this area stands the majestic statue of Burlamacco, the Carnival's mascot. Meanwhile, inside the Museum you can discover more about the realization of the papier-mâché floats, through an exhibition and didactic path that illustrates the various phases of the working process.

These are only a few of the destinations worth seeing while visiting Viareggio. You should also shop at the elegant boutiques on the promenade, spend a day at one of the many beaches here, or trek along the most characteristic nature trails.

If you wish to see the entire area, the advice is to book a vacation at our elegant Grand Hotel & Riviera by the sea and set out to discover Versilia.