Viareggio is a town located on the Tuscan coast. It's about 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 tradition of Carnival which manifests itself, as well as during the typical parade, also in the inevitable museums dedicated to this festival. If all this fascinates you, find out more about what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening in Viareggio!
- 12 things to see in Viareggio in a weekend
- What to see in Viareggio in one day: recommended itinerary
- Where to eat in Viareggio: the best restaurants
- What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Viareggio
- Plan your stay in Viareggio: info and useful tips
- User questions and comments
12 things to see in Viareggio in a weekend
1 - Margherita walk
Il Promenade of Viareggio it 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 does not only run 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 a succession of historic buildings in the 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 Caffè Margherita, the Clock Tower, the Palazzo delle Muse and the Politeama Theater.
- it is connected to the rest of the country through alleys and secondary roads that make it accessible from many different points according to the area in which you are - Get directions
- always open
2 - Villa Argentina
Villa Argentina is one stately home, one of the many historic buildings in Viareggio but one of the most elegant. Like almost all the structures, also Villa Argentina it was built in the 800th century in the Art Nouveau style and in fact its ceramic decorations, stuccoes, soft colors and all the other elements typical of the aforementioned style are immediately noticed. Outside it the large garden immediately stands out while inside they open 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.
- it is located not far from the historic center and can be reached in a few minutes on foot - Get directions
- open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30
3 - Villa Paolina
Villa Paolina is also a historic building in Viareggio built in 800 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 seat of the Civic Museums, precisely archaeological museum and museum of musical instruments, and of the contemporary art gallery. Inside there is obviously no shortage sumptuous decorations such as painted ceilings and walls with decorative ceramics affixed to them.
- it is located a few steps from the historic center and the seafront - Get directions
- open from Wednesday to Sunday from 15 pm to 30 pm and only on Sundays it is also open in the morning from 19 am to 30 pm
- 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 expanded further a few years later, but the bell tower was added later in 1921 but was immediately destroyed during the Second World War even if no time was wasted in remaking it. The interior of the Church consists of three naves, a large organ and a triumphal arch but above all a mosaic representing Saint Pauline and the angels on a gold background.
- it is located in the historic center of Viareggio very close to other points of interest - Get directions
- always open
5 - Basilica of Sant'Andrea
The Basilica of Sant'Andrea is 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, how much inside you can see interesting works of art and numerous relics like those of Sant'Antonio Maria Pucci.
- 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
- always open
6 - Torre Matilde
The Matilde Tower is the oldest building in Viareggio dating back to the 500th century. The tower is an example of military architecture even if the name "Matilda" was erroneously attributed when it was thought that its construction was in some way linked to Matilde 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.
- it is located not far from the historic center from which it takes about 3 minutes on foot to reach it - Get directions
- open every day from 9:00 to 17:00
7 - Palace of the Muses
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 wants 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 the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery develops inside the building, exhibiting over 3000 works.
- it is within walking distance of both the historic center and the seafront - Get directions
- open from Wednesday to Sunday from 15:30 pm to 19:30 pm
- full € 8,00 - reduced € 4,00
8 - Citadel of the Carnival
The Citadel of Carnival it is a square in Viareggio from which this great event starts which makes the country so famous. 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. The laboratories are concentrated inside where the builders work and where the gigantic wagons are kept, moreover two museums have been opened of which you will read specifically later.
- How to reach us: it is 4 km from the historic center, but can be easily reached by car in just 7 minutes - Get directions
- always open
9 - Carnevalotto Museum of Contemporary Art
One of the two museums inside the Carnival Citadel is the Carnevalotto Museum of Contemporary Art born following the Carnevalotto Prize which rewards the most artistic float since, as is well known, in the case of Viareggio this event truly takes on an artistic turn. So here's what you find in this museum: the collection of contemporary works of art that includes paintings, sculptures and graphics, designed and used as a prize for the first classified wagon.
- it is 4 km from the historic center but can be reached by car in 7 minutes - Get directions
- open from Wednesday to Sunday from 15:00 pm to 19:00 pm
- full € 3,00 - reduced € 2,00
10 - Museum of the Carnival
The other museum in the Carnival Citadel is the Carnival Museum dedicated to papier-mâché, a fundamental element in creating 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 gods workshops where to try their hand at working with clay and paper, an interesting activity especially for school groups and children.
- it is located 4 km from the center, easily reachable by car in about 7 minutes - Get directions
- open from Wednesday to Sunday from 15 pm to 00 pm and Saturday from 19 am to 00 pm
- full € 3,00 - reduced € 2,00
11 - Beaches of Viareggio
In addition to the Carnival, we remember 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 rise, one after the other, numerous bathing establishments that alternate with small pieces of free beach. It goes without saying, therefore, that on the beaches of Viareggio you will not miss any kind of tourist services 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 evaluate the period of your holiday.
- 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
- always open
12 - Pineta di Ponente
The Pineta di Ponente is a little park in the middle of Viareggio to be explored on foot or by bicycle. Inside you can isolate yourself from the chaos of the city by immersing yourself in a completely natural place well maintained 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.
- 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
- always open
What to see in Viareggio in one day: recommended itinerary
It would be a shame to have to spend only one day in Viareggio, not only for all its beauties but also because, as you have already noticed, most of the attractions are only open in the afternoon and this leads to having to select what to include and what not on your tour. Surely the itinerary cannot miss the Margherita Walk and the Carnival Citadel with its two museums, so we had to reluctantly exclude Villa Paolina, Villa Argentina, Palazzo delle Muse and the Pineta di Ponente for position and times that do not allow visit or simply for lack of time.
So here's how we organized the tour:
- Morning: we start from the Matilde Tower which we remember being outside the historic center, stopping first at the Caffetteria La Modicana for a good breakfast. After the short visit we suggest you leave your car in one of the car parks near the center because it is time to enter it by first visiting the Church of Sant'Andrea and then the Church of San Paolino. Then head towards the seafront and enjoy the beautiful Margherita Walk that we recommend you go through, stopping then, on the way out or back, to have lunch at Antica Locanda da Luca.
- Afternoon: immediately after lunch, retrieve the car and move towards the Carnival Citadel where until 19 pm you will have time to admire it calmly and visit its two museums without missing the proposed activities. Finally, for dinner we recommend the nearby Trattoria Nanni.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Caffetteria La Modicana - Get directions
- Torre Matilde - opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 17:00 - ticket price: free
- St. Andrew's Church
- San Paolino Church
- Margherita walk
- Lunch at Antica Locanda da Luca - Get directions
- Cittadella del Carnevale - opening hours: semore open - ticket price: free
- Carnevalotto Museum of Contemporary Art - opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 15 pm to 00 pm - ticket price: full € 19 reduced € 00
- Carnival Museum - opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 15:00 to 19:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00 - ticket price: full € 3,00 reduced € 2,00
- Dinner at Trattoria Nanni - Get directions
Where to eat in Viareggio: the best restaurants
- Antica Locanda da Luca traditional Tuscan cuisine that meets fish-based cuisine, all prepared with fresh, local ingredients
Average price per person: € 28,00
Address and contacts: Viale Michelangelo Buonarroti, 63 Get directions / tel: 0584 425529
- Trattoria Nanni seafood cuisine that changes according to the season characterized by fresh fish and homemade pasta and specialized in fried and grilled fish
Average price per person: € 20,00
Address and contacts: Via Bocchette, 1 Get directions / tel: 0584 45250
- Amaro Braceria land cuisine with fresh pasta and specializing in grilled meat main courses, but there are also some proposals based on fish and fish
Average price per person: € 30,00
Address and contacts: Via S. Martino, 73 Get directions / tel: 0584 962183
What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Viareggio
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 all night long various types of music in different places scattered in the historic center and near the seafront. Here are the ones we recommend:
The best pubs, clubs and discos
- Dancing Trocadero: disco with smooth dancing 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
- The Red Corsair: 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
- Viareggio is well connected to the entire surrounding area. The nearest airport is Pisa, 30 minutes by car or an 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.
- Getting 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 car parks, especially the so-called exchange car parks in which there are many 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, there are also many paid parking spaces along the avenues
- Hotel and b & b starting from € 42,00 per room -
- What to see in the surroundings: of particular interest in the surroundings of Viareggio we point out 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