Photo of Viareggio

About Viareggio

Between the glistening blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the bright marmoreal peaks of the Massa Carrara stands Viareggio. The ideal place for a family seaside holiday, the city lies alongside a 10km stretch of golden sandy beaches, lined with cute cafes and gelato shops and it is here that you will find the best places to stay in Viareggio. 

The city began life in 1172 when it was established as the port of nearby Lucca: the Torre Matilde, a fort that still stands today, was erected around this time and it is around these walls that Viareggio sprang. However, it was not until the 19th-century that the city saw a boom in its fortunes: a harbour was built in 1819, and in 1822 it became the hostess of Napolean Bonaparte's sister, whose holiday here quickly put Viareggio on the map. In the same year, the body of the Romantic poet Percy Shelley washed up on one of its beaches. By the 20th-century, art-deco villas and liberty-style buildings began popping up around the city, and fantastic art galleries like the Villa Paolina Civic Museum opened up.

However Viareggio remains surprisingly untouched and relatively unknown by foreign tourists though it does remain a favourite of Italians, who flock to its lovely streets every year for the world-famous Carnevale, that takes over the streets and soul of Viareggio for 4 weeks every Spring. By day, parades of papier-mache floats trundle through the city, bearing caricatures of politicians and celebrities; by night, the streets come alive with music, dancing and parties that run till dawn.

What not to miss

  • If you're holidaying in the springtime, be sure to check out the Carnevale.
  • Lounge in the heat of the Tuscan sun at one of its beaches - Darsena or Lecciona.
  • Visit the remains of the Torre Matilde, the defensive tower that the city was built around.
  • Head to the Villa Paolina Civic Museum and check out the modern artworks.
  • Stroll down La Passeggiata, past the gelato shops, chic cafes and seafood restaurants.
  • For a day trip, head out to either Florence, Lucca or Pisa - all within a 2 hour train ride.

This is a destination with plenty to offer; browse through our selection of the best places to stay in Viareggio to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Viareggio

City style

  • The Grande Hotel Principe di Piemonte is a splendid, 1920s-built charmer right on the seafront in Viareggio. There are 106 rooms and suites split over five floors, with a different decorating scheme on each. There’s also a great spa and a lovely rooftop pool. And you’re just opposite the Excelsior Beach Club, a well-groomed sandy beach with all the facilities you might need.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Pisa International Airport and get a train or taxi to Viareggio, 23km away.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the springtime when the temperature ranges between 9 and 23 degrees, and the Carnevale is in full swing! The peak summer months are extremely busy and temperatures can soar.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Viareggio

  • Grande Hotel Principe di Piemonte Viareggio 106 rooms from £163

    Splendid, luxurious hotel built in the 1920s on Viareggio's sea front. Five floors each with five distinctive styles; choose from International, Deco, Colonial, Empire or Modern. Rooftop pool and spa. The smart Excelsior Beach Club is right opposite - a groomed sandy beach with all the facilities

    Restaurant  -  Two excellent restaurants with panaromic views of the Apuane Alps, the sea and the Viareggio promenade
    Spa  -  Elegant spa, with everything from holistic treatments to personal trainers
    Families  -  An ideal location for families, children and grandparents
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Small Luxury Hotels
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