What to see in Viareggio
Passeggiata a mare ed edifici liberty
The promenade is the perfect place to go shopping in the many boutiques, enjoy a coffee, a drink or a meal in the terrace which occur along the more than 2km of the wide pedestrian avenue. Departing from the pier and the marina, walking north you come across what remains of Viareggio Liberty style in the entrances to the bathing establishments and in some of the most valuable buildings. Are worth a mention: the Gran Caffè Margherita, the entrance to the Bagno Balena, the shop Martini, the only one left building made entirely of wood after the fire of 1917 which completely destroyed all the structures that made Viareggio promenade a unique in the Italian Art Nouveau . Walking through a shop window to the other, you may want to have a glance to the buildings that line the avenue (many of which turned into hotels) to see the elegant Art Nouveau buildings with beautiful ceramic insert decorations including the most famous majolica by Galileo Chini.
- Address: Viale Margherita - Terrazza Ciano, Viareggio (LU)
Cittadella e musei del Carnevale
Recently built by the architect Tomassi, the Citadel of the Carnival has become one of the landmarks of the Carnival of Viareggio, active manifestation for over a century (1873). The large oval arena, which hosts summer concerts and shows (since 2004 the festival in honor of Giorgio Gaber), is surrounded by tall hangars where are manufactured the constructions of papier mache that parade every year on the avenues to the sea during the masked Sunday courses. The Citadel is, at the same time, craftsmanship's place and a place of art and history: the Museum of Contemporary Art Carnevalotto houses since 1987, the eponymous award winning works (including Pomodoro, Cascella, Tilson, Mitoraj, etc...), the Carnival Museum tells the story of the event through images, movies, books and models. For the little ones, but not only, is possible to visit the hangars and take part in creative workshops on the technique of papier mache.
- Address: Via Santa Maria Goretti, Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 53048
- Website: http://viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/
- Opening hours: From October to April : from Thursday to Sunday 16-19 . From May to September : Tuesday to Saturday 17 - 20.Chiuso holidays. The Carnival Museum is open from 09.30 to 11.30 in the mornings of masked courses.
- Notes: The dates of the masked vary each year: in 2014 the shows will be on 16 and 23 February, 2, 4 and 9 March. For those who decide to get to Viareggio during a Sunday carnival, it is advisable to visit the Citadel in the early morning when all the Viareggio people gather to attend the exit from the hangars of the allegorical constructions; the genuine atmosphere and the grandeur of the masks will make this visit unforgettable. To welcome the visitors at the entrance of the Citadel there is "Burlamacco" the official mask designed by Uberto Bonetti in 1930. Location and event perfect for amateur photographers.
Pinete e Villa Borbone
Immersed in the urban of the city there are two large parks: “Le pinete” (the Pinewoods). These green spaces are ideal for a walk, on foot or by bicycle, between the gravel driveways. In summer the pine forest of the west is full of people in search of cool shade in one of the many kiosks that offer drinks, ice cream and watermelon, for the little ones are equipped playgrounds, rides and rentals of bicycles, tricycles and wheelchairs. For those who love wild nature, the pine forest of the east, formerly part of the Borbone estate and northern foothills of the Natural Park of San Rossore, lets delve into the pleasant paths and less frequented by tourists leading to the sea through passages of sand dunes in the typical Mediterranean flora. Along viale dei Tigli that passes for 5 km through the pinewood and connects Viareggio to the locality of Torre del Lago Puccini, there is the villa that Maria Luisa of Borbone built in 1822 as a hunting lodge of the estate. The villa has been recently renovated and is used by the town of Viareggio for exhibitions, conferences , concerts , theatrical performances and weddings.
- Address: Pineta di Ponente: via A. Vespucci - via Marco Polo – via Zara Villa Borbone: viale dei Tigli, Viareggio (LU)
- Website: http://www.villaborbone.net/
- Notes: For those traveling with children, recommended stops in the west pinewood are the "Swan Pond" (with ducks, mallards, swans, ducks and turtles) and a donut snack in the historic "Gatto nero" where the donuts come on the bench brought into the belly of the airship "Pippo".
GAMC – Galleria di arte moderna e contemporanea
The museum, housed on the first floor of the nineteenth-century building Palazzo delle Muse, traditionally nursing home for children suffering from respiratory diseases that were staying in Viareggio in the summer to breathe the sea air, holds a collection of over 3000 works of the twentieth century among which graphics, paintings and sculptures. Among the best-known names Picasso, Mirò, De Chirico, Toulouse Lautrec, Fontana, Pomodoro and the largest collection of the expressionist born in Viareggio Lorenzo Viani. In addition to the permanent exposition, periodically renewed, the gallery hosts temporary exhibition, performances and educational events.
- Address: Palazzo delle Muse, Piazza Mazzini, Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 581118
- Website: http://www.gamc.it/index.php5
- Opening hours: September to June : Tuesday to Sunday 15:30 to 19:30 . July-August : Tuesday to Sunday 18:00 to 11:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
- Price: 3 euro. Full ticket € 3, reduced € 1.50, free for under 14 and over 65.
- Notes: It is recommended that you visit the website to check the schedule of events during the period of interest.
Musei di Villa Paolina
Paolina Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister, loved Viareggio and here had built her residence in 1822, originally lapped by the sea. The villa, restored in its original system with the apartments with frescoes and the rear garden, houses the archaeological museum C. A. Blanc dedicated to the prehistory and early history of Versilia, the Museum of Musical Instruments G. Ciuffreda and exhibition space for temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists, conventions and concerts.
- Address: Via Machiavelli 2, Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 966346
- Website: http://www.viareggiomusei.it/?page_id=78
- Opening hours: September to June: Tuesday to Sunday 15:30 to 19:30. July-August: Tuesday to Sunday 18:00 to 23:00.
- Price: 2 euro. Full ticket € 2.50, reduced € 1.50, free for under 14 and over 65.
- Notes: A curiosity: in 1822 the body of the poet P. B. Shelley drowned off the coast of Viareggio, was found on the beach in front of the villa and here burned in a funeral ceremony in which attended his wife Mary and his friend Lord Byron. For those who love the charm a little retro, the villa and the garden can be obtained from the Municipality of Viareggio as a location for weddings.
Centro Matteucci per l’Arte Moderna
Housed in a charming Art Nouveau villa, finely restored, Matteucci Foundation regularly organizes temporary exhibitions of Italian masters of the italian 1800 and 1900. The context and the shows, result of a careful selection, are a little gem not to be missed for lovers of the genre.
- Address: via Gabriele D'Annunzio 28, Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 430614
- Website: http://www.centromatteucciartemoderna.it/
- Opening hours: Opening hours and ticket costs, which vary according to the exhibition, can be found on the website of the Foundation.
Museo della marineria Alberto Gianni
Housed within the historic fish market now renovated, the museum overlooks the Burlamacca canal and one of the docks that still house moorings and shipyards. The exhibition is centered around the objects telling stories and crafts related to the sea: the material culture of the craft of the shipyards with the carpenters and shipwrights, divers, the life and on-board instruments. The museum hosts occasionally conferences and concerts.
- Address: Via Pescheria, 9 – Lungo canale Est, 23 - Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 391004
- Website: http://www.viareggiomusei.it/?page_id=72
- Opening hours: September to June: Tuesday to Sunday 15:30 to 19:30. July-August: Tuesday to Sunday 18:00 to 23:00. Closed on Mondays.
- Price: 2 euro. Full ticket € 2.50, reduced € 1.50, free for under 14 and over 65.
- Notes: Free guided tours every third Sunday of the month. To check train schedules, consult the website.
Torre del Lago Puccini, casa Giacomo Puccini e marina
Just a 5 km from Viareggio, the locality of Torre del Lago Puccini spreads from the sea to the western shores of Lake Massaciuccoli. Right on the lake, stands the house museum of Giacomo Puccini who wrote here some of his most famous works, the same which are still sung in the homonymous open-air theater, built on the shores of the lake, which hosts every summer Puccini's most famous opera festival in the world. The marine of Torre del Lago provides a wide choice of restaurants, pubs and disco-pubs, which overlook the waterfront close to the pinewood, frequented mainly by young people especially on weekends, are a reference point for the LGBT tourism.
- Address: Viale G. Puccini 266, Torre del Lago Puccini, Viareggio (LU)
- Phone: (+39) 0584 341445
- Website: http://www.puccinifestival.it/
- Opening hours: 10:00 to 12:40 a.m. / 15:00 to 18:20 p.m., closed on Mondays.
- Price: 7 euro. Full ticket 7 €, reduced 3 € for children aged 6 to 13 years; small groups of at least 15 people on request € 6, free for children up to 6 years and members of the “Amici delle case di Puccini”.