Versilia

  • VERSILIA COAST

    Viareggio , Forte dei Marmi and…

Welcome to Versilia

Sights in The Versilian Coast

viareggio_carnevale

Cittadella del Carnevale – Viareggio

A couple of kilometres from the seafront is ‘Carnival City’ aka 16 gargantuan hangars which serve as workshops and garage space for the fantastic floats, crafted with a passion by each highly skilled and prized carrista (float-builder) for Viareggio’s annual carnival. Carnevale history and the art of making teste in capo (the giant heads worn in processions) and mascheroni a piedi (big walking masks) is explained in the on-site Museo del Carnevale (Carnival Museum). Ask about its hands-on paper-mâché workshops.

Hours

10am-noon Mon-Fri summer, 10am-noon Mon, Wed & Fri winter

Contact

Location

Via Santa Maria Goretti
Viareggio, Italy
Lido di Camaiore

Lido di Camaiore

Lido di Camaiore is a very famous seaside, with a beautiful long (4 km) sandy beach. This small town stretches between Viareggio and Marina di Pietrasanta, and has promenade (viale Europa) where you can walk, do some shopping in its beautiful shops and boutiques, sit and enjoy a typical meal or have an aperitivo in one of its cool bar and cafès.
The symbol of the Promenade is the new Peer Bellavista Vittoria, inaugurated on 31st may 2008, where you can admire the sea and the coastline, with the Apuane Alps as background.
Lido di Camaiore boasts lots of private bathing establishment, arranged with all comforts, where you can sunbath and relax most of the year…if you desire you can choose the free beach, arranged with sun umbrellas, showers and toilets.
Sport and training is your aim? Here you will find lots of chances: horse riding, riding, running, swimming, surfing, volleyball playing, hiking, walking, trekking…mountains and hills are just next to the coast, and when you desire a rest, the most famous art town are just few kilometres far from here.

The first historical news date back to the beginning of this millenium, when the territory of Lido di Camaiore (the so called “Litus Maris”) and surroundings were battelfields for Pisa and Lucca; although the coast was too swampy to be populated, it was of great interest thanks to its enormous fish reserve.

In 1700 the area was reclaimed and only at the end of 1800 people began settling down in the zone.
The reclaimlready tried in roman age, began in the ‘ 700 and to the the ‘ 800 end of taken people to only settle down themselves in the zone.

At the beginning of 1900, the Municipality built up via del Fortino and viale Colombo, the first hotels and bathing establishments were opened.

The town became more and more famous, especially among the artists, who chose to spend here their holidays and free time: the writer Gabriele D’ Annunzio and the famous actress Eleonora Duse, senator Vittorio Rolandi-Ricci and his hosts the king Vittorio Emanuele III, Giacomo Puccini, Guglielmo Marconi, Benito Mussolini…

The writer Rosso Maria di San Second lived here, and his house still preserves its literary production; the famous painter Galileo Chini, back from Siam,built up a villa in via del Fortino, inspired to Liberty style.

After the second World War Lido di Camaiore experienced the real great boom, becoming one of the favourite touristi destination.

Chiesa di Sant'Agostino

Chiesa di Sant’Agostino

The far end of Piazza del Duomo is dominated by the 13th-century stone hulk of this deconsecrated church. Once dedicated to St Augustine, the Romanesque space hosts seasonal art exhibitions today.

Hours

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Location

Piazza del Duomo
The Versilian Coast, Italy
Camaiore

Camaiore

The history of Camaiore dates back approximately to the 190 a.C. when the Roman, once founded the town of Lucca, decided to build up some fortifications at the feet of the Mount Prana, the so called Lucensis Colony, located in the great plain (Campus Major) from which originates the name Camaiore.

After the fall of the West empire, the territory was exposed to innumerable barbaric invasions, most of which leaded from Goths and Byzantins.
Lucca regained the command of the city with the aid of the Longobards.

Powerful palatine stole the control of Camaiore to Lucca and its people but, around in 1230, the city returned to be under the influence of Lucca and in 1308 became an administrative center.

The city, badly protected, had to endure more dominations and new destructions, like the one caused by German mercenary in 1329.

In 1440 Camaiore fell in the grip of Francesco Sforza and the domination of Florence.

The city was again under Lucca authority in 1470, but in 1620 lost the title of “administrative center” in favor of Viareggio, that thanks to its trades, assumed a greater importance to Lucca.

In 1847, the city became part of the Granducato of Tuscany under Leopoldo II, and in 1860, with the plebiscite, it was annexed to the Reign of Italy.

Museo dei Bozzetti

Museo dei Bozzetti

Inside the convent adjoining Chiesa di Sant’Agostino dozens of moulds of famous sculptures cast or carved in Pietrasanta are showcased by this small museum.

Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi is a sea town in the province of Lucca, in northern Tuscany. It is the birthplace of Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of the Belgians.
The population of the town, amounting to some 7,700, nearly triples during the summer, because of the hundreds of tourist who mainly come from Florence, Milan, Germany, and Russia. Tourism is the principal activity of Forte dei Marmi’s citizens.

In Italian Forte dei Marmi means “Fort of the marbles”. The town takes its name from the fortress that rises in the middle of the main square, built under Grand Duke Peter Leopold, who was to become Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1788. The fortress was built to defend the coast from outer attacks, but in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century it became the place where the marble quarried from the Alpi Apuane (they are the same mountains of the famous marble of Carrara) was stocked before being sent to the pier for shipping.

Chiesa della Misericordia

Chiesa della Misericordia

Squirrelled away on Via Mazzini is this precious chapel. Tucked between shops, the superb Chiesa della Misericordia is frescoed with the Gate of Paradise and Gate of Hell by Fernando Botero (b 1932). Spot the self-portrait of the Columbian artist – who lives in Pietrasanta – in Hell.

Hours

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Location

Via Mazzini 103
The Versilian Coast, Italy
Pietrasanta

Pietrasanta

Pietrasanta is a town on the coast of northern Tuscany in Italy, in the province of Lucca. Pietrasanta is part of Versilia, on the last foothills of the Apuan Alps, about 32 km north of Pisa. The town is located 3 km off the coast (where the frazione of Marina di Pietrasanta is located).
The Pietrasanta Marina, with golden sand and luxorios equipments is considered one of the best beaches of Italy.
Battistero Pietrasanta

Battistero di Pietrasanta

Around the corner from the cathedral on pedestrian Via Garibaldi is this old-world atmospheric baptistry. The pair of baptismal fonts – one originally in the cathedral in the 16th century and the other a hexagonal tub (1389) used two centuries before for full immersion baptisms – form a dramatic ensemble in the tiny candle-lit space.

Hours

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Location

Via Garibaldi 12
The Versilian Coast, Italy

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Seravezza

Seravezza is a town and comune belonging to the Province of Lucca, in northern Tuscany, Italy. It is located in Versilia, close to the Apuan Alps.

Duomo di San Martino

Duomo di San Martino

It is impossible to miss Pietrasanta’s attractive cathedral, dating from 1256, on the central square. Its distinctive 36m-tall, red-brick bell tower is actually unfinished; the red brick was meant to have a marble cladding.

Of the original structure, the great apse with its tall columnar arcades and the fine campanile remain. The nave and transepts of the cathedral were rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 14th century, while the west front was begun in 1204 by Guido Bigarelli of Como, and consists of a vast portico of three magnificent arches, and above them three ranges of open galleries adorned with sculptures.

Labyrinth on the portico of the cathedral

In the nave a small octagonal temple or chapel shrine contains the most precious relic in Lucca, the Holy Face of Lucca (Italian: Volto Santo di Lucca) or Sacred Countenance. This cedar-wood crucifix and image of Christ, according to the legend, was carved by his contemporary Nicodemus, and miraculously conveyed to Lucca in 782. Christ is clothed in the colobium, a long sleeveless garment. The chapel was built in 1484 by Matteo Civitali, the most famous Luccan sculptor of the early Renaissance.

The tomb of Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia of Siena, the earliest of his extant works was commissioned by her husband, the lord of Lucca, Paolo Guinigi, in 1406.

Additionally the cathedral contains Domenico Ghirlandaio‘s Madonna and Child with Saints Peter, Clement, Paul and Sebastian; Federico Zuccari‘s Adoration of the Magi, Jacopo Tintoretto‘s Last Supper, and finally Fra Bartolomeo‘s Madonna and Child (1509).

There is a legend to explain why all the columns of the façade are different. According to the tale, when they were going to decorate it, the inhabitants of Lucca announced a contest for the best column. Every artist made a column, but then the inhabitants of Lucca decided to take them all, without paying the artists and used all the columns.

Hours

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Location

Piazza del Duomo
The Versilian Coast, Italy

Stazzema

Stazzema is a municipality in Lucca in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 80 km northwest of Florence and about 25 km northwest of Lucca.
 
During World War II, the village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema was the site of a massacre of civil population by German SS soldiers (August 12, 1944). More than 500 people were killed. The city received the Gold Medal for Military Valour after the war.

Stazzema is composed of 17 hamlets (frazioni):

Arni, Cardoso, Farnocchia, Gallena, La Culla, Levigliani, Mulina, Palagnana, Pomezzana, Pontestazzemese, Pruno, Retignano, Ruosina, Sant’Anna, Stazzema, Terrinca, and Volegno. Despite municipal name, the town hall is not located in Stazzema, but in the nearby hamlet of Pontestazzemese.

 
Pietrasanta-via_Garibaldi

Via Garibaldi

This quaint pedestrian strip is peppered with chic fashion boutiques and stylish art galleries. Highlights guaranteed to tempt include fashion designer Paolo Milani, whose studio is a riot of bold vibrant prints and a wild mix of textures covering the whole sombre-to-sequin-sparkly spectrum; multibrand fashion queen and trendsetter Zoe; vintage furniture design boutique Lei; and concept store Dada.

Viareggio

Viareggio

Viareggio is a city located in northern Tuscany, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With a population of over 64,000 it is the main centre of the northern Tuscan Riviera known as Versilia, and the second largest city within the Province of Lucca.
It is known as a seaside resort as well as being the home of the famous Carnival of Viareggio (dating back to 1873), and its papier-mâché floats, which (since 1925), parade along the promenade known as “Passeggiata a mare”, in the weeks preceding Easter. The symbol of the carnival of Viareggio and its official mask is Burlamacco, designed and invented by Uberto Bonetti in 1930.
The city traces its roots back to the first half of the 16th century when it became the only gate to the sea for the Republic of Lucca. The oldest building in Viareggio, known as Torre Matilde, dates back to this time and was built by the Lucchesi in 1541 as a defensive fortification to fight the constant manace of corsair incursions.
Viareggio is also an active industrial and manufacturing centre; its shipbuilding industry has long been renowned around the world and its fishing and floricultural industries are still fundamental sectors to the city’s economy.
Viareggio hosts the Premio letterario Viareggio Répaci for literature, established in 1929. Amongst the other events organized around the year, it is worth mentioning the Festival Gaber, which has been held every August since 2004 to celebrate the memory of Giorgio Gaber, and is attended by several high-profile Italian musicians.
Via della Rocca

Via della Rocca

Next to Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, a steep path known as Via della Rocca leads up to what remains of Piatrasanta’s ancient fortifications. The crenallated city walls date to the early 1300s and what remains of Palazzo Guinigi was built as a residence for signore of Lucca Paolo Guinigi in 1408. Views of the city and deep blue Mediterranean beyond are predictably worth the short climb.

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Food & Drink

Food & Drink in Versilia,Tuscany

Pivot Bistrot di Mare | Tuscan Italian Seafood Mediterranean European

Laltrolato | Tuscan Italian Seafood Mediterranean

Bar Trattoria Nostromo | Seafood Soups Italian Mediterranean

Nitens | Italian Seafood Mediterranean

Ristorante Amaro BraceriaItalian Seafood Mediterranean Barbecue

Olive a cena | Tuscan Italian Seafood Mediterranean European Vegan Options

AdoneItalian Fast food Vegetarian Friendly

Trattoria Fronte del Porto | Seafood Italian

Pizzeria il Piccolo Flaminio | Pizza

Beach Restaurant FloridaItalian Pizza Seafood Mediterranean European

Osteria Pazza IdeaItalian Seafood Mediterranean

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