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Welcome to Viareggio
Viareggio is a small city in northern Tuscany, on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The total population is around 64,000 - small for a city, but large enough to make it the second biggest city within the province of Lucca.
Viareggio’s climate is characterised by high levels of humidity and moderate levels of annual rainfall. During summer months average temperatures regularly reach the high 20s and during winter, average temperatures rarely drop below freezing.
Where to Stay
Due to its relatively small size, deciding which are of Viareggio to stay in shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The city is separated into four distinctive districts, which are referred to as Circoscrizione. The first of the four Circoscrizione is the Torre del lago Puccini, which is a small town with around eleven thousand inhabitants and is located between the Lake of Massaciuccoli and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The beaches of Torre del Lago are well known as being part of a gay-friendly summer resort. The second Circoscrizione is Centro Marco Polo, the third is Darsena/ex Campo d’Aviazione and the third is Viareggio Nuova. Viareggio is an historic city that dates back to the 3rd century BC, and the city’s name is derived from the Latin ‘Via Regis’ (King’s Road). The city centre is full of historic architecture, monuments and attractions for visitors to explore and enjoy while staying in Viareggio.
Things to do
Within Viareggio, there’s lots of things to do and see. The annual Carnival of Viareggio has grown in reputation to become one of the most renowned carnival celebrations in the whole of Europe. The main aspect of the carnival that draws in the public to enjoy the celebrations is the magnificent parade of floats and masks, many of which are made of papier-mâché and depict caricatures of well known people, such as politicians, television stars, sportsmen and women and actors. The parade takes place along Viareggio avenue, which runs adjacent to the local beach. The first carnival parade in Viareggio took place in 1873, and was the brainchild of local middle-class patrons who decided to organise a parade of flower floats. As a reaction to this, a number of local citizens attended the parade wearing masks in protest against the high taxes they had to pay.
Eating and Drinking
The local cuisine of Viareggio is closely related to the region within which it lies - Tuscany. Of all of Italy’s renowned regional cuisines, Tuscan cuisine shines particularly brightly. Delicious and internationally acclaimed, the simplicity of its delicious local specialities may surprise some visitors. Tuscan cuisine is largely based on the concept of ‘cucina povera’ or poor cooking. The idea started quite literally - it was all about making simple yet delicious meals that are both inexpensive and possible to produce in large quantities. This type of food is typically made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that complement the natural flavours of each dish. Regional specialities include ‘crostini di fegato’, which is made of thin slices of toasted bread with chicken liver pate, ‘papa al pomodoro’, a tomato soup, the famous ‘tagliatelle al tartufo’ which is pasta covered in a truffle sauce made with local truffles from the Tuscan hills.
Viareggio benefits from good transport links, making it easy to reach the neighbouring villages and nearby cities of Pisa and Lucca. Viareggio Train Station is located within the city centre and is served each day by 60 train services that operate along the Rome-Pisa-La Spezia-Genoa line, as well as the Florence line and international train services. Tickets can be purchased either online or at the station. In terms of air traffic, Pisa’s Galileo Galilei International Airport is just 20 kilometres to the south of Viareggio’s city center. The second closest airport is Amerigo Vespucci Airport, located 95 kilometres to the east of the city. Built in 1938, the Marina of the Empire was built. The docks were later expanded with the construction of the Marina of Viareggio in the 1970s, the Marina of Madonnina and the new lighthouse. The Marina of Madonnina can house up to 500 boats alone.
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