Beaches of Tuscany: Viareggio, Italy

If you’re in Tuscany and looking for a beach to visit on a day trip – most people will tell you that Viareggio is one of the best places to go.

It makes sense – it’s very easy to get to if you’re coming from most places like Florence or Pisa, and the view is beautiful – blue ocean, warm sun, a backdrop of snowy mountains, and adorable bars and shops all along the coastline. That’s not to say Viareggio doesn’t have its downfalls.

Visiting Viareggio on a Day Trip, Pros and Cons:

Pro: That gorgeous view I mentioned.  You won’t regret seeing the deep blue ocean with the snow topped mountains behind it – it belongs on a postcard.


The very empty paid beach space

Con: You can’t actually go on 99% of the shoreline unless you are staying at a hotel or want to pay €15 per person (just to hang out by the water for a couple of hours). This was NOT the case at any other beach town I went to in Italy. Yes, there are some areas reserved for hotel guests, but not 99% of the beach. What was left for the general public was tiny area, separated by a hideous metal fence from all the beautiful empty “paid” beach space. As you can imagine there were about 20 times the people, I’m not exaggerating, in this tiny fenced off area as there was on the rest of the HUGE beach stretch – which was nearly empty.


The ocean is our happy place

Pro: If you want to shop, there are plenty of places to do so – both designer and lower end brands in clothing, jewelry, accessories and more. You could find great stuff and find it very easily.

Con: The food was not good. This is a vacation spot for Italians and non-Italians alike, but unlike the other seaside towns I’ve been to in Italy, you find quite a few burger/fast food joints. Even when you do manage to go into a restaurant that does not serve fast food, the food quality is just not great – none of the people I was with enjoyed any of their meals (a very unusual feat in Italy). I mean, any touristy area commonly has the cheaply made, generic, overpriced food, but this stood out to me here more than anywhere else.

Tip: If you are getting food in Viareggio stick with seafood – that is what the town is well known for. If you’re not a big fan of sea food, like me, you’re outta luck. I also heard the hotels had good food, but again, I was only there on a day trip.


One thing is for sure – this place is made for beautiful pictures

Pro: It really is the quickest and easiest beach to get to if you’re in Florence, as long as you don’t mind spending extra money for nice beach space you’ll have a really great time.

Tip: Obviously if you have more than one day you should go to Cinque Terre for a beautiful beach experience! Or to Moneglia, which was one of my personal favorites.

P.S. the sun in Italy is no joke and wrinkles and sun spots are not worth it. If you want an all over glow with no damage check out my favorite self-tanner.

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