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Viareggio is a seaside resort in the Italian region of Tuscany. The largest part of the beach, however, is privately owned. Only four of the ten kilometers of beach near the city is publicly accessible. Accommodations in Viareggio on the other hand are in general cheaper than in other seaside resorts along this coast.
The city has approximately 65,000 inhabitants.
Viareggio is located in northern Italy on the Ligurian Sea, part of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city isn't only a seaside resort but also a perfect operating base to discover the picturesque towns and the idyllic landscape of Tuscany. Viareggio lies about 40 kilometers from Pisa and almost 100 kilometers from Florence.
Although tourism forms an important part of local economy, it isn't the only source of income. There are shipyards (fishing boats built in Viareggio are of excellent quality) and fishing also still plays a prominent role. There's also large-scale floriculture.
The nearest airport is Pisa Airport, ‘Galileo Galilei’ International Airport. It's situated about 20 kilometers south of the city center and at a half-hour drive by rental car via the Autostrada Azzurro (A12).
Viareggio has good public bus transport. Besides bus lines within the city, there are buses to other places in Tuscany, like Pisa and Florence. The central bus station lies opposite the train station. Train connections are also excellent; Viareggio lies along the line from Rome, via Pisa and La Spezia to Genoa.
Viareggio isn't too big of a city and you'll have no problem finding your way around, once you're used to the Italian driving style. Finding a free parking place in the street in the city center can be a problem, but there are large parking lots near the (public) beaches to park your rental car (drive in the direction of the Forte di Marmi). The city is an excellent operating base for car trips through Tuscany. Via the A11 you quickly reach the inland, but then you'll want to take the country roads to discover the real Tuscany.
Viareggio has excellent hotels and as said in the Introduction: room rates are much lower than in many other seaside resorts. Some hotels have private beaches, where it's quiet, but where you'll miss the Italian life. In the city itself, there are many guesthouses, bed & breakfasts and midrange hotels.
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