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“My favourite country” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Viareggio

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Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 helpful votes
“My favourite country”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2007

I love Italy and have been there about 10 times now but this was my first visit to Tuscany. It's a lovely place to base yourself as it is easy to get to Pisa, Florence, Lucca by train or bus. The flight to Pisa only took 1 hr 40 mins and it's only about 15 mins by train to Viareggio.
The town itself isn't full of souvenir shops, in fact most of the shops along the promenade (where the locals do the passeggiata) are of the designer variety - a bit pricey for most. However I picked up some good bargains at the local market on a Thursday. There are some nice pine woods behind the main row of hotels where cycling is popular, bicycles are cheap to hire and it's very flat so easy to get to the other end of the town or the next town. I only ate in the hotel so can't comment on restaurants but there is a huge choice along the promenade.
The beaches are all private but I got a chit from my hotel, it was clean, the sea was warm and quite shallow.
I will definitely go back, even if only to use as a base to explore the rest of Tuscany.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, UK
Level Contributor
538 reviews
488 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2007

We stopped at the Hotel Astor in Viareggio for twelve nights in September 2007. We flew by Ryanair from Nottingham East Midlands Airport. We enjoyed 10 clear and hot days (27 to 29 degrees) but 2 stormy days with thunderstorms and heavy showers. Viareggio is a pleasant unpretentious seaside resort with the town all behind a long promenade (about 2 miles) and extending south and north to linked resorts. There is a range of stunning mountains behind and views all the way north to La Spezcia. The town has a daily market and a special market on Thursday morning along the promenade. Shops in the town are generally small and meant for the local population. The promenade has a host of restaurants, pizzerias, gelaterias and ‘boutique’ shops. We found the restaurants of good quality, reasonably priced but with slightly limited menus. There is a large ‘pleasure’ harbour with a large number of stunning yachts and ship builders. There is a station, bus station and a central park with some children’s amusements. By the end of our second week many of the ‘tourist’ facilities were closing down for the winter. Viareggio has no ‘tourist attractions’ in itself but has good bus and rail connections to the north, Lucca, Pisa and Florence. Pisa is easy to explore on foot but its only real attraction is the Leaning Tower – a must – a timed visit (usually 2 hours later than the booking time) to the top of the Tower is well worth 15 euros. The piazza is very busy with too many souvenir traders. The Tourist Bus (from the Station and the Piazza di Miracoli is of limited value (45 minute circuit for 20 euros). Florence is heaving with Tourists - the Cathedral is splendid, the jewellers on the Ponte Vecchio are top price, the tourist bus (two lines) can be picked up at the Station and is 20 euros for an hour and a half and goes up the hills on both banks of the Arno – well worth it. Lucca was splendid – the town walls can be walked in an hour and the centre of the town is very attractive – visit the Torre Guingi (3 euros) for a great view. Livorno is very much a working port (little of general interest) and Forte dei Marmi is a bit of a waste of time on a rainy day.
You can also get a train from Viareggio to Milan, Genoa and Rome (with changes). Travel is inexpensive (2.8 euros by train to Pisa (20 minutes) – 3 an hour) and 8 euros to Florence (2 hours) – 1 train an hour. Taxi to the Airport is 70 euros (30 minutes), so either go by train (there is a station at the Airport) or by Bus (4 euros – 1 hour). Buses are inexpensive and relatively frequent. The Airport at Pisa is small and a bit crowded – allow the maximum you can to get through the security checks – don’t count on time for Duty Free!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter UK
2 reviews
14 helpful votes
“Viareggio great beach holiday.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2007

We visited Viareggio in July 2007 for 3 weeks with our 2 teenage sons. We stayed in an apartment near the central pine woods. The town is a great place for a simple beach based holiday; we invested in a Bagno (Derna) for 3 weeks and it was well worthwhile. We had a umbrella various sun beds, deck chairs and a beach cabin for 440 Euro. Be aware there is almost NO public beach in viareggio it is all bathing establishments.

Our sons regulary ran through the town south to the pine woods where they saw foxes and wild boar.

The food is Viareggio is almost always excellent, wonderful ice creams and pasta. Not to be missed is the nightly passeggieta along the "front" - the whole town seems to turn out until 1am.

We also visited Lucca a few times, mainly to take in the music festival which has really quite big stars (George Michael this year). Florence also has an excellent festival with somebig names.

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North West England
Level Contributor
56 reviews
81 helpful votes
“Confused place”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2007

Being a lover of 'italian' Italy I found Viareggio somewhat disappointing. It could have been almost anywhere in th world. Don't get me wrong there was nothing wrong with the place apart from the fact that it didn't feel like I was in Italy. Masses of beachfront, plenty of bathing establishments, not volcanic sand and not steep watersedge. Although it could do with a few more good quality restaurants.
It is well located if you want to combine sun-bathing days with cultural trip days, Pisa, Florence, Lucca are within easy reach from the station if you don't want to hire a car.
What it lacks in atmosphere it compensates with people watching opportunities. It seems it is a place to be seen - the evening ritual of promenading along the lungomare window shopping in the designer shops is worth watching.

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A TripAdvisor Member
“Bella Sole”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2005

Viareggio is a seaside town located in the beautiful country of Italy. Photographs do not even compare to the actual beauty of the beaches and surrounding areas. It has the most beautiful sunsets one could ever imagine. There are wooded areas with trails for biking. Outdoor markets with tremendous bargains. The people are so friendly and helpful in every way possible. This town is definitely one to visit. Especially if you enjoy the rays of the sun. The hotels and restaurants are all located on the seaside. Nightlife in Viareggio is full of fun. Please do visit Viareggio, Italy.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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