Viareggio is a delightful surprise for anyone interested in the Liberty style of architecture, which in Italy roughly corresponds to the Art Nouveau period in France.  Many of the buildings along the seafront are in this style, the highlight of which is probably the Margherita Cafe.  Some of the facades need a bit of TLC, but the visitor can easily see how beautiful this resort must have been when Puccini and other notables in the arts were among the summer visitors in the early part of the 20the century.  Puccini, of course, loved this part of Tuscany so much that he built his home on the shores of Torre del Lago, only a few kilometres from Viareggio, where he could indulge his love of hunting and keep his much-loved fast cars.  Visit his home, now a museum, and you can even see the piano where he composed many of his operas, including the unfinished Turandot.  This is a treat not to be missed especially if you also include attendance at one of the opera productions during the Puccini Festival, held in the summer months, in the open air theatre at Torre del Lago, with its stage stretching out on the lake itself.  Highly recommended for lovers of architecture and opera.