A bright sea on one side, mountains white with snow or marble on the other side: this is Viareggio, the pearl of the historical region called Versilia, a town with a beautiful, 3 kms long promenade, richly adorned by art nouveau buildings and with a shining night life. The culture of tourism always went hand-in-hand with a rich artistic life in Viareggio, the best examples are the Musei Civici di Villa Paolina and the splendid art nouveau and art deco buildings everywhere in the city.
But Viareggio means Carnival, above all. It’s the “Carnevale di Viareggio”, four weeks of real madness, when tourists from all parts of Italy, and not only Italy, come to admire the “allegoric chariots” (huge trucks with papier-mâchè statues on them) as they parade through town among the general rejoicings. These funny triumphal carriages are hand-made in an old, traditional way, but they are contemporary too, making fun of political events and characters. After laughing about home and foreign politics, the Carnival crowd goes on through all the districts in town and then to the harbour: every weekend in turn, one of the four district hosts dances, musical events and balli in maschera – fancy-dress dances. (Cars are not allowed in the Carnival streets.)
During the last hundred years, Forte dei Marmi became renowned as a touristic resort all over the world. The original environment was slowly and successfully transformed into a harmonious complex with wonderful gardens and luxuriant lanes and flower beds among the great villas, preserving its relationship with nature intact by avoiding its autonomous prevalence, but also respecting it and giving it a human dimension.
Forte dei Marmi is above all the showcase for VIPs and celebrities of the Versilia, a perfect place for lovers of high life and fashion. The downtown is rich with high-class shops and boutiques, attracting tourists no less than the most famous “art cities” as Firenze, Pisa, Siena and Arezzo.
Starting from Forte dei Marmi the guest can discover more architectural, historical and cultural testimonies, such as the enchanting villages in the valleys or perched on the many hills nearby, and visit the fascinating old mountain pastures in the Alpi Apuane. From mountain climbing to sailing, in Versilia you have the possibility of choosing your favourite sport with almost no exception. The Alpi Apuane offer many interesting trails and routes for both lovers of traditional mountaineering and free climbers. Excursionists can find beautiful trails during all seasons, with all degrees of difficulty.