Versilia - Tuscany Coast Beach Country - Map and Information
Mediterranean Beaches, Lakes, and Puccini
You've thought a lot about your Tuscan vacation, but maybe you didn't know about Tuscany's fine beaches. In the area of northern Tuscany called Versilia, there is a line of beaches extending from the Bocca di Magra almost to the Arno that Italians flock to in Summer. These Tuscan beaches are characterized by clean water (certified blue flag beaches), interesting villages, and a background of the Apuan Alps, known for its famous marble production.
Versilia Map ©2006 by James Martin, Europe for Visitors, licensed to About
Versilia Highlights - Beaches and Beach Cities
Marina di Carrara - Below the marble producing city of Carrara, Marina di Carrara is a modern seaside resort with a soft sandy beach stretching between water and pines. Take a tour of quarries and marble museum in the morning, bathe later.
Marina di Massa - Besides the Beach, lots of cultural activity. Marina di Massa organizes a farewell ceremony for the tourists at the end of the season, culminating in fireworks.
Ronchi (and Poveromo) Since 1988 the International Prize “San Domenichino” honors the saint of Saragozza, and has been transformed in an international Literary Prize that attracts the artsy types. Smaller beaches, lots of villas.
Forte dei Marmi - Literally "Marble Fort," Santa Maria beach at Forte dei Marmi has been named one of the worlds top ten topless beaches by Forbes. Forte dei Marmi is famous for its weekly and stylish clothing market. Read more: Forte dei Marmi.
Marina di Pietrasanta features a sandy beach stretching for about 5 kilometers. The town of Pietrasanta is interesting to visit as well - see Pietrasanta Travel Guide.
Viareggio is one of the most famous resorts in the Versilia and the largest beach town in Tuscany. It's famous for the Carnevale di Viareggio, which attracts a million visitors every February, and Liberty-style architecture. Lots of seaside restaurants, summer nightlife, and shopping here. Read more: Viareggio Travel Guide and Top Rated Viareggio Hotels
Torre di Lago Puccini holds a summer Puccini festival with operas, concerts, and ballets performed in an open-air theater by the lake. The lake itself is a peaceful vacation spot and Marina di Torre del Lago on the sea has a top gay beach. Read more: Torre del Lago Travel Guide. Photos: Torre del Lago Puccini Pictures on Europe Travel
For more on Versilia's attractions, see Versilia - Tuscany Coast - Beaches in Tuscany.
Where to Stay on the Versilia Coast
You can find hotels with guest reviews and ratings on our affiliate Venere.com for beaches and inland cities and towns in Versilia.
A Word on Italian Beaches
If you are used to the wild and free beaches of California, you may be dismayed that many of Italy's best beaches are commercial, like the one over there on the left in Viareggio. The deal is, you rent a place on the beach for a while from one of the bagni, which includes a chair and sometimes an umbrella (often extra). You get the use of changing rooms and sometimes a locker for your street clothes. There is usually a free section of beach, and according to Kyle Phillips, in an Overview of Tuscan Beaches, "though bagni can keep you from spreading your towel between their umbrellas, they cannot deny you access to the swash zone (where the waves run up) – in other words, you can walk by the commercial establishments on the way to the free beach, which every town has.
For more on the Italian bathing ritual, see Pauline Kenny's excellent Swimming in Italy.
Other Interesting Places on the Versilia Map
We love the interesting little Ligurian city of Sarzana--lots of good restaurants, gelato, and an evening passeggiata. Lerici is a charming village on the coast. Wander picturesque PortovenereCinque Terre.