This campsite was lovely because the pitches were grass, they had a bar and restaurant which were both open and it was near enough to walk to the beach and town.
After we set the motorhome up (which only really takes minutes as we usually dump our wastewater and fill up with fresh water before we leave a campsite) we took a walk to the beach which was 800 metres from the site. It was a really lovely walk down a shady footpath through a large pinewood park. It’s a shame we didn’t get the bikes out as the flat dedicated cycle path would have been ideal. At the end of the path were a couple of restaurants and miles and miles of sandy beaches and sand dunes.
The following day we walked into Viareggio which was about a 1.5 km walk. After looking at the very large and expensive boats in the busy marina we walked along the Burlamacca canal and crossed the lifting bridge connecting the port to the other side. The fishermen come up this canal every morning with their daily catch where you can buy your fish fresh from the boats.
We then walked along the pier before walking into the main town. As we approached the bridge from the marina we saw a boat moored up and a very long queue. As we got nearer we could see that they were selling fish and chips to take away from the boat. I must admit we quite fancied some fish and chips for lunch, they smelt lovely but no way did we want to waste time in the queue.
The 25th of April is a public holiday in Italy so it seemed as if everyone was out for the day enjoying the sun. We haven’t seen so many people in a resort since we have been on our trip because it is still so early in the year. We stopped off for lunch and a glass of wine and generally soaked up the lively, bustling atmosphere before browsing the unusual shops and large market.
Viareggio is a popular up-market seaside resort in Tuscany. One side is the sandy beach which stretches for more than 20km. The other side is lined with hotels. There are lots of privately owned sandy beaches where you can pay to go into the area and get a lounger and umbrella and use the facilities which include a small café/bar, changing rooms and showers.
There are vast expanses of public areas on the beach, which on this particular day was absolutely crowded with lots of young Italian people and families kicking a ball around on the beach or sat around chatting in small groups.
The large 3 km promenade running alongside the beach is lined with an amazing array of liberty style buildings housing shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and art galleries. (probably why it is so popular with the youngsters).
In the evening the Italians like to dress up and walk up and down the promenade, this is the traditional ‘passeggiata’ (meaning walk or stroll).
The town centre is quite modern as most of the historic buildings in Viareggio were unfortunately destroyed during World War II.
Places nearby that we didn’t visit but will do next time are Florence (an hour’s drive away), the walled city of Lucca, the little historic port of Leric and Pisa with its leaning tower (40 mins drive).