Best Seaside Towns of Tuscany
Best Seaside Towns of Tuscany
Tuscany - More than just country side and trees!
Viareggio, situated in northern Tuscany. It's home to one of the biggest carnivals in Italy. The famous Viareggio Carnival dates to 1873; its papier-mâché floats parade along the promenade in the weeks before Easter. During this period, the city is abuzz and local residents decorate their streets and houses for Carnival, making the city even more colourful.
Viareggio has a wonderful 3km promenade along the sea. This promenade, known as passeggiata, boasts buildings that are Art Nouveau masterpieces, buildings such as the Savoy Cinema, dating to 1925, the emporium Duilio 48, the most important Liberty building and the Gran Caffè Margherita, the symbol of the town. At the beginning of the promenade there is a stretch of land called the molo (pier), where you can enjoy the view of the Marina, the lighthouse and the boats anchored in the harbour.
The oldest building in Viareggio is the Torre Matilde, which dates back to the first half of the 16th century. It was a defensive fortification to fight the constant menace of pirate invasions against the Republic of Lucca.
Livorno is an Italian port city on the west coast of Tuscany. It's known for its seafood, Renaissance-era fortifications and modern harbour. Its central Terrazza Mascagni, a waterside promenade with checkerboard paving, is the city's main gathering place. You can visit the aquarium or do some shopping at the American market.
You can also rent a bike, a Segway or some roller-skates, and cover the distance from the Terrazza Mascagni to Antignano, all along the coast. You can visit the Old Fortress and the Venice neighbourhood, or maybe take a boat to get a different perspective of the town and then visit the Central Market.
Portoferraio is usually the first town you see when arriving on Elba Island and is the largest town of Elba. Cosimo I de' Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, founded the town in 1548 and built three forts (Forte Stella, Forte Falcone and Forte Inglese) and a massive line of walls that can still be seen today in order to protect this town with provided with a very strategic position. In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled there and the two villas that were his residence, San Martino and the Villa dei Mulini, are still present and accessible. It was thanks to the reign of the French emperor that the infrastructure and the exploitation of the iron mines of Rio Marina developed in Portoferraio.
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia is located in southern Tuscany, in the Grosseto area called Maremma. The town is an ancient fishing village and today a lively place where you can taste the real Tuscan way of living. The lower town consists mostly of rocky and sandy beaches, but also of many cafes, restaurants.
The upper town is built on a hill facing the sea. You can take a stairway from the lower town and reach the city walls that still preserve the three entrance gates called San Giovanni, Madonna del Giglio and del Castello Gates. There is also a castle, whose original building dates to the tenth century.
Orbetello is in the province of Grosseto. It is located about 35 kilometres south of Grosseto, on the eponymous lagoon, which is home to an important Natural Reserve. Orbetello is linked to Monte Argentario by a road built on an artificial embankment, which divided the lagoon into two parts, “Laguna di Levante” and “Laguna di Ponente”, known respectively as Tombolo della Feniglia and Tombolo della Giannella.
Orbetello is known for its lagoon and for the variety of animals like the pink flamingo. You can walk along the Corso as far as Piazza del Plebiscito, home to the town hall, and continue until you reach Piazza Garibaldi, with the Spanish Governor's Palace (XVII century). There is also the little church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Piazza IV Novembre, where you can admire a fifth-century fresco of the Sienese school.