Versilia, Italy, with its soft golden beaches and amazing variety of attractions, is the finest and liveliest of all Tuscany beach resorts. Sought-after and beloved by a fashionable crowd of Italians and foreigners, with countless entertainment and visit options, the Versilia coast the perfect destination for the very best Tuscany beach holidays.
Located in northern Tuscany, Versilia stretches from the Cinquale estuary to the Apuan Alps and from the Tyrrhenean sea to lake Massacciucoli, covering about 165 kilometers of soft sandy beaches and mountains as high as 1800 meters above sea level. Being one of Italy’s most desired vacation retreats the whole area offers plentiful accommodation solutions, from exquisite villas to delightful town center apartments, up to all requirements. The coastline includes famous beachfront towns offering fully equipped sandy beaches, charming towns filled with excellent restaurants, classy boutiques and entertainment. Forte dei Marmi, namely “marble fort” was founded in the 16th century to facilitate shipping of the Apuan Alps marble. For over a century it has been one of the main vacation resorts in Italy, popular with royalty, VIPs and wealthy vacationers in general. With its apparently understated lifestyle, orderly promenades and luxurious private villas nestled among tall pine trees, still today il Forte is considered the most fashionable of all Versilian locations with innumerable sports, shopping, dining, entertaining opportunities. While staying at your rental apartment or villa in il Forte don’t miss visiting the weekly (Wednesdays) market, you may find fabulous bargains on designer clothing and accessories! Viareggio, Tuscany’s largest beach town, was “the in place” in the 1920s; characterized by the fascinating art nouveau style buildings which house hotels, cafès and restaurants. Viareggio is known for its Carnival parade, and offers exceptional seafood, state-of-the-art facilities and a chance to relax, savoring the charming old-world scenario and typical Italian seaside lifestyle. The nearby sandy beaches, and villages – Marina di Pietrasanta, Fiumetto, Tonfano, Focette and Motrone – are all extremely family and child-friendly locations: great for bathing and sun bathing, indulging in delicious ice-creams, sunset strolls and mouth-watering fish cuisine. Renting a vacation villa along the Versilian coast allows visitors to explore the charming surroundings, full of local flavor and unexpected surprises. Pietrasanta is an exquisite town, rich in art and history, and is well worth one, or more visits. Its delightfully picturesque Medieval city center is a pleasure to explore, discovering the many marble and bronze workshops which make it a meeting place for sculptors and artists from all around the world Carrara, located in a superb position, right where the mountains meet the sea, is renowned worldwide for the resplendent marble from the nearby quarries, the very one Michelangelo used for his masterpieces! The city itself boasts many splendid examples of art and architecture. While spending a seaside holiday in a Versilian villa a visit to the actual marble quarries is a must, and a memorable experience! The best starting point is the charming fortified village of Colonnata, a little town built by the Romans for the slaves that worked in the quarries. Colonnata offers awe striking views of the surroundings, especially of the so called “ravaneti”, the piles of gleaming white discarded marble which lie on the mountain sides all around. Versilia’s inland features verdant hills dotted by farmhouses, and quaint ancient mountain villages where century-old heritage and traditions live on. The most important are Serravezza, where an entertaining Palio race is held yearly, and Stazzema; both appear like mirages to the traveler’s eye, offering cool breezes, peace and quiet and delicious local specialties. Camaiore, strategically located between the shiny sea and silent, shady mountains, is an ideal holiday retreat offering beaches and many sports and activities such as trekking, naturalistic walks and mountain biking. Typical trattorias offer superb seafood. The town and surroundings of Massarosa, which archeologists have proven to be inhabited since Paleolithic era boasts an amazing landscape studded by lovely 16th and 19th villas, and offers memorable views of the calm Massaciuccoli lake and of the sea. The most renowned among the villas (which, alas, are still privately owned and unfortunately not open to the public) is the neoclassical Villa Baldini where Paolina Bonaparte was kept as a prisoner in 1815. The area also features exquisite parish churches and monasteries. A rental holiday home along the Versilian coast is a superb location for family holidays, and the surroundings boast a magnificent natural reserve in the Massaciuccoli lake area. The actual lake extends over 2000 square kilometers, and boasts a variety of different ecosystems and innumerable species of interesting flora and fauna. The lake and its surroundings are part of the San Rossore-Migliarino natural park, a true paradise for nature lovers, children and sports fans! The Massaciuccoli lake offers countless enticing activities, such as canoeing, boating, guided visits by boat, on foot and by bike as well as bird-watching and special interest excursions. A must-see is Torre del Lago, right on the lake banks, a delightful town made world-famous by its celebrated citizen, Giacomo Puccini. The great composer, creator of the heart-rendering music of Madame Butterfly, Tosca and La Boheme, was born in nearby Lucca but moved here bewitched by the area’s peacefulness. The villa he lived and worked in is open to the public for visits and every summer an enchanted opera festival in his honor takes place in the spellbinding lake-view open-air theatre.