When you think to Tuscany your mind goes immediately to the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia or to the medieval towns and Renaissance cities. But Tuscany has also more than 400 km (250 miles) of coast from Versilia to the Argentario and many opportunities for sea lovers. Find the best beach is not easy because everyone has its own preferences and needs.
The water is clean mostly everywhere and in many places its color is deep blue.
Depending on what you like the most, you can choose between romantic bays and rocky beaches or wide sandy beaches, wild solitary beaches or equipped beach establishments, dog beaches, naturist beaches, beaches for younger or for families with kids.
If you are thinking of spending your summer holidays or just a couple of days at the beach in Tuscany, have a read to this useful guide with the main beaches.
If you favor facilities and comfort of a bath establishments and a vast choice of hotels, restaurants and bar, your place is Northern Tuscany.
The Apuan Coast, Versilia and Viareggio
The northern part of coast with the Apuan Alps as backdrop has a wide and long beach that goes from Marina di Carrara to Torre del Lago Puccini. In this area you can find hundreds of bath establishments, so if you like facilities as sun beds, umbrellas, hot showers, changing rooms and bars you are in the right place.
Relaxing area at the beach club.
Changing room keys.
Swimming pool at the beach club.
The water is clean and clear even if, due to strong currents and the crowds it looks a bit murky, in July and August.
As award for high environmental standards and quality of tourist services, many towns received the blue flag by the FEE, the foundation for Enviromental Education.
Years ago, especially during 60’s, Versilia was famous as one of the best place in Tuscany and Italy for summer holidays and for its glamorous nightlife. Its history date back to the end of 1800 when international aristocracy, diplomacy and business men chose Versilia as destination of their holidays. Even a 22 yo John Fitzgerald Kennedy came to Versilia at the time when one of his fiancée was studying in Florence.
Other International stars as Edith Piaf, Paul Anka and Ray Charles came to Versilia for concerts and shows.
Today is not as famous as in the past but few towns still attract tourists looking for fun and comforts.
In my opinion the beauty of this area is also the proximity to the mountains. Directly from the beach or while you are having a bath, you can admire the high mountains and the marble quarries.
Sunset in Versilia and Apuan Coast.
Colored sun umbrella and beach chairs on a sunny day in Versilia.
Burlamacco, the symbol of Carnival of Viareggio at the beach.
The Main Beach towns of Apuan Coast and Versilia
Marina di Carrara is the coastal suburb of the city of Carrara, famous for all over the world for its white marble, that also Michelangelo chose to create the “Pietà”. It has the blue flag, well equip bath establishments and a nice touristic harbor where, in the morning, you met fishermen selling fish they’ve just caught.
The luxury glam Forte dei Marmi has an elegant city center famous for its boutiques, exclusive and expensive beach clubs, restaurants, bars and five stars hotels.
Pietrasanta, the little Athens of Italy, attracts tourists and artists from all over the world for its marble and bronze workshops and art exhibitions.
Marina di Pietrasanta and Lido di Camaiore have nightclubs and bars for an Aperitivo along the beach at sunset.
Viareggio, the biggest town of the area known also for the Carnival, hold each February, with the long and quiet promenade along the beach, full of bath establishments, shops, small restaurants, liberty style buildings.
Torre del Lago Puccini, in the municipality of Viareggio, known as birth land of the world famous composer Giacomo Puccini and for its open air opera theatre that each summer hold the famous lyric Puccini festival. It is also known to have become an european gay vacation destination thanks to the beauty of the beach, to well equip bath establishments, restaurants and a lively nightlife.
Path to reach the beach.
Lecciona free beach.
Massaciuccoli Lake in Torre del Lago Puccini.
The main free beach of Versilia is set between Viareggio and Torre del Lago Puccini, the wild beach of Lecciona. It is part of the natural park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli. There are no establishments here and you have to walk at least 10/15 minutes through the pinewood and sand dunes of the park to reach it. It is wide and long, never packed, ideal to relax yourself away from the crowd.
Marina di Massa marble sculpture.
Jetty in Marina di Pietrasanta.
People surfing in Versilia.
Finally, Versilia is also known to be one of the best spot in Italy for surfing. Along the jetty of Marina di Massa, Forte dei Marmi and Marina di Pietrasanta is easy to find people in the water waiting for the best wave to surf.
- the part II describing the rocky and pebbled beaches of the Etruscan Coast.
- the part III with the wild beaches of Southern Maremma.
- the article “the treasure Islands of Tuscany” if you wish to know more about the Tuscan archipelago.