The Area

Geography

The entire area of Viareggio extends over the coastal flooding plain of Versilia. Located on the Ligurian Sea (although traditionally considered to face the Tyrrhenian Sea), it has 10 km (6.2 mi) of golden sandy beaches, of which 6 km (3.7 mi) are managed by private beach resorts and the remaining 4 km (2.5 mi) are public (most of the public beach is part of the Parco Naturale Regionale Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli).

Climate

The climate is characterised by high levels of humidity (between 60 and 80% of relative humidity in the summer months) and a yearly rainfall off 900 to 1,000 millimetres (35–39 in) as a result of the proximity of the Apuanian Alps to the coast. The main winds are those blowing from South-East, the Libeccio and the Ponente which batter the coast for two to three days in a row and cause severe storms.

Average temperature: 15.0 °C (59.0 °F)
Average high-temperature: 19.2 °C (66.6 °F)
Average low-temperature: 11.0 °C (51.8 °F)
Climatic classification: zone D, 1416 GR/G
Atmospheric diffusivity: low, Ibimet CNR 2002

Infrastructures

Viareggio is well connected to Tuscany’s inland as well as the rest of Italy. It can be reached by car, from the A11 (Firenze-Mare) motorway, via the A11/”Bretella” Lucca-Viareggio link road or A12 (Genoa-Rosignano) motorway.
Viareggio railway station is located near the city centre, with 60 daily trains running along the Rome–Pisa–La Spezia–Genoa line, and the line to Florence, as well as international trains. The nearest airport is Pisa’s “Galileo Galilei” international airport, just 20 km (12 mi) south of Viareggio’s city centre. Florence’s “Amerigo Vespucci” airport is 95 km (59 mi) to the east.

Economy

The primary sectors of Vieraggio’s economy after tourism, commerce and services, include fishing and floriculture (the flowers of Versilia). The city also houses prolific shipyards. At the beginning of the 19th century the craftsmen from Viareggio used to build small fishing vessels along the banks of the Burlamacca canal. As the century moved on, however, this small shipbuilding activity prospered until it became an internationally acclaimed centre. Nowadays, this is a very important sector the city and the neighbouring communities.