Known as the Versilian coast, this long stretch of coastline, punctuated by pretty coastal resorts with the Apuan Alps as a backdrop, is a chic beach holiday destination. The stylish resorts of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi, with their golden sandy beaches are sure to delight, whereas the nearby towns of Lucca, Pisa and the city of Florence provide the perfect opportunity for a day out.
If you haven't already seen it, make time to visit the famous leaning tower of Pisa, as you are so close by.
Food & Drink
As you might expect along the coast, fish makes a frequent appearance on the menus in Versilia. The local catch can be sea bass, red mullet or lovely langoustines, all are equally delicious, and the Ristorante Romano in Viareggio is considered to be one of the best fish and seafood restaurants in the area. The richer, rustic food of Tuscany also makes an appearance on menus; the hefty bistecca alla fiorentina is sure to satisfy even the largest of appetites.
There are many good wines to choose from, and the most notable include the famous wines of central Italy, such as the crisp and dry verdicchio, a white wine that is a good accompaniment to fish, and of course the excellent chianti classico. The strong espresso is consumed widely throughout Italy, though the milky cappuccino with a sweet dessert, or an ice cream, is a pleasant end to the meal.
The famous promenade in Viareggio is filled with elegant boutiques and department stores, whilst the smaller streets in the town away from the coast are packed with smaller individual shops full of attractive souvenirs and gifts. It will come as no surprise that the tree-lined avenues and the promenade of Forte dei Marmi reveal an array of glamorous shops in which you will find the creations of some of Italy's most celebrated fashion designers.
Things to do
Spend an afternoon in the heart of the Tuscan countryside amongst the vineyards where the famous chianti wine is produced. There are many vineyards, cellars and plentiful opportunitues for wine tasting.
Venture inland to visit some of Tuscany's enchanting hilltop towns. San Gimignano with its many towers is well worth a visit, then travel on to nearby Siena, one of the highlights of this region and home to the famous Palio horserace.
In the summer months, July and August, the Tuscan Riviera is home to one of Italy's great events, the Puccini Opera Festival. Head down to the open-air theatre at Torre del Lago, just south of Viareggio where you can enjoy a unique opera performance.
From the coast the Renaissance city of Florence is easily accessible for a day trip. Take in the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge, visit the Uffizi gallery and marvel at the huge Duomo which dominates the city.
Cooking in Tuscany
Spend a half day learning how to make some of the most famous and tasty Tuscan dishes with an expert cook to guide you and go home with some of the gastronomic secrets of this region. Take time at the end to sit down and sample you dishes, accompanied by a glass of wine.
Adults from £109, minimum 2 adults.