The Viareggio Carnival is awaited with the same level of excitement as the beach season. It is a veritable international event with five masked parades every year during which tourists from all over come to admire the papier-mâché floats built during the year by the float builders. The Viareggio Carnival has ancient origins: it began in 1873 when a group of young middle-class people launched the idea of a procession of carriages and masks along the seaside avenue for Mardi Gras. Today the Viareggio Carnival lasts a full month with parties, parades of enormous proportions, masked balls, and much more in a festive atmosphere. The Carnival Citadel, the place where the papier-mâché floats are built, is worth a visit as well as the Carnival Museum.
Exhibitions and Museums
After a brisk walk in the crisp winter air but also in the case of bad weather, a good way to pass the time in Versilia is to visit one of the many museums scattered throughout the area. There is something for all tastes, covering different themes: from history to art, from ancient times to the present day, from the more easy-going to the more challenging. Along with the museums there are also temporary exhibitions, for which you can find an up-to-date list in our Events section (https://www.inversilia.com/eventi/).
Christmas and Nativity Scenes
The Christmas holidays in Versilia are celebrated with decorations, cribs, festivals and shows for both children and adults. The period of Christmas, New Year and the Epiphany is full of reasons to celebrate: there are craft markets in which you can find gifts for friends and relatives, an ice rink and Santa’s Village for children, exhibitions of artistic cribs all over Versilia and New Year’s concerts. Finally the Epiphany with the arrival of the Befana who, accompanied by music, delivers traditional socks filled with sweets to many towns.
In Versilia Winter also brings with it some historical fairs, such as that of San Biagio in Pietrasanta and San Giuseppe in Torre del Lago. The feasts of these patron saints are held respectively on 3-4 February and on 19 March. They are celebrated both as sacred and secular festivals, one with a farmer’s fair and one with market stalls.
Winter at the sea
Going to the beach in the winter has a special charm and if you have ever gone for a walk along one of our docks to breathe in the sea air you will understand what we mean! Even going for a stroll along the shorelines of Viareggio, Lido di Camaiore, Marina di Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi is perfect to breathe a bit of salty air… You will also see many surfers