Travel and Culture in Tuscany

Viareggio: history

One millenium ago, the territory on which Viareggio lies today was covered by the sea and the hinterland was formed by big and vast marshes...


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HISTORY

The town’s symbol, and also the heart of its history, is the tower called “di Matilde”, built by the Senate of Lucca in 1550.


One millenium ago, the territory on which Viareggio lies today was covered by the sea and the hinterland was formed by big and vast marshes.

In about 1460 the inhabitants of Lucca, after various quarrels with the Pisans, decided to reclaim the marshes around the coast, so that they conquered a secure landing place for both the import and the commerce.

The town’s symbol, and also the heart of its history, is the tower called “di Matilde”, built by the Senate of Lucca in 1550.

Also many men of culture stopped for a time in this area: the poet Percy B. Shelley, Lord Byron, Manzoni, Puccini and D’Annunzio.

In 1601 Viareggio, that was already a township, was declared a “free port”, and, in 1617, it became the chieftown in the Vicaria del Litorale (the coastal vicariate).

The birth of the first bathing establishments dates back to 1823.

We owe it to Maria Luisa di Borbone the building of the Viale dei Tigli route, through which she could reach the centre, leaving from her villa, situated in the East pinewood. In fact, the touristic activity began in Viareggio right in this period.

Also many men of culture stopped for a time in this area: the poet Percy B. Shelley, Lord Byron, Manzoni, Puccini and D’Annunzio.





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