from Lido di Camaiore to San Rossore: Puccini, beaches and pine forests

It is an itinerary to discover the essence of the south coast of Viareggio that will take you to the heart of the San Rossore Park passing through Villa Borbone in Viareggio, the Villa Museo of Giacomo Puccini in Torre del Lago with a stop on the beach of Marina of Vecchiano to greet the sun that plunges into the sea.

It is a journey through history that smells of Mediterranean scrub and sea.

But let’s go step by step… let me introduce you briefly the main steps and leave you the references to be able to check any scheduled visiting hours or events:

The Villa Borbone is located in Viareggio on the Viale dei Tigli, in the centre of the Bourbon estate. The building, surrounded by a large park, was built in the nineteenth century on a project by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini for the Duchess of Lucca, Maria Luisa di Borbone. The villa was never an official residence: it was used first as a hunting lodge, then as a manor house on an agricultural estate and finally as a holiday residence.

On the web site of the Associazione Ville Borbone e Dimore Storiche della Versilia you take make contacts for an organized visit and surely you will find interesting other ideas … site: 

Continuing you will arrive on the shores of the Massaciuccoli Lake at the Villa Museo Puccini which was for years the residence of Giacomo Puccini, the famous composer born in Lucca who had chosen to live on the shores of the Lake, a place he particularly loved for his beauty and tranquillity.

It is a destination for visitors who come from all over the world up to here to immerse themselves in the Puccini atmosphere and to linger in places dear to the Master where time seems to have stopped.

Today it is home to the Villa Puccini Museum, managed by the heirs of the Master and open to the public. In the link you will find the contacts and methods for visiting the Museum: 

the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Park: three thousand hectares covered by marshes, wetlands and forests of poplars, holm oaks and pines.

Where swamps appear almost out of nowhere, swamp birds have their kingdom, such as waders and herons, while in the woods it is easy to encounter deer and wild boar.

The flora of the park includes some rarities such as the Drosera, a small carnivorous plant, and the Greek Periploca, a rare liana, as well as the marsh orchid, while on the dunes the beautiful sand cornflower grows.

The Tenuta di San Rossore is the heart of the park and the largest pine forest in Europe: it was once owned by the President of the Republic and here you can still admire the presidential villa of Gombo.

The Park can be visited with free or guided excursions, even for the little ones, not only on foot but also by bike, aboard a gig, with an ecological train and with the boat. For information: San Rossore visitors center