What a treat this turned out to be! Viareggio is just over an hour away from Prato by train. (Except yesterday, when we were delayed by 30 minutes.) That was fine, there were interesting towns to be seen as we made our leisurely way.
The city, which is part of the Versilia Riviera, is tucked in between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apuan Alps which gives it a most appealing setting.
The day was warm and sunny, the people I met were friendly and helpful. In a pedestrian only street, a market with tempting fresh produce was in my path toward the beach.
The water was so blue, but a bit cool on this spring day.
The sky and the mountains reflected the blue of the sea.
This fellow is the symbol of the Viareggio Carnevale.
Two local policewomen directed me to the Villa Argentina, which is a lovely example of the Arte Nouveau (or Liberty) architecture. On the way, I passed a large public park. This peppy dog had scented something very interesting in the grass.
For those who are Irish, there’s a craik coming soon.
The villa is a beauty and there is free access to the first 2 floors and the terrace.
This slide presentation shows just some of the lovely architectural features to be seen. (I like Arte Nouveau, do you?)
On the ground floor, there is a glittering ball room.
This is comprehensively described in Francis’s excellent post: tiger-hunting-in-viareggios-most-exquisite-art-nouveau-villa