Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, moved to Torre del Lago and never hid his love for the region he called home. He was fascinated by this rustic world, the ideal place to cultivate his artistic passion and production. Versilia was the maestro’s refuge.
For this reason, we suggest the “Puccini” tour that travels back through the most important places for this great Tuscan composer.
The tour starts from any point along the “Fausto Coppi” cycle track that goes the whole way along the Viareggio seafront. Then, we follow it back southwards towards the harbour. The track ends at the Burlamacca canal, and here, to the left, we follow via R. Pilo up to piazza Manzoni and then, to the right, cross the bridge to reach via Oberdan, a stretch of road that leads to viale dei Tigli.
At this point, we enter the Lucchese Marshes, known as the Levante Pine Forest, that forms a part of the Migliarino-San Rossore-Massaciuccoli Nature Park, a pine forest that represents typical Mediterranean vegetation.
Then we follow the bicycle track to the right of the viale, towards Torre del Lago Puccini. Here to the left, we find numerous campsites. Further to the left, in the middle of the viale, you will see the gate and the garden of the Villa Borbone, commissioned by Maria Luisa of Borbone, Duchess of Lucca. Going along viale dei Tigli, we follow the bicycle path to the right, within the Forest, running parallel to viale Kennedy, towards the Torre del Lago Puccini marina.
At the end of the bicycle path, 300m before the Marina roundabout, we cross viale Kennedy, and here, taking a let you start along quite a large road that runs towards the Marina di Vecchiano.
Following the road, through the middle of the forest, amidst pristine dunes and vegetation, you arrive at the Marina di Vecchiano.
A small wooden roundabout (unsure) marks the middle of the Marina, where among the sands, you can admire the various plants, accompanied by informative plaques, that are normally found on dunes facing the sea.
The Park also has informative signs that identify the various animals that you can find in the surrounding area.
From this small roundabout, looking north, you will see a breath-taking view of the green countryside and the Apuan Alps. We are now standing on the outskirts of the property of Duke Salviati, a private estate almost 3,000 hectares in size that extends all the way to the sea. Taking the paved road across from the small roundabout, we arrive shortly in beautiful typical Tuscan countryside made up of vast fields of ornamental flowers.
If you follow the dirt track south, you will instead arrive at the mouth of the River Serchio after a few kilometres. This is called Bocca di Serchio and you will find lots of fishing equipment, which makes for an equally enchanting view.
Turning back toward the Marina di Vecchiano, we retrace our steps towards Torre del Lago Puccini. Joining viale Kennedy, if we cross over and keep right, we can take viale Europa from the Marina all the way to Torre del Lago Puccini, until we reach the barrier that separates viale Europa from the Marina of Levante de Viareggio (a dirt track with potholes and stones).
Along the road you will find lots of prestigious restaurants, that come one after the other with views to the left of dunes running down to the sea that cover almost half of the immense beach.
Returning toward viale dei Tigli, that runs from the first left at the traffic lights, we have two alternatives: go back to Viareggio or keep going along viale Marconi, cutting through the centre of Torre del Lago Puccini, to follow viale G. Puccini to the viewpoint on Lake Massaciuccoli. Here, you can visit the composer’s tomb all year round