Beachy Day Trip From Florence: Viareggio, Italy

A gorgeous beach surrounding by breathtaking snow capped mountains just 1.5 hours from Florence?! One of the things I was most looking forward to when we decided to move to Italy was the availability, ease, and affordability of train travel. I love traveling by train -- a perfect way to explore more of Italy and nearby countries. So, to treat my sister -- who is an ultimate beach bum -- to her first European beach trip, we scoured the web for the easiest and best nearby option.

We selected Viareggio, which ended up being a perfect day trip option from Florence. In addition to being known for its 10 km of beaches, Viareggio is famous for Carnival and its proximity to Pisa.

After we arrived in Viareggio, we decided to head straight to the beach and hope to find some food along the way. The beach is only about a 10-15 minute leisurely walk away from the city, and we passed some lovely homes and tasty bakeries. Right parallel to beach is a lovely walking street full out shops and outdoor restaurants. I was also surprised by the several other walking streets that appeared to be full of businesses. We wanted to maximize our time at the beach, so we ended up skipping these walking streets and all of the restaurants.

And just look at that beach! When you arrive in Viareggio, there are numerous places along the water where you can rent little changing rooms to store your gear as well as use the bathrooms, showers, and a specified number of chairs and umbrellas. I thought this was a really lovely way to spend a day at the beach, and would even consider spending a night in Viareggio to be able to explore it further.

These GoPro images don't even do it justice because of the fish-eye lens. But Viareggio is somewhere we absolutely plan to visit again soon -- and this time with my regular camera.

How do you feel about train travel? Are you keen on day trips?