Discovering the Beaches of Northern Tuscany

Discovering the Beaches of Northern Tuscany

Exploring the Coastline: Viareggio, Lunigiana, and Portofino

Northern Tuscany boasts some of Italy's most beautiful and elegant beach destinations. The coastal towns of Viareggio, Pietrasanta, and Forte dei Marmi have long been favored by discerning European tourists seeking a sophisticated alternative to the bustling, crowded beaches of Rimini. This guide will take you on a journey through these exquisite locales, highlighting their culinary delights and local specialties.

Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi

Viareggio, Pietrasanta, and Forte dei Marmi are the jewels of the northern Tuscan coast. These towns are known not only for their stunning beaches but also for their commitment to high-quality dining and sophisticated ambiance. It is no coincidence that between Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi, there are eleven Michelin-starred restaurants. These establishments are dedicated to offering gourmet experiences with a focus on the finest local ingredients.

Typical Trattorias in Massa:
- Trattoria La Emma
- Trattoria Pertini

These trattorias offer a taste of local cuisine in a more casual, yet equally delightful, setting.

 Wines of the Region


The northern Tuscan coast is also home to some exceptional wines, each with its own unique character:

- Candia dei Colli Apuani D.O.C.: Produced in the municipalities of Massa, Carrara, and Montignoso, this wine comes in two white varieties. Cantine Ramarro is a notable producer in this region.
- Colli di Luni D.O.C.: This wine is produced in the municipalities of Fosdinovo, Aulla, and Podenzana, and is available in three types: white, red, and Vermentino.
- Val di Magra I.G.T.:From the Lunigiana viticultural area, this wine is available in white, red, and rosé varieties.

Local Delicacies

One of the most renowned local products is the Lardo di Colonnata, a unique salume from Carrara. This delicacy is protected by the Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGP) and is known for its distinctive salting and aging process in marble basins. The lardo is made from male pigs raised on a strict organic diet, seasoned with a mix of spices, and left to mature in Carrara marble basins for six to ten months.

Where to buy Lardo di Colonnata:
- [Antica Larderia Mafalda]
- [Larderia La Conca]
- [Larderia Sanguinetti]

The Natural Park of Portofino

While not technically part of Tuscany, the Natural Park of Portofino is a nearby gem worth exploring. Known for its stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity, the park also boasts traditional food products such as **salted anchovies** and high-quality **olive oil**. The olives, primarily of the Lavagnina and Pignola varieties, are a testament to the area's long-standing agricultural traditions. Although many of these olive groves were abandoned over time, there has been a recent resurgence in olive cultivation and oil production. These small-scale, family-run operations are revitalizing one of the most historically significant and valuable local products.

Typical Products of the Portofino Natural Park:
- Salted anchovies
- Olive oil

Websites for Typical Products:
- [Portofino Fine Food]
- [Niasca Portofino]
- [Baico 5 Terre]
- [Pastificio Moderno]
- [Magrini le Delizie]

The northern coast of Tuscany, stretching from Viareggio to the lush landscapes of Lunigiana and the picturesque Natural Park of Portofino, offers a blend of elegant beach resorts, gastronomic excellence, and unique local products. Whether you're dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant or enjoying a traditional trattoria, savoring local wines, or exploring the natural beauty of Portofino, this region promises a rich and memorable experience for every visitor.