The itinerary starts from any point along “Fausto Coppi” cycling path that follows the Viareggio seafront. We’ll head south along the path towards the canal. The path finishes at the Burlamacca canal and here, we turn left along the via R. Pilo until we get to Piazza Manzoni and where, to the right, we cross the bridge to reach via Oberdan. This stretch of road takes us to the top of Viale dei Tigli.
At this point we have entered the Lucchese Brush, known as the Pineta di Levante, which makes up part of the Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli regional park, a pine grove that provides a representation of typical Mediterranean vegetation. Continue along the right-hand side of the Viale on the bike path towards Torre del Lago Puccini. Here on the left you will find numerous campsites. Still to the left, in the middle of the Viale you will see the gate and the park of the Villa Borbone, built by Maria Luisa di Borbone, Duchess of Lucca.
At the end of Viale dei Tigli, turn right along the bike path, which runs parallel to Viale Kennedy inside the Pineta. At the end of the bike path, 300m before the roundabout near the Marina, cross Viale Kennedy and follow the paved road on the left, which leads to Marina di Vecchiano.
Following this road, through the pine trees, dunes and untouched flora, you arrive at Marina di Vecchiano. A small wooden roundabout marks the centre of the Marina. This is a great point to stop and learn, from the educational panels, about the local flora that is found in these dunes. The Park has also set up educational panels about native animals that you may come across. From this small roundabout, looking north, there is a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and the Apuan Alps. Here you are at the border of the property of the family of the Duca Salviati, a 3,000-hectare estate that extends to the sea.
Taking the tarmac road across from the little roundabout you quickly get to admire some lovely, typically Tuscan countryside made up of vast fields of cultivated flowers. However, if you choose to follow the dirt track south, you will shortly arrive at the mouth of the River Serchio instead. Here at the Bocca di Serchio the sight of the fishermen’s nets makes for a charming view.
Returning towards the Marina di Vecchiano, we follow our route in reverse towards Torre del Lago Puccini. When we arrive at Viale Kennedy we cross it and, staying on the right, continue along the full length of Viale Europa until we arrive at the barrier that marks the end of the boulevard and the beginning of the Marina of Viareggio. A number of prestigious restaurants line the boulevard and, on the left, a stunning view of the dunes leads down to the sea, spanning half of the immense beach.
Returning towards Viale dei Tigli, at the first traffic light on the left, we have two options: return to Viareggio or continue along Viale Marconi, crossing the centre of Torre del Lago Puccini, and taking Viale G. Puccini to the viewpoint on Massaciuccoli Lake. Here, The Villa-Mausoleum of the composer Puccini is open year-round.