The hottest city in Europe

written by Tiana Kai

According to the Corriere Fiorentino, we’re rated the hottest city in Europe! Florence gets pretty hot and inside is just as bad, since most houses don’t have air conditioning here, for some reason.

The city is empty with just remains of overheated tourists scouting through the center of town. If you are Florentine you get outta Dodge. Hit the countryside or the seaside. Since I married a Florentine, I did just that.

My husband Nicco and I just came back from a few weeks in Viareggio where his family has had a home since the 60’s, back when all the international celebrities would ‘summer’ there. It is a coastal town on the Italian Riviera with a long boardwalk overflowing with shops and restaurants, and a never ending supply of private beach clubs. All the glitz and glam are long gone, but what remains is a manageable city with great seafood, soft sand and casual fashion.

And when Viareggio gets to us, we have awesome neighboring towns just 15 minutes away, like Pisa, Lucca, Pietrasanta (‘Sacred Stone’) and the notorious Forte dei Marmi (‘Fort of Marble’), which harbors all the great nightclubs in the region.

Days in Viareggio are spent reading, hiking, biking and definitely eating. If the winds are high enough, you can rent a sailboat. I haven’t been lucky enough to jump on a little laser just yet. When the swells are up (hardly ever) you can even surf.


Family beach club

made with prosecco and peach juice
Nicco preparing Bellini’s—prosecco + peach juice

My Italian family is a member of a beach club that has the same bathing suits hanging in the family cabana since the 60’s. Luckily, Nicco and I have an eclectic fashion sense — unlike the stereotypical speedo-wearing Italian man (see below) — so we wear the old swimsuits if we happen to forget our own that day.

After a day at the beach and stroll on the boardwalk, we typically head to a bar before dinner. This means it’s aperitivo time! Bars are set up with magical little finger food adoring the length of the bar. This is no time to be shy. Order a drink and pile all the goodies on a plastic plate. Then sit, drink, munch and relax. I always order a Spritz, hands down. Nicco, always gets a nice glass of Gewürztraminer, a light, sweet white wine. Both help cool off the summer heat.

Aperitivo time!
Me at Cosmopolitan bar for a nice, cold Spritz

Aperitivo time!
Nicco and his white wine

We then walk across the street and pick up the freshest fish at the local fisherman store for La Nonna, Nicco’s paternal grandmother. The family has been buying fish at this store since they opened decades ago. We used to eat out more often, but came to realize that nothing really compares to Nonna’s cooking. She is sweet, funny and one mean chef. If you come to the coast and do not have a Nonna of your own, don’t worry, there are many great restaurants to choose from on the boardwalk.

Where did you travel this summer? Share your trips under comments.

You may also like

7 comments

Georgette Jupe July 22, 2013 at 11:56 am

trimming the hedge in speedos, nice! haha love this post

Reply
Tiana Kai July 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

lol, he was quite a sight!

Reply
The "Must Pack for Italy" List for any expat March 2, 2014 at 11:53 am

[…] last year and for the life of me cannot find where we left them. On an airplane? In the Alps? In Viareggio? At La Nonna’s? Who knows. Now I’m sans neti pots and need […]

Reply
Carnival in Viareggio March 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm

[…] walked to the Mercato area were there’s this contagious energy. I’ve been coming to Viareggio for years and have never swung around these […]

Reply
Travel Tuscany, See THE Best of Tuscany May 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

[…] San Gimignano, Castellina in Chianti, San Piero a Sieve, Scarperia, Siena, Arezzo, Carrara, Viareggio, Pietrasanta, Pedona, Forte di Marmi and Grosseto. Who knows, I may repeat a few of these! Any […]

Reply
Reasons to Love Cesenatico July 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

[…] my summers tend to be in Viareggio, I can see why so many families make Cesenatico their summer […]

Reply
Visit Tuscany in Spring, top places to visit May 4, 2017 at 10:44 pm

[…] Italian Riviera has lots to offer, and in Viareggio you’ll find a great boardwalk filled with shops, beach clubs (which are private in Italy with […]

Reply

Leave a Comment