The agreeable climate, the closeness to both sea and mountains and the high society that these features attracted during the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in the building of numerous villas belonging to various noble and merchant families. The viareggian villas are united by their liberty style, thanks in large part to the work of Galileo Chini and his Fornaci Chini of San Lorenzo. On the corner of Via Buonarroti is the Villa Puccini, which dates back to 1920 and is also built in the liberty style. A sober and elegant structure, it is surrounded by a park planted with tall trees that give it a forest-like aspect.
On the road leading down towards the sea, a left turn gives onto Viale Carducci, along which the smaller villa of Amor Omnia Vincit can be found, along with the Chizzolini villas located on the corner where Carducci meets Via Firenze.
At this point, a right turn leads onto Via Fratti, which boasts the Villa Argentina, possibly the best example of a liberty style villa in all of Versilia, with it’s ceramic ornaments and the gorgeous ground floor décor.
Heading back to Via Buonarotti once more and turning right towards the junction with Via D’Annunzio are the Villas Tomei and Nistri, both dating back to the 20th century. The latter of two is renowned for it’s oriental style architecture, which was inspired by the fact that it’s owner, Enrico Nistri, passed many years in Egypt, and was highly influenced by its architecture. The Arabic influence is evident in the façade, the balconies and the angular tower, which is reminiscent of a minaret.
Heading back towards the coast on Via Carducci, towards Torre del Lago and Viale Manin, is Villa Crastan Arrighi, which boasts a symmetrical façade, adorned with floral and swirling designs. It is considered one of the best examples of the liberty style and was designed by artist Galileo Chini. Further ahead, on Via Machiavelli, is the Villa Paolina, host to the Civici Museums and commissioned by Paolina Bonaparte.
Finally, between Viareggio and Torre del Lago is the Villa Borbone, a hunting villa with a beautiful façade carved of Carrara marble built by Lorenzo Nottolini.
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