Viareggio, known as the “Pearl of the Tyrrhenian” for its climate and long stretches of beautiful coastline, became a popular destination for “bathing holidays” in the mid 1900’s. Climate, cuisine and local hospitality were the ingredients that led to this Tuscan city becoming the fine resort that it is today. By the end of the century, Viareggio built its renowned waterfront promenade and the Grand Hotel Royal was one of the first of many fine art nouveau hotels to be constructed, its turreted structure becoming a Viareggio landmark.
Its imposing architecture dominates the Lungomare Carducci, overlooking the grand boulevard and the sparkling sea. Its spacious and elegant entrance, rather than intimidate, welcomes guests to enjoy the more intimate and graceful sitting rooms. Remodeling has introduced all the desired amenities of this new century without sacrificing the classic atmosphere of a by-gone era. Our balconied bedroom, with sea view, was a treat for all the senses. But to have this vantage point during the Carnevale season was the ultimate way to experience the parades. From above we had a bird’s eye view of the floats and the merry-makers, or in less than a minute we could descend to street level and come face to face with the spirited festivities.
The hotel restaurant is spacious and elegant, boasting a domed ceiling and arched doorways, divided into beveled mirrored panels adding an extra sparkle to the butter-yellow interior. Chef Alan Lucchesi presents hotel guests with a varied menu of Tuscan and seafood specialties, prepared in such a pleasing, satisfying way that to dine anywhere else would almost be foolish.
In this popular seaside resort, whether visiting for a beach holiday or to witness Italy’s most famous Carnevale, there are countless fine hotels from which to choose. The Grand Hotel Royal makes the choice easy.
All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson
Grand Hotel Royal
Via Giosue Carducci, 44, 55049 Viareggio ~ Tuscany, Italy
Grand Hotel Royal ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson