In 1819 the Duchess Maria Luisa of Bourbon built the first dock, and Viareggio became the most important maritime center of Tuscany. Then, with the Napoleonic period, Viareggio was adorned with new architectural buildings and began the tourism development.
In fact, the beauty of Viareggio consists in the typical architecture of the buildings in Art'deco and Art Nouveau style. The heavy bombing during World War II destroyed many of its historic and artistic heritage. Among those still visible today, there are the Caffé Margherita, the Magazzini Duilio 48, the front of the bathing establishment Balena, the current Hotel Principe di Piemonte, the Hotel Excelsior and many of the villas overlooking the promenade.
But Viareggio is mainly knows for its Carnival, which takes place every year between February and March. Founded in 1873 by a group of rich bourgeois who decided to dress up to protest against taxes, now the Carnival of Viareggio is known throughout the world. The masters of papier invest a whole year to build the floats, that parade during the five fancy dress processions on the promenade of Viareggio.
Since several years, it has been inaugurated the Cittadella, the city of Carnival, where are built the floats and where there is the Museum of Carnival. Here you go over the history of the Carnival of Viareggio with all information concerning the manufacture of papier techniques and implementation of the floats.