The best seafood restaurants on the Versilian coast
Itinerary gourmet in Versilia
Here’s a gourmet itinerary from south to north in Versilia to discover where you can savor the best seafood dishes this summer among Michelin stars, historic places and new entries.
Our tour starts in Viareggio where the only Michelin two-star establishment along the whole coast is to be found. This is the Piccolo Principe restaurant , in the historic and fascinating setting of the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Piazza Giacomo Puccini, offering a sophisticated cuisine accompanied by an outstanding wine list.
The experience is heightened by the breathtaking views toward the sea and the Apuan Alps from the splendid dining room on the fifth story of the hotel. Another historic name is Romano (Via Mazzini no. 122), a famous restaurant celebrating fifty years of activity this year. With one Michelin star, the oldest in Versilia, it is the realm of Romano Franceschini and his wife Franca, maintaining their success today with the assistance of their two children as well. The menu includes crustaceans, mollusks, red mullets, soles and stuffed squid, homemade pasta dishes and main dishes that unite flavors from the sea and dry land.
There’s a new star in Viareggio this year: the Lunasia restaurant, recently opened on the top floor of Hotel Plaza e de Russie (Piazza Massimo d’Azeglio). The terrace offers a breathtaking panorama that reaches the La Spezia gulf and the gourmet kitchen is commanded by Chef Luca Landi, a Tuscan through and through who was born in Bagni di Lucca and is now an adopted citizen of Viareggio.
Moving on toward Forte dei Marmi, our first stop is the La Magnolia restaurant of Hotel Byron (Viale E. Morin no. 46), the realm of Michelin star Chef Cristoforo Trapani. Recipes are based on the freshest ingredients from local producers, traditional specialties of the territory and creative new dishes.
Another Michelin star is assigned to Lorenzo (Via Giosuè Carducci no. 61): the owner Lorenzo Viani and his daughter Chiara have succeeded over time in transforming their trattoria into a very refined restaurant.
A precious star also distinguishes Bistrot (Via della Repubblica no. 14), an inn with two wood-fired ovens and an open kitchen, elegant dining rooms with vaguely colonial decor and a cool outdoor summer serving area with genteel jazz music.
One of the favorite restaurants of habitués who go beyond the fashionable is L’Orsa Maggiore. Today, it presents a wide-ranging and innovative gastronomic project at the behest of the owners, the same as the historic Hotel Franceschi/Villa Mimosa residence, and is guided by the Michelin star chef of the Pomiroeu di Seregno, Giancarlo Morelli, and by executive Chef Federico Veronesi. Open year round, it is the only restaurant with a beachfront in Forte dei Marmi and presents a menu with original interpretations of genuine marine flavors.
The Maitò, established in the 1960’s on the seaside boulevard (Viale Repubblica no. 9), was a favorite meeting place for enthusiasts of Forte dei Marmi from the start and has succeeded in maintaining its typical local character over the years. The menu offers seafood but also meat dishes, pizzas and flat breads from the wood-fired oven, fresh pasta dishes and homemade sweets.
Etiquette and high society, culture and elegance in the pursuit of relaxation on the beach: this is the ambience at Bagno Marechiaro, the ideal destination for a cocktail after a day on the beach, or for a romantic supper.
Moving off from Forte dei Marmi, try Franco Mare in Marina di Pietrasanta.
The names to remember in Pietrasanta are the Enoteca Marcucci (Via Garibaldi no. 40), over 3000 wines on the list and the Filippo restaurant (Via Stagio Stagi no. 22), which also offers bed & breakfast accommodations.