Italian Resort Hospitality

Vacation in Versilia!

Just across a small arched bridge from Viareggio lies its smaller cousin community, Lido di Camaiore.  Lido means beach in Italian and this is a lovely family beach resort with a long, gentle stretch of wide, clean sand and a promenade that runs alongside it. This is part of the famous Versilia promenade which stretches for about 15 miles from Viareggio to Marina di Massa.

A lucky nonno with his date on the pier.   Lido di Camaiore, Versilia, Italy.

The promenade is always active and there are always things to see. Lots of shops and pizzerias, restaurants, gelato shops, and services make for an easy sojourn. There are often venders on the promenade, selling everything from beach toys to salumi, especially on Saturday morning. While the inland town of Camaiore itself is a seriously historic place, the Lido is all about being laid back and easy.

Another attraction along the shore is a large modern pier - an elevated walk where George Jetson would have felt right at home suspended over the waves. At the end of the pier is a café with tables inside and out where you can have coffee or prosecco and watch the beach, the fishermen, and the bathers, the sea and the parade of passersby.

Hotel Club I Pini in Lido di Camaiore, near Viareggio.

On a quiet street, a few blocks back from the promenade, is a small and exceptionally enjoyable  three star hotel, the Hotel Club I Pini, where we stayed just before the high season began. It is remarkable for a number of reasons, the foremost being the friendly and personable staff led by managers Nicola and Cesare, and another being the tasteful and ubiquitous reminders of the famous “Liberty Style”  architecture of the Tuscan coast.  The hotel was the summer home and studio of Galileo Chini (1873 – 1956) one of the chief proponents of the design/architecture/art that came to typify this area. Chini was a painter, ceramist, graphic artist and set designer who both conceived and produced his art work. His influence was prominent in establishing the importance of artisanship in modern Tuscany. The Hotel Club I Pini has taken the inherent hospitality of Mr. Chini's profession, and continued it in dining and accommodation and hotel services.

Galileo Chini's studio window.

The public areas of the Hotel are lovely, with a feel of the early 20th century - indeed, it's also known Residenza D'Epoca Hotel I Pini. There’s a living room with sofas and a piano, double doors opening to double staircases that lead outside, and a cozy dining room. The 22 guest rooms are simple and rather spare, but clean and comfortable. One room, which was Chini's working studio, has a custom designed circular window with a view of the courtyard; the room we stayed in had a small extra bedroom, complete with antique chenille bedspread, and a small balcony.

Hotel Club I Pini in Lido di Camoiare, near Viareggio.
Breakfast is included in the price of a stay, and is very welcoming. The croissants are warm and 
buttery, the rolls fantastically fresh. There is fruit, ham, cheese, and, if you like, a terrific scrambled egg that they will offer gently and make up for you fresh. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to have dinner there, it is offered on a prix fixe basis, and served in a pleasant dining room or al fresco in season. Given the attention to detail in the breakfast, we would have gladly eaten dinner there, especially after reading all the good reviews online.The dedication to the vacationers' happiness manifests in other ways.  Although there's a free beach nearby, guests are given discounted services at the private beach club Amore which has a pool along with the normal extravagant Italian beach equipment. Your dog can also stay with you at the Hotel, if it's not too big and Fido promises to be good.  By prior arrangement, the Hotel can arrange cooking classes, oil painting classes, excursions to nearby sights, and even surfing lessons.

More Info
Hotel Club I Pini Website  More details, contact info, direct booking, and special offers.  Via Roma, 43 – Lido di Camaiore  Phone +39 0584.66.103 Fax: +39 0584.66.104

Reviews. Don't take our word for it - or any one reviewer for that matter. Here's a link to Trip Advisor Hotel Club I Pini Reviews and Reviews.

Written by Martha