The baths of Viareggio, Italy
Along 23km of the Ligurian Sea coastline are occupied by the bagni, private bathing houses which appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. In Viareggio, Tuscany, there are over 125 establishments which provide basic infrastructure for the beachgoer, such as beach services, recreation and shelter for the families. No accommodation is provided, which are relinquished to the hotels, apartments and holiday houses. It’s almost impossible to use the beach without paying, as the shoreline adjacent to each bath house is restricted to their clientele – very few spots are entirely public.
Facing inland, large signposts with the bath’s name show delicate and elaborate typography. All are similar in architecture: pavilions with sloped walls occupying half of the plot next to exuberant landscaping.