Viareggio is a seaside resort town, located on a part of the Tuscan Coast called the Versilia Coast. While it's popularity has ebbed since its heyday in the roaring 20's, it's still the number one place to go for Carnevale, the carnival festival featuring, in this case, giant papier-mâché floats, some with fantastic objects, and some featuring famous people, like Obama.
These pictures are courtesy of Serena Giovannoni who runs Wish Versillia, a personal travel consultant/wedding planner and personal concierge. Since this event is a tough one to plan if you don't plan a year ahead and especially if you don't know Italian, you may wish to let Serena plan your Viareggio Carnival vacation for you. She can even lead you on a Viareggio Carnival Tour: Carnival with a View.
Below is a map showing Viareggio. To the east are two interesting excursions one might take, to the walled city of Lucca (via train or car) or to Massaciuccoli, a small town with ruins of a Roman Villa overlooking the lake and a bird watching sanctuary with railed trails over a marshland teeming with birds. Just south of Viareggio is Torre del Lago Puccini, host of the famous Puccini Festival (you can book tickets through Select Italy.)
Since Viareggio is a beach resort town, there are many places to stay. Just remember, carnivale in Viareggio is very, very popular, so reserve your lodging early if you wish to stay in or near town. Below is a map of available hotels and current prices for a room or apartment.