Musei civici di Villa Paolina - Museo archeologico Alberto Carlo Blanc, Museo degli strumenti musicali Giovanni Ciuffreda e Atelier Alfredo Catarsini
Villa Paolina is a historic building that belonged to Pauline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister. The building was built in 1822 by the sea, in front of the place where, according to legend, the waves returned the body of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who died in Viareggio that year. The Villa, also called "The Refuge of Venus", was the meeting place between the princess and the musician Giovanni Pacini. On the death of Pauline, the ownership passed to her sister, Caroline Murat, who did make the decorations and the garden. The building was divided into three parts: the master part, one for staff and one for services. Its configuration, in Neoclassical French style, it must to Vittorio Papanti, who unified the two wings of the building. Further transformed in a public school, was restored in the 80s and today is home of the "Civic Museums" and the Art Gallery of Contemporary Art. The "Civic Museums" include: the Archaeological Museum "Alberto Carlo Blanc", founded in 1974, and divided into nine rooms in chronological order, for a total of 433 pieces (prehistoric material from the north-western Tuscany); Museum of Musical Instruments "Giovanni Ciuffreda", dedicated to the exhibition of more than 400 pieces from the five continents, from the seventeenth century to the present day; the Art Gallery "Lorenzo Viani", dedicated to contemporary art.