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Forte dei Marmi is a coastal town situated in Tuscany, Italy that is well known for its pristine beaches. One of the outstanding landmarks is The Pontile, a long pier with spectacular views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the city with the beautiful Apuan Alps in the background. The marble Monumento ai Caduti War Memorial is one of many sculptures that are dotted around the town center. Close by is the 18th-century Lorenese Fort where you can visit the Museum of Satire and Caricature with its interesting collection of politically inspired cartoons.
Tourism is the principal activity in Forte dei Marmi with a population of 7,700 that almost triples during the summer holiday season. It is one of the major holiday destinations in Italy that attracts upper-class tourists mostly from Milan, Florence, Russia, and Germany.
The name of the town, which means “Fort of Marbles” in Italian, was derived from the fortress in the middle of the town square built under the directive of Grand Duke Peter Leopold who became the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold II, in 1788. The fortress was originally built to defend the coast but in the late 19th and early 20th century, it became a storage place for the marble from the Alpi Apuane quarry before being shipped all over the world. The valuable marble is extracted from Monte Altissimo that towers over the village of Seravezza where you can admire the summer villa of Medici, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was the Medici family that was influential in the layout of the main road, Via del Marmo, to carry the valuable blocks of white marble from the quarries to the pier.
A visit to this quaint seaside town is perfect for people who love shopping for “Made in Italy” fashion in luxury boutiques. Along the Mediterranean Sea lies the charming little town of Versilia, one of the most trendy and well-known seaside resorts in the area.
Things to do in Forte dei Marmi
Relax on the beach. Choose one of the many luxury bathing establishments found along the seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches to relax under a cabana or rest in the shadow of swaying pine trees.
Enjoy the nightlife. Excellent restaurants serve exquisite food and delicious pizzas. The lively clubs and bars like the famous La Capanina di Franceschi have been entertaining guests since 1929.
Go shopping. Browse at your leisure in the many boutiques for the latest clothes, handbags, and hand-made shoes by famous Italian brands such as Prada, Versace, Tod’s, Dolce Gabbana, Armani, Cavalli, Volponi, Scervino, and Fiacchini or international brands such as Rolex, Philippe Plein, and Louis Vuitton.
Visit the local markets. Every Wednesday morning throughout the year and on Sunday mornings during summertime, Forte dei Marmi holds one of the most exclusive street markets in Italy on the Piazza Guglielmo Marconi where you can pick up great bargains on designer clothes, leather goods, and cashmere garments.
An unmissable activity when in Forte dei Marmi is to simply walk around the town or along the old jetty to take a breath of fresh, salty sea air or just strolling down the beach. You will find local fishermen, couples in love, tourists boarding the ferry for a daily excursion to the amazing Portovenere or Cinque Terre, and people all over just relaxing and enjoying an outing in the sun.
There is plenty to do in Forte dei Marmi including mountain hikes, a visit to the open air theatre, natural parks, archeological sites, and the Carnival Parades which is held in February.
For an exclusive luxury experience you can stay at the Grand Hotel Imperiale in the center of town, the more modern Hotel Principe with its wonderful rooftop bar or the Villa Roma Imperiale situated on a pine tree-lined street in the Roma Imperiale district. Other excellent hotels include the Villa Grey on the beach front, the 4 star Logos Hotel, the 4 star Goya Hotel or the family-run La Pineta al Mare hotel on the beach.
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