Forte dei Marmi is a seaside town in Italy known for its beaches and high-end shopping. Recently, I had the opportunity with two different adventures to discover the shopping component, as well as, the lovely beach.
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The town has a beautiful pedestrian and bicycle-friendly path running parallel to the sea. Shops and restaurants – seafood mainly, of course – are lined up one after the other. The Pontile is a long pier offering views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, but stop and turn around. With your back towards the sea, you have an amazing view of the city and the Apuan Alps in the background. Sculptures made from various materials dot the town center as you explore it.
A unique location where the Apuan Alps embrace the sea
Forte dei Marmi is Known for its Markets
This town has it all when it comes to views, the proximity to the beach – and shopping. If it wasn’t so exclusive to the rich and famous, we might even consider living there. Rents can go as steep as €5k a month… and that’s for a one-bedroom/one-bathroom!
Today, the market schedule looks like this:
|Wednesday: Weekly open-air market||The open-air market is held all year round, in Piazza Marconi, every Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm|
|Wednesday: Food market||The oper-air food market is held all year round, in Piazza Donatori di Organi, every Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm|
|Friday: Weekly open-air market||The open-air food market is held all year round, in Piazza Donatori di Organi, every Wednesday from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm|
|Sunday: Weekly open-air market||The open-air market is held in Piazza Marconi, every Sunday from Easter through the last Sunday of October, from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm|
|“Donne in Campo” short-chain farmers market||The farmers market is held in various localities within Forte dei Marmi every Sunday of the year, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, according to the schedule below:|
– 1st, 3rd & 5th Sunday of the month in Piazza Donatori di Organi
– 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month in Via Assisi, Loc. Vittoria Apuana
|Antiques Market||The open-air antiques market is held all year round, in Piazza Dante, on the second weekend of every month, according to the schedule below:|
– October-March: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
– March-May: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
– June–September: 9:00 am – midnight
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So What’s the Draw to This Town?
Forte dei Marmi seems like a place where the past and future intertwine. Between 1785 and 1788, Pietro Leopoldo I built his fortino, or “little fort” as a military outpost and hub for trade. Today it is filled with elegant markets, historic villas, boutiques, amazing restaurants, and row after row of beach clubs.
The city developed around the fort, and today it’s a renowned seaside resort. Forte dei Marmi has made artists and poets fall in love with it. The streets are filled with art for everyone to enjoy.
This town is also a favorite destination for actors and celebrities and is one of the most exclusive locations in Tuscany. Most days you will notice yachts anchored offshore and occasional helicopters taking the special guests back and forth from the shore to them. It is located in Versilia, in the province of Lucca.
Along the kilometer-long beach of soft, golden sand, it’s possible to meet VIPs of all types and origins. I’ve heard that photographers gather here in search of gossip for the front pages of tabloid magazines.
Forte dei Marmi Beach
The entire beach is filled with bathing establishments, one after the other. The distinction between the colored umbrellas and cabanas is the only way to distinguish one club from another. These clubs offer chairs, sunbeds, umbrellas, hot showers, changing rooms, toilets, and a lifeguard. Many have swimming pools, bars, and restaurants. Some offer an area for children to play.
The free beach of Forte dei Marmi is located at the northern end of the municipal area. It’s called Le Dune Beach as is in the province of Massa-Carrara. It has some basic services such as bathrooms, showers, and dividers that act as changing rooms. The beach is well-kept and has free parking. I’ve heard that this beach is also open to dogs.
How to Get to Forte Dei Marmi?
Forte dei Marmi is an hour’s drive from Florence and about a half hour from Pisa. It’s only about 20 minutes north of Viareggio. There are two train stations in Versilia; Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi. The seaside town center is about 3 miles from the train station so you must take a taxi or bus.