A sunny Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to visit Forte dei Marmi for people who love walking around high-fashion “made in Italy” boutiques. Moreover, it is not only shopping but also an enchanting little town of Versilia, along the Mediterranean Sea and one of the most known and trendy seaside resorts in Tuscany and Italy.
Forte dei Marmi in brief
It has been known since 1518 when the Medici Family forced Michelangelo Buonarroti to leave the close quarries of Carrara to move to new ones on the Monte Altissimo over the village of Seravezza (where today you can admire one of the summer villas of Medici, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites). It’s because of the Renaissance man that the main road that crosses the village, called Via del Marmo, was lay-out to carry the precious heavy blocks of white marble from the quarries to the sea.
Forte dei Marmi takes its name from the fort built in the city center in 1700, as well as from the valuable marble extracted a few miles from the town and famous all over the world for its incredible quality.
Only in the late 1800s, it became one of the most requested summer holiday destinations by aristocracy, diplomacy, and businessmen. Today it is popular among national and international celebrities, politicians, football stars, and rich managers.
Things to do in Forte dei Marmi Italy
Relax in exclusive beach clubs
Here you find a quiet and private place to rest under the shadow of pine trees or under your cabana. You only have to choose between one of the many luxury beach clubs you will find along the 7 miles of fine and sandy beach.
Shopping in Forte dei Marmi
Walk around boutiques looking for brand new bags, hand-made shoes, and clothes. The colorful and pleasant pedestrian area hosts Prada, Tod’s, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Moncler, Scervino, Cavalli, Fiacchini, Volponi and other international brands like Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Philippe Plein.
Every Wednesday morning of the year from 8.00 am to 1.30 pm (and also on Sunday morning during summertime), Forte dei Marmi hosts one of the most exclusive street markets of Italy. You can make great deals buying designer clothes, cashmere, leather goods, household items, and other excellent products for a discounted price. You can find the market in the Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. Here is the location on the map.
Another unmissable thing to do in Forte dei Marmi is walking along the sandy beach or along the old jetty. Take a deep breath to enjoy the salty breeze of the Mediterranean Sea. Probably, you will find old men fishing, or couples in love pottering around. During the summer, from the pier, tourists get on board the ferry to go for a daily excursion to the amazing Cinque Terre and Portovenere.
Rent a bike
Jump on a bike and ride along the beach promenade. Or in alternative through the shady streets under the pine trees looking around celebrity villas. This is the best and traditional way to explore Forte dei Marmi and enjoy this nice seaside resort.
Star Michelin Restaurant and Nightlife
Forte dei Marmi means excellence even talking about food. There are five star Michelin Restaurants here, and other good restaurants to taste delicious food and exquisite pizzas. Versilia is known for its nightlife since the ’60es when artists and celebrities came to live the Dolce Vita. “La Capannina” di Franceschi has been opening since 1929 and still entertain the young generation.
Explore the Versilia
When in Forte dei Marmi, there is much more to do than shopping and beach life. This area of northern Tuscany is so rich in places to discover and experiences to live that we put them together on an article called 15 things to do in Versilia. You can choose between archaeological sites, natural parks, castles, mountain hikes, Opera open-air theatre, and even Carnival Parades in February.
Curiosities about Forte dei Marmi
- Forte is the birthplace of Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of the Belgians from 1993 to 2013.
- Gianni Agnelli, the former CEO of FIAT, the famous Italian car company, used to spend in Forte dei Marmi his summer holidays with the family at Villa Costanza. His sister Susanna Agnelli, wrote an autobiography about those days in Forte dei Marmi in her book We Always Wore Sailor Suits.
- Forte dei Marmi became in the course of time “the place to be” or to buy a villa for important international names as the novelist Thomas Mann, the writer Aldous Huxley, the inventor Guglielmo Marconi, the sculptor Henry Moore, the director Luchino Visconti, the Nobel prizewinner for poetry Eugenio Montale, the stylist Giorgio Armani and the tenor Andrea Bocelli.
- In Summer 2014 and 2015, Andrea Bocelli chose his beautiful Villa in Forte to host an exclusive dinner for the charity Celebrity Fight Night Foundation. Guests of the likes of Sophia Loren, David Foster, Reba McEntire, Lionel Richie, Zubin Meta, Larry King, Ronnie Dunn, John Legend, and George Clooney were invited.
- Forte dei Marmi has one of the best teams of roller hockey in Italy and Europe.
The best hotels in Forte dei Marmi
If you choose Forte dei Marmi as the destination for your summer holiday in Italy, here are some hotel we recommend.
5 Star Hotels
- Grand Hotel Imperiale, located in the very center of the town.
- Hotel Principe, modern style with a wonderful rooftop bar.
- Augustus Hotel & Resort, close to the beach, they own the exclusive beach club Bambaissa.
- Hotel Byron, the seaside hotel recently renovated, with the star Michelin Restaurant Magnolia.
Other lovely hotels we recommend are:
- Villa Roma Imperiale under the shadow of the pine trees of the Roma Imperiale district.
- Villa Grey, a beachfront hotel with a brand new star Michelin Restaurant.
- Logos, 4 stars hotel with a swimming pool, two minutes walking from the beach.
- Goya, 4 stars hotel right into the pedestrian area.
- La Pineta al Mare, family-run 3 stars hotel, next to the beach.
- Versilia Lido UNA Esperienze, located in Lido di Camaiore with three restaurants, two pools, and tennis courts.
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(Updated the 23rd May 2020)