FORTE DEI MARMI/ VERSILIA
Forte dei Marmi is an enchanting town of Versilia, in the province of Lucca, along the Mediterranean Sea and one of the most known and trendy seaside resort in Tuscany. As well as for the beauty of its beaches, gardens and its historic center, Forte dei Marmi is also famous for its elegance and sophistication: its shops and designer boutiques attract tourists from every place in the world.
Forte dei Marmi has been well known since 1519 when Michelangelo Buonarroti laid-out the road Via del Marmo, which means “road of the marble” to carry the blocks of precious white marble from the Carrara 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 Carrara marble extracted a few miles from the town and famous all over the world for its incredible quality.
Only in late 1800s, Forte dei Marmi became one of the most requested summer holiday destinations by aristocracy, diplomacy and business men. Today it is popular among national and international celebrities, politicians, football stars and business owners.
- Forte dei Marmi is also offers a delightful array of restaurants for fine dining along the sea coast. A traditional restaurant that we suggest is L’Osteria del Mare (http://www.osteriadelmareforte.it/), born in 1998 and ideally situated along the coast.
- Another great restaurant is The Fratellini’s (http://www.thefratellinis.com/) which will surprise you with its fusion cuisine; capable of blending the culinary traditions of Versilia and Tuscany. The environment is characterized by a unique style, inspired by an elegant yet modern organic architecture because it promotes harmony between man and nature.
- With the prestige that comes with the Forte dei Marmi, are also luxury hotels like the Principe Forte dei Marmi (http://www.principefortedeimarmi.com/) a new and stylish luxury Boutique Hotel by the sea. This 5 star hotel is a modern boutique hotel that features a contemporary style mixed with traditional Tuscan decor.
- Another great 5 star hotel is the Augustus Hotel & Resort (http://www.augustus-hotel.it/en/). This Luxury Resort comprises two main structures; the Main House and La Nave (The Ship) complex, which includes seven private villas, that all together, this resort borgo offers an oasis that caters to your every need.
- For the sports Enthusiasts, the city offers many private tennis clubs. It seems that Forte dei Marmi is the Italian city with the largest number of fields per sq km. The Tennis Corner Club di Forte dei Marmi (http://tenniscornerclub.it) is a well known option to try.
- Another amazing golf club is the Versilia Golf Resort (http://www.versiliagolfresort.com/) where you can find a hotel, restaurant and the 18 hole course set in a vast open space, among thick woods, sand bunkers, large fairways and water hazards.
Annual Festivals in the area:
- The most known event in the city is the Flea Market: Forte Dei Marmi is a shoppers’ paradise! Anyway, apart from the exclusive boutiques, there is a famous flea market that opens every Wednesday from 8am to 2.30pm in Piazza Macroni near the city center. During the summer this market is open even on Sundays.
- Fair of Sant’Ermete: every August 28 Forte dei Marmi celebrates its patron saint with stalls scattered between downtown and the waterfront, shops open until midnight, cultural events and music. The event concludes with a fireworks show on the pier.
Versilia is the area that follows along the Tuscan coast in the northwestern edge of the province of Lucca. It is widely known and popular for the fashionable resorts along its Riviera, with numerous night clubs attracting visitors for its active night life during the summer.
The lengthy sandy beaches and unique luxury brands found only in Versilia make it a marvelous place for tourists and locals alike. The sands of the beaches carry a golden elegance which is the reason it was one of the first coasts in Italy full of of ocean front resorts. The great pier located across the beach allows for people to take a long walk towards the end and enjoy the view of the calm expansive sea only seen from the Tuscan Coast.
The many shops, restaurants and hotels along the seafront also make the city a great place to spend the summer, with everything you need within easy reach. The main cities in Versilia are Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Camaiore, Massarosa, Seravezza and Stazzema.
- Trattoria Buonamico (http://www.trattoriabuonamico.com/viareggio/). Is the oldest seafood restaurant in Viareggio. The specialty of the house is the baby cuttlefish with polenta and the cacciucco.
- Da Lorenzo. (http://ristorantelorenzo.com). This restaurant serves the best fish in Italy. Famous words of the owner, Lorenzo Viani, “A fish has 24 virtues, but loses one with each hour that passes.”
- If you want exclusivity, this hotel is perfect for you. Locanda al Colle (http://www.locandaalcolle.com/) has an extensive panoramic terrace, nestled between olive trees, lavender, flowering rosemary, and sage, it is the ideal place to enjoy the splendid view. The hotel is in Camaiore, Lucca.
- Hotel Plaza e de Russie (http://www.plazaederussie.com/hotel-in-viareggio/versilia-luxury-hotels.html) is one of the best luxury hotels in Versilia set on the main promenade of Viareggio just 50m from the beach offering spectacular views which can be enjoyed from the hotel’s terrace.
- The Versilia Golf Resort (http://www.versiliagolfresort.com/) is a luxury hotel, resort, restaurant and 18 hole golf course set in a vast open space, among thick woods, sand bunkers, large fairways and water hazards. This golf resort is in Pietrasanta, LU, in the heart of Versilia.
- In Centro Sportivo CTL (http://www.ctltennis.it/) you will find many tennis courts and other sports facilities. It is only 10 minutes from Viareggio, LU.
Various events take place in Versilia during the year: from the most famous ones, like the Viareggio Carnival and the Puccini Festival, to various kinds of activities, like promotional exhibitions, cultural meetings, music events and concerts, art and antique exhibitions.
- Festival Pucciniano: The annual summer festival in Torre del Lago, Lucca, is dedicated to the operas of Puccini. You can also visit the villa where the use to live.
- Carnevale di Viareggio: Without a doubt, Tuscany’s most rowdy but good-natured “politicised” carnival.