Forte dei Marmi
Delightful tourist destination, Forte dei Marmi is really enchanting, especially in summer, thanks to the beauty of the sea and magnificent background of Alps Apuane. The name is related to the oldest commercial trade in Versilia, that of quarrying calcareous stones to make high quality marbles, sometimes turned into immortal sculptures by the Italian geniuses of art, like Michelangelo.
Located in the north of Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi is easily reachable from Livorno, Genova – through Autostrada A12 – and Viareggio, driving along the promenade northwards to Marina di Pietrasanta. Who comes from Florence should take the A11 Firenze – Mare, turn in Lucca towards Viareggio.
What to see in Forte dei Marmi? First of all do not miss a lovely walk along the beach and the "corso", which is a 5 Km long street in front of the sea, equipped with bars, restaurants, pal and oak trees to give some fresh shadow during the hot summery days.
The remarkable length of the beach makes it ideal to enjoy the sea without suffering the excessive tourist crowding. In town you can admire the famous "Fortino" - which gives the name to the city – a Grand Ducal fortress dated back to the XVIII century.
The walk along the promenade is punctuated by shops and posh boutiques, while downtown every Wednesday in Piazza Donatori degli Organi there is a big street market to do some shopping at a cheaper price!
The Antiquity Market is another traditional rendezvous (every second Saturday and second Sunday of the month) in Piazza Dante; on August 28th the colourful Grande Fiera di Sant'Ermete along Via Matteottidoes worth a visit, too.
There is lots of fun and entertainment along the Versilia promenade, where to enjoy some good music, company and local fresh fish. Viareggio, Pietrasanta and the charming Massa Carrara are at a stone's throw.
Trekking lovers might be happy to know that there are some great itineraries up to the Alps Apuane, well visible from the city, with fully equipped and panoramic paths. The renowned Grotte del Vento are reachable in one hour by car, while to get to Pisa and Lucca it will take less than 30 minutes.
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Explore nearby towns
Pietrasanta, also called "The Small Athens", offers a great cultural and artistic heritage.
On Tuscany's Versilia coast, the town of Marina di Pietrasanta is a resort with some of the area's best beaches.
Seravezza, close to Lucca, is set like a gem among the huge rocks of the Garfagnana mountains.