Forte Dei Marmi is one of the highlights of the Tuscan Riviera (Versilia). It is a small coastal resort which features 20km of golden sandy beaches on the Tyrrhenian coast. It has long been a favourite holiday destination of wealthy and influential Italians from the north of the country, but its close proximity to Pisa airport has opened the door to travellers from all over Europe.
Prestigious destinations like Forte Dei Marmi attract luxury brands, and the shopping here is excellent. There is a wide range of internationally famous stores as well as a number of small, local boutiques. Because the fashion giants of Milan are not far away, top quality goods are on offer here and many can be found at heavily discounted prices in the street market in Piazza Donatori degli Organi.
There is a great selection of restaurants in the town offering everything from excellent pizza and pasta to fine dining. The nearest restaurant to the apartment is only 100m away at the beach club (bagno) Lorenzo Levante and it offers great Italian food. You do not need to be a member to dine at most beach clubs and they usually have a bar as well. Prices to use the facilities (changing rooms, showers, sun loungers etc) vary depending on the exclusivity of the establishment. Water activities that are offered include jet skis, water skiing, parasailing and pedal boats.
The town is small enough to get round on foot, but you can get around quicker and see a lot more of the local area if you hire bikes. Tennis and horse riding are nearby and the nearest golf course is only 10 minutes drive away.
At night time the town comes alive and there are a lot of great clubs to enjoy and funfairs set up on the streets with dodgem cars and trampolines. The majority of people staying in the town in summer are on holiday so there is a real party atmosphere.
Forte dei Marmi is located in a delight part of Tuscany, that is well worth exploring. There are excellent transport links in the area, but to really enjoy the freedom of roaming through Tuscany’s verdant valleys and the bewitching Tyrrenian coast, it is probably best to hire a car. Viareggio is the largest city on the coast and is home to one of Italy’s most significant Carnevale (carnival). The paper mache floats and masked parades are world renowned and the partying is legendary.
Pisa and Lucca are also nearby and provide contrasting experiences. Pisa is a tourist mecca, with millions of visitors flocking there each year to see the famous leaning tower and other attractions. Lucca is a small walled city that you could walk around in a day, and is even easier to get round on a bike. There are many museums, galleries and gardens in amongst the medieval buildings and cobbled streets. The walls have been fully restored and turned into parkland for the city's inhabitants to enjoy. The city is friendlier, quieter and more reasonably priced than other major Tuscan destinations and well worth a visit. Music fans may already be aware of Lucca, as the birthplace of the great composer Puccini, or possibly because of the annual summer rock festival that is held there every year. This clash of cultures is what Lucca is all about, cherishing its heritage while being relevant to the present.