FORTE DEI MARMI, how to get there
BY MOTORWAY: From Genova motorway A12 to the South and exit Versilia;
from Milano motorway A1 and A15 up to La Spezia and then A12 to the South and exit Versilia;
from Firenze motorway A11 up to Lucca and then the link-road to Viareggio;
from Roma motorway A1 up to Firenze, then the A11 and exit Versilia. From the exit Versilia go on towards Forte dei Marmi.
BY TRAIN: Forte dei Marmi, Querceta and Seravezza stations. Long distance trains stop in Viareggio. Time tables on the web site www.trenitalia.it
BY AIRPLANE: Pisa airport “Galileo Galilei”, about 40 Km from Forte dei Marmi. To the north of Forte dei Marmi (Cinquale, 5 Km) there is a small touristic airport with a grass strip.
BY BUS: CLAP or LAZZI from Viareggio and Lucca
WEEKLY MARKET: Wednesdays
Forte dei Marmi beach is 5 Km long. It goes from the mouth of the Cinquale up to the mouth of the Fiumetto and it is traditionally a beach patronised by important people from show, finance, sport that since the 60’s patronised sea areas and historical clubs such as La Capannina di Franceschi (a well known night club).
Historically speaking, the first nucleus was born around the 16th century around a block-house near the beach that was built against Corsair incursions. The increasing exploitation of marble caves on Apuane increased the trade of boats that put blocks on board and unload goods. Therefore, the block-house became also a warehouse around which gathered an always increasing number of peasants and fishermen. For this reason the Grand Dukes of Lorena built a more massive block-house (thus the name of the place).
At the beginning of the 90’s writers and artists such as Thomas Mann, Aldous Huxley, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Eleonora Duse, Curzio Malaparte came here on holidays and they were followed by industrialists and business men such as the Agnelli family. They marked the beginning of elite and elegant tourism tradition of Forte dei Marmi.
View of Forte dei Marmi from the sea – Photo by Thomas Hawk
A worldly but discrete milieu, seaside resorts with all comfort, wonderful and half hidden villas and high prices offer an exclusive hospitality far away from stress. The wharf, that was once used to take on board marble, stretch itself on the sea for about 300 meters with the wonderful Apuane frame at its back. In the most central Piazza Garibaldi there is the Museum del Forte for satire and caricature. It is located in the Forte of Leopoldo I, obtained the heredity of the price “Satire and Politic” (1973) and became the centre of conservation, collection and study of all the materials on history, satire and world caricature. Its patrimony is composed of original drawings, contemporaneous and from the past, of a library of more than 1000 specialist volumes, of a video library and a multimedia archive thanks to donations of private collections, collaborations with satirical magazines and cartoons associations. In the Museum it is possible to visit temporary exhibitions according to an annual calendar.
The place attracts many people also during the low season, especially for the weekly markets (Wednesdays in Piazza Marconi and Piazza Donatori D’organi, from 8:00 to 13:30), the daily covered market (Piazza Donatori D’organi, from 7:00 to 20:00). During the summer, then, the market doubles also on Sundays (Piazza Marconi, from 8:00 to 13:30).
For the antique-trade lovers, the market takes place in Piazza Dante during the second Sunday of the month and the Saturday before.
It is not possible to miss the traditional appointment, highly felt by the inhabitants, of the Fiera di S. Ermete (28 of August, Piazza Garibaldi, Piazza Marconi and the nearby streets from 7:00 to 24:00) that ends with a pyrotechnic show from the sea concluding the “kermesse” of events “Estate al Forte”. Among them jazz concerts and the Fiera Nazionale dell’Antiquariato (in August, in the Palasport) are highly recommended.
Vittoria Apuana, located north of Forte dei Marmi, is a small and exclusive garden city.
Several pathways allow cycling in the centre and going, in an absolute tranquillity, also to the nearby cities.
Other opportunities for an active tourism are tennis courts, gyms, sailing schools, windsurf, skating, riding-grounds, a golf course with 18 holes, and, for mountain lovers, trekking in the Apuane Park or climbing their compelling heights.