Holidays to Forte dei Marmi refuse to go out of fashion. Giorgio Armani is a regular at this upmarket Tuscan resort, and it continues to woo the ‘dolce vita’ crowd.
The Italian Hamptons
Forte dei Marmi, or plain Forte, is one of Tuscany’s very first seaside resorts and Italy’s answer to the Hamptons – a summer playground for the country’s politicians, celebrities, and power elite. It has dozens of smart hotels, as well as lavish villas that are either rented by the season or bought outright by the likes of Giorgio Armani and co. Backdropping the sophisticated scene, the Apuan Alps’ marble peaks seem to float among the clouds.
Forte’s beach is a broad avenue of finely combed sand that crams in nearly 100 different bagni, or beach clubs. For some, there’s a long waiting list, while others hire sunloungers or a chic canvas tent on a first-come, first-served basis. You can lunch on focaccias and spaghetti dishes at the adjoining restaurants. The water is crystal clear and gently shelving, so it’s great for swimming. Watersports like windsurfing and jet-skiing are widely available, too.
The town was named after its marble fort – marmi translates as marble. You’ll find it in Piazza Garibaldi at the centre of the grid-planned streets. Stroll around the quarter, where elegantly-clad ladies walk their pooches, and you could forgive yourself for thinking you’re in Milan. Prada, Gucci, D&G and Roberto Cavalli have all opened boutiques here and there are art galleries and pavement cafés, as well as sensational restaurants. The streets aren’t paved in gold, but some sections are actually decked in marble.
Close to Pietrasanta
A 10-minute drive away is Pietrasanta, a town at the last foothills of the Apuan Alps. It’s a fabled hangout for sculptors, thanks to the local marble that Michelangelo made famous. Art lovers should pay a visit to the Bozzetti Museum where more than 600 casts and models are on display, as well as the antiques market held on the first Sunday of each month in Piazza Duomo.
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