The bikes, the scent of maritime pines, the focaccine, the Wednesday market, the long pier stretching into the sea, the historic beach clubs with their striped umbrellas and the Liberty-style villas hidden away in the shade of the pinewood. This, and so much more, is Forte dei Marmi: the seaside venue in the province of Lucca that takes its name from the fort located in the town centre and from the marbles of the nearby Apuan Alps.
Located around an hour and a half by train from Florence, but also reachable by bus (ask your concierge), since the early 20th century it has fascinated industrialists such as the Agnelli and Siemens families and intellectuals such as Thomas Mann or Luchino Visconti, to name just a few. The major tourism boom occurred in the post-war period, when it became one of the most glamorous holiday venues in Italy.
A holiday in Forte dei Marmi revolves around rituals that seem eternal: on Wednesdays, for instance, there is the legendary market, and you can find everything there. The Market at Forte dei Marmi is a genuine open-air boutique where you can buy precious fabrics or ceramics for your seaside home, but also leather goods, hats made of fine straw and
cashmere cardigans, all strictly Made in Italy. It goes without saying that you cannot expect to find neighbourhood market prices, but quality, as we know, has to be paid for.
And then there are the focaccine, which, together with the bomboloni (cream buns) are the snacks that symbolise summers in Versilia.