A day in Forte dei Marmi
The restaurants, bathing establishments and shopping addresses for an unforgettable vacation in Versilia's coolest town
If you close your eyes, you smell the same scents. The scents of spaghetti with clams, of schiacciata that tastes of the sea, of crispy fried food, of shampoo that does not make the eyes of blond and tanned children water. Of the acrid and powerful saltiness that tastes genuine. In fact, they are not special scents, they are the same as any seaside place.... What makes them special are the memories, the images that flow past like 1970s Polaroids. Because you have been coming to Forte dei Marmi forever. And if it is not exactly like that, your memory certainly has some memories linked to this place that lies between the mountains and the sea, set like a perfect little pearl. Places and rituals of the night have changed in recent years, thanks to beach establishments transformed into real clubs that have a second life at sunset, with dinners and aperitifs pied dans l'eau. Would you like to discover Forte dei Marmi in literature? Click here!
In the morning, the rhythms are the same as always: for the more sporty, the day starts with a run or a walk in Versiliana, a tennis match at Tennis Italia or Roma Imperiale, a yoga class by the sea. For those who don't like sports, you can go straight to the beach, not before having breakfast. One can opt for the renovated Caffè Principe, brought back to life thanks to the Prada Group. At Caffè Soldi you sit at tables right in the centre, behind the Fortino: excellent brioches, also vegan, savoury mignons and yoghurts with the freshest berries, the same ones used for the splendid cream and shortcrust cakes. We go to Il Giardino a little later, when breakfast becomes brunch: the wholemeal stuffed schiacciate (flatbreads) and ham brioche are delicious. Healty choice? Sanamente, ça va sans dire... This state-of-the-art restaurant offers avocado toast, vegetable protein bowls, fruit and vegetable juices. Also an excellent choice for lunch if you're going late to the beach after a very long night. For the more nostalgic, Il Principe remains an iconic venue. After breakfast, a bit of shopping: all the 'made in Italy' maisons and some important international brands have super stores here with research products and capsules designed for Forte dei Marmi: Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce&Gabbana, Tod's, Ermanno Scervino, Brunello Cucinelli... but also brands dedicated to the youngest, such as Off-White, Golden Goose, Faliero Sarti and the multi-brand boutiques of Fiacchini.
This applies every day of the week, from May to the end of September, with the exception of Sundays and Wednesdays, the days of the Forte market. Don't expect cheap choices and convenient products: here the produce is high and absolutely trendy. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Fort fills up with arrivals from all over Versilia: people buy handbags, designer clothes, furs, household linen, cashmere sweaters and shawls that will warm September evenings still at the seaside or autumns in the city. On 28 August, a rite within a rite, the market extends to the whole town and lasts from morning to evening: a visit is a must for the first winter purchases that anticipate trends.
From 12 noon onwards, it is only by bike to the sea. Bathing establishments with the discreet charm of exclusive clubs, international fashion houses, deluxe shops in place of old shops and refined restaurants make it an exclusive and chic destination, a local Saint Tropez. The bathrooms at the Forte are discreet and quiet: a few children on the shore, strictly equal towels, a few glacettes and champagne under the curtains. The services are everywhere of the highest level. The top ones are Bagno Twiga, a white, deluxe oasis that can be recognised by the photographers always on the prowl for VIPs; its club has been a reference point for nightlife in Versilia for years. A little further on is Bagno Piero: here the only creed is understatement and for this reason preferred by many entrepreneurs and personalities from the world of politics and finance who frequent Versilia. Choose Bagno Silvio, a real Versilia institution, if you also want to enjoy a good lunch with a nice plate of spaghetti alle arselle. Bagno Annetta is one of the most VIP haunts on the coast: swimming pool, gym, restaurant and beach with tents that look like bungalows and make the Annetta more like an exclusive club than a traditional establishment. One of the jewels of the coast is Bagno Alpemare, which, thanks to the Bocelli family, has become a true oasis for its customers. Another of the coast's historic names, where privacy, relaxation and elegance are the watchwords, is Bagno Alcione, purchased by Paolo Berlusconi's daughter, Alessia. Click here for an in-depth look at the best bathing establishments in Forte dei Marmi! While if you prefer to dedicate an afternoon to art, here you cannot miss the most beautiful exhibitions in Versilia.
A swim and then lunch at a restaurant: rarely do you eat under a tent or umbrella, more often it is large family or friends' tables in the shade, rewarded by triumphs of fried food, risotto and bubbly. If you don't fancy such a demanding approach, the alternative is an ice cream or a slice of watermelon, and then lots of books, lots of talking, happy children screaming, long walks. You can also stop and get something ready and tasty in the most exclusive delicatessens of the Fortress, click here to find out which ones they are!
At sunset wherever you are an aperitif is de rigueur, a summer custom par excellence. On the beach it is the best, with your feet still sandy and your hair wet, perhaps at Bagno Santa Maria, accompanied by lots of good music, at the Remo Beach Club, the new summer address, or at Bambaissa, the elegant restaurant of the Augustus Beach Club. If you love the vintage flavour of beautiful Versilia, choose a Negroni at La Capannina or the timeless Almarosa. Here all the best aperitifs in Versilia!
After the aperitif, but still late, it's time for dinner: a reference point for the most passionate gourmets is the La Magnolia restaurant at the Hotel Byron, where you can eat in an exclusive setting by the pool, the beautiful and elegant Lux Lucis at the Hotel Principe del Forte, or the Bistrot with its open kitchen, elegant rooms with a vaguely colonial-style design and a cool summer terrace, accompanied by jazz music. In the very central Via Carducci, at number 61, another name that certainly needs no introduction: for thirty years Lorenzo has been a must for lovers of haute cuisine. New this summer is the arrival of Filippo on the beach at Marina di Pietrasanta. After the restaurants in Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi, where Filippo Di Bartola tells his vision of elegant cuisine linked to the Versilian tradition, he now arrives directly on the beach, at Bagno Roma Fiumetto. Another meeting point for Forte lovers is Maitò. An elegant environment with a large indoor room furnished in perfect Mediterranean style. Outside, the tables, amidst soft lighting and candles, weave between the wooden cabins and the beach, offering unique and unforgettable gastronomic experiences in a romantic and chic atmosphere. Here is a focus on the best restaurants in Forte dei Marmi; while if you want to eat right by the sea, here you can discover the bathrooms to book on the fly.
If, finally, you love nightlife, every night the jeunesse dorée pours into this part of the coast: after dinner the path is a glittering crescendo that usually ends at Capannina or Twiga. And if you don't know where to stay overnight, here we suggest the most iconic rooms in the most beautiful hotels in Versilia!