Founded in Roman times, Forte Dei Marmi flourished in the 16th century when the quarries opened, and Michelangelo laid out the main road to carry the precious heavy blocks of white marble from the quarries to the sea. The famous pier was historically used for loading the extracted marble onto the boats. In town, you’ll admire its namesake fort, the ‘marble fortress’. Built in the 1700’s, this is where the marble was kept along with many marble sculptures such as the war memorial. Make sure you visit the white marble quarries of Carrera yourself and see where Michelangelo cut his stone.
No holiday to Forte Dei Marmi is complete without a spot of retail therapy. All along the promenade you’ll find high-fashion shops and boutiques with world class, luxury brands – from Prada, Versace, to Louis Vuitton and Rolex. It’s also famous for its markets. Downtown every Wednesday, the town puts on one of the most exclusive street markets of Italy offering designer shopping at a cheaper price. The Antiquity Market is another traditional event that takes place in the Piazza Dante. Of course, you may have to stop off at one of the many excellent restaurants to taste the exquisite pizzas while enjoying some fun entertainment and live music.
The great outdoors
Peering at the old celebrity villas while cycling the promenades and shady streets is a traditional way to explore this fascinating town. You also won’t fail to be impressed by the majestic Apuan Alps in the background. There’s plenty of adventure to be found on the hiking trails here as paths lead through mountain woodland to stunning panoramic views. But of course, Forte Dei Marmi holidays are famous for the outdoor festivals and a highlight is in the local town of Torre del Lago. Dedicated to Italy’s much loved opera composer, it hosts a spectacular program of concerts and performances in the Puccini Open Air Theatre set on the atmospheric banks of Massaciuccoli Lake.
A base for local highlights
When it comes to venturing out beyond a holiday in Forte Dei Marmi, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Many iconic towns and cities are just a short drive away. Catch the leaning tower of Pisa, the beauty of Florence and the striking history of Lucca. Another highlight worth discovering is the colourful villages of Cinque Terre. Its fisherman homes perched on the cliff rocks are part of the Cinque Terre National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Elba Island is another pretty destination, renowned for its crystal clear waters and a place where Napoleon spent years in exile. The tallest peak of Mount Capanne overlooks beautiful hillside towns, historic fortresses and dramatic coves. You could even go celebrity spotting in nearby Portofino. This trendy resort, famous for its ‘Piazzetta’ and brightly coloured buildings, is a regular holiday destination of millionaire jet-setters, sports champions and politicians.
For a slice of true Italian style and beauty, you’ll find Forte Dei Marmi an alluring place to visit.