Lay of the Land
Occupying less than three-and-a-half square miles, Forte dei Marmi is a small seaside town on the Versilian coast of northern Tuscany. The town’s main road runs from north to south, parallel to its long, wide beach. A variety of hotels and resorts can be found scattered along, or just off of, this main road. The proper town is comprised of a few vehicular streets and several pedestrian-only promenades, clustered together in the well-manicured center. Forte’s small size, low traffic volume and easily navigated streets make getting around safe and effortless and the most convenient and popular means of transportation is by bicycle. There are bike paths as well as trails for jogging and walking.
Forte is not only quaint and manageable in its own right, but it also allows for easy access to a variety of desirable day-excursions. A couple of hours north by boat are the coastal towns of Portofino and Cinque Terre. Characterized by their colorful, cliff side homes, wild natural beauty, medieval history and delectable Ligurian cuisine (famous for its pesto and focaccia), a day on the Tyrrhenian Sea makes for the perfect summer daytrip from Forte dei Marmi. Thirty to forty minutes south of Forte sit the medieval towns of Lucca and Pisa, both rich in history with remarkably in tact Old Towns- the highlight of which is the renowned Leaning Tower, mesmerizing in its beauty and well worth a visit. Art lovers will appreciate the nearby communes of Carrara and Pietrasanta, both less than thirty minutes drive on the outskirts of Forte. Carrara sits on the foothills of the Apuan mountain range and is home to some of Italy’s most famous marble quarries, while Pietrasanta, a charming and local town with strong ties to the area’s marble, enjoys the patronage of many acclaimed artists and is home to a host of fantastic art galleries.
Request bike rentals through the hotel concierge in advance of your arrival, as cycling will likely be your main means of transport. Self-driving in Tuscany is certainly do-able but unless you are planning to spend a significant amount of time outside of Forte dei Marmi, having a rental car is unnecessary – stick with a car hire for the times when you venture to neighboring towns.