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Fashionable Forte dei Marmi

  • Fashionable Forte dei Marmi

    Chic Forte dei Marmi is just 14km further north of Viareggio. For the smart set, summer here is highly ritualistic, with general agreement about which beach, beach club and cocktail bar is the most fashionable spot. Not that you have to follow the crowd. Essentially, it’s a place for playing with the rich. If you’re not, then just pretend. Treat it as an entertaining game. Guessing who’s pretending is part of the fun. You either get Forte dei Marmi or you don’t. This is the resort of choice for holidaying industrialists from Turin and fashion magnates from Milan. This is a resort once favoured by the great Gianni Agnelli and now patronised by the likes of Giorgio Armani, Andrea Bocelli and billionaires from the Balkans. The number of pricey sports cars seen cruising the streets in the early evening is directly proportional to the number of bulletproof vests required by the drivers and their bodyguards. Not that you need a fortune to enjoy the resort (though it helps). It’s enough to indulge in window-shopping rather than real shopping and to choose your pleasures with care. The shops and cafés around Piazza Marconi somehow still manage to retain something of a small town atmosphere, even if they do sell some of the most expensive items money can buy.

    Cycle along the seafront promenade, preferably with a pooch in your basket and a floaty sundress. Walk along the pier, originally created to ship Michelangelo’s marble from the surrounding mountains. Wander the backstreets to sense the peace and quiet that artists and writers found here in the late 19th century. While window-shopping in the early evening, watch the millionaires picking out pointless pieces of designer jewellery. Save your real shopping for the Saturday market on Piazza Marconi. Indulge in some beach-lounging (see below). Swimming is optional, but preening is essential, preferably at a beach club. As the sun sets, make sure that you’re sitting at an outdoor café, in time to preen and pose over cocktails and nibbles. Don’t worry about missing the cultural attractions: they’re non-existent. After dinner, stroll along the seafront or find the closest gelateria for an ice cream. If you haven’t been invited to a beach club party, go to bed – and perform the same ritual for the rest of your stay. Seriously, you don’t need to follow the crowd, Italian-style. Read our full Forte dei Marmi guide to get its measure, including shopping and dining tips.
    Address: Twiga Beach Club, via Roma 2, Lungomare, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
    T: 0584 21518 i www.twigabeachclub.com

    Beach Club del Principe Forte dei Marmi, Hotel Principe, Viale Morin 67, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
    T: 0584 784145 i www.principefortedeimarmi.com

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