Forte dei Marmi is a small sea town known as a fashionable Riviera of Tuscany. From the Italian language the significance of this name is “Fort of the marbles”, it cames from the fortress built to defend the coast from the external attacks. The enemies normally came from the sea and this is why You can see the walls in the road in front of the beaches. Thus, the area began to be known as Forte dei Marmi. The fortress was built under Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1788. You can find it in the middle of the main square of the city.
The city contains a gate built in a former bog, a historical artifact that relates to strategic planning by the ancient Roman army.
Tourism in Forte dei Marmi started at the end of the 18th century when the rich families of the inland went to the coast to breathe healthy air and to sunbathe. Since the 1920s, the artists, intellectuals, aristocrats and businessmen not only Italian but also from all the Europe have flocked to this little town, attracted by the privacy and comfort offered by its pine woods and sandy beaches, hidden away behind the Apuan mountain range. Many famous people started to built their villas here. The first ones were Guigliermo Marconi, Agnelli, Siemens, Thomas Mann , Luchino Visconti and many other noble families. For example, the Grand Hotel in Forte became an important place for the European high society and the hotel was chosen also from the Belgian royal family. Forte Dei Marmi is the birthplace of Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of the Belgians from 1993 to 2013.
Today this area still offers a beautiful beach, glamour stores, VIP parties but also a healthy lifestyle for bikers, kids, families. Apart from the exclusive boutique showrooms or “Made in Italy” tags, this town is also famous for its flea markets. This market opens every Wednesday at Piazza Marconi near the city center. From crockery to branded designer wear, is available at this flea market .
Every year Forte dei Marmi hosts two festivals, the festival of Sant’Ermete ,which is the International Festival of Fireworks held in late August. The streets are filled with stands offering food and different unique goods for sale, and the evening ends with a fireworks display. The second important event is the festival of San Francesco, that involves from folk songs to religious choirs, there is something for every music lover. This festival takes place in October.