If you are staying for longer than a few days in Florence, Italy and want to have some time outside of the city to escape the hustle and bustle of Florence, spend a day by the sea and/or just want see something different, the little city by the sea in northern Tuscany is the perfect place for a day trip from Florence.
The City of Forte dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi, near the city of Lucca, is considered one of the oldest seaside resorts in the region. The town’s landmark, the fort built by the Grand Duke Leopold I. in the 18th century, and the white marble quarried in the area gave the town its name. The famous Michelangelo worked with the Carrara marble, which was shipped from the port of this town to Rome.
The beautiful beach of Forte dei Marmi offers various beach clubs and water sports activities. Numerous stores and boutiques, beautiful churches and buildings guarantee a nice trip to the city. Both in the squares of Forte dei Marmi and on the beach there are chic restaurants where you can have lunch but also enjoy the last rays of the sun at dinner. From everywhere you have the impressive marble mountains in the background. While for the adults the stores open again in the evening for a late-night shopping, the children can have their fun in a small amusement park in Piazza Marconi after dinner and race around the square in small electric cars.
Forte dei Marmi is therefore an experience for young and old at any time of day.
How to get to Forte dei Marmi from Florence
If you are in Florence by car, it will take you less than an hour and 30 minutes to get to Forte dei Marmi. Parking, however, is not easy in the city, as it is throughout Italy.
Public transport to Forte dei Marmi is also not a problem. By train from the main station of Santa Maria Novella, it takes about 1h40m to get to the station Forte dei Marmi-Seravezza-Querceta (with a change in Pisa), from where you have to take another 12 minutes by bus to the center of Forte dei Marmi. Attention: The bus leaves only once an hour, but it is punctual and reliable, timing is therefore everything. Train ticket costs between 11€ and 13€ and bus ticket 1.50€, each oneway. Then there is also the possibility to take the bus directly from Florence to the center of Forte dei Marmi for 5€ to 9€, oneway. However, the bus does not leave from the center of Florence but a bit outside. The way with public transport sounds complicated at first, but it is actually not at all and is totally worth it.
In the center of Forte dei Marmi you will not need a car. Everybody is just riding their bike there and you will get everywhere by foot, what makes the city so special, too.
A Day Trip in Forte dei Marmi
When we went to Forte dei Marmi for a day trip from Florence in mid-June, we decided to take the train and afterwards the bus to the city center. We started our trip at 10 o’clock in Florence and arrived around 12 at our destination. First, we walked around a little bit to get a short overview of the city. Because of the heat on that day, we went after 15 minutes of walking through the city straight to the beach and chose one of the many beautiful beach clubs. For 30€ we got two deckchairs, two beach beds and a parasol. We spent the next few hours at the beach, laying in the sun, reading, eating our food we brought with us and having fun swimming in the ocean. The water had already the perfect temperature, cold enough to be refreshed but warm enough to stay inside for a long time and not get cold.
When we had enough of the beach, we went again into the city and strolled through the stores and street markets. We chose one of the many nice restaurants that suited us from the menu and the price. We watched as the streets became more crowded in the evening and the restaurants filled up and people started shopping after their dinner. To catch the last bus to the train station, we had to leave Forte dei Marmi at 8pm and were back in Florence around 10pm.
Forte dei Marmi has become over the years, because of its impressive surroundings and expensive boutiques, a very popular vacation destination for many rich people and has therefore become on average more expensive than many other Italian towns in Tuscany by the sea.
In our opinion the money we spent on our day trip and the way how we got there was definitely worth it, because Forte dei Marmi is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany and has an incredible atmosphere.