Forte dei Marmi in the coast of Tuscany is a favorite and historical summer destination for the Italians. Many families from Milan and Florence spend their summer vacations there. Forte has only private beaches but they are known to be ideal for families with kids. Each long spacious beach club has its own color of umbrellas, cabanas and private wood cabins that are used as changing rooms. They all have restaurants and bars that serve wonderful local food, including gourmet pastas and fresh fish. The white sand is cleaned every day and a wonderful view on the near by mountains can be enjoyed from your lounge chair.
Everybody uses bicycles to get around, it is common to see couples driving with kids on the back of their bikes. The center of town is a dream for children. In the main rotunda, kids can take rides on horse carriages, take pony rides or drive mini ferraris. There is a small amusement park with merry go rounds, tea cups and other rides on canoe and little train, bumper cars and more. Some evenings, puppet shows are organized. All those activities are available from the afternoon to late in the evening, when cars are not allowed to pass.
Another great place to spend with the kids in the afternoon is the Versiliana. It is a cultural center and theatre that is located in a pine park, where an open air section is dedicated to kids: painting, playdo, drawing, sculpting, and much more are available everyday, as well as a playground for toddlers.
The Versiliana park is a wonderful place to take a bike ride with the family. There is also a horseback riding center, but you can also just stop by to pet the horses.
The food is very kid-friendly. Gelato made on the premises at Cervino is offered in dozens of flavors, mini foccacias and Italian donuts, called “bomboloni” are not to be missed at Vale’ , pizzas and stuffed focaccias are the favorite of kids and their parents at Pizzino.
15 minutes out of the town, in the hills nearby, is La Cantina: this restaurant has big gardens with huts where guests are accommodated. The speciality? Pizza by the meter, but pastas are also amazing. Kids love it because they run around in the garden while they wait for the food, and go watch the pizza maker by the big brick oven.
All the major brand names and more can be found in the town center, including kids stores like Peter Pan, that has a huge kids shoes selection. But another great shopping attraction is the “Mercato” every Wednesday and Sunday morning in center of town. This market offers fine embroidered tablecloths, handmade ceramic pieces, leather goods, vintage furs and cashmeres as well as discounted clothes and bathing suits. It gets very crowded so better to go there early.
At the Pier, called “il Molo”, people walk and enjoy the fresh sea breeze while fishermen wait for the catch of the day.
Forte dei Marmi is a pricey but an unforgettable destination. Located close to some the most famous Italian tourist attractions such as the Tower of Pisa (30 minutes), the medieval romantic town of Lucca (30 min) and Florence (60 minutes). Many go there with the idea of touring but just end up chilling by the beach and enjoying the good food…
Carole is co-founder of Kidmondo.com, a personalized online baby journal that allows parents to chronicle their child’s life and share it with friends and family in a safe environment. Carole is also a freelance journalist and communication professional.
As a PR based in Milan, Italy, she was involved in the launch of MTV Italia and some of her clients included Kenzo, Etro, John Kennedy JR & George magazine, Tommy Hilfiger, Virgin Megastore, Wallpaper*, Rolling Stone magazine and more. Since moving to New York, she has mainly been writing on a wide range of topics such as beauty, fashion, health, entertainment, lifestyle and travel for Italian publications such as Elle, Glamour, Dove, Flair, Grazia and Gioia.