Posted by: debrakolkka | September 11, 2011

Shopping on the beach

the beach at Forte dei Marmi

The beach at Forte dei Marmi is full of people in the warm weather. As well as the areas where you can rent a deck chair and an umbrella, there are a few places where you can sit or lie for free.

Paying to go to the beach is something an Australian has difficulty with. I know you get a deck chair and an umbrella for your money, but somehow it just doesn’t seem right that most of the beach is off limits unless you pay. The free areas are quite small and generally not the best bits.

rent your spot at the beach

the free bit of the beach

 The very considerate and helpful African boys save you the trouble of walking back to the town to shop by wandering down to the beach to sell their wares.

selling his wares

You can buy a handbag, watch or umbrella without leaving your beach towel.

you don't need to leave your towel

 I have always found these boys to be courteous and polite. They are only trying to make a living and they will leave you alone if you ask them nicely.

Forte dei Marmi is only about an hour from Bagni di Lucca and we go often. We love to go to the monthy antique market and to have lunch at Il Fortino, where they serve the best seafood pasta I have eaten anywhere. Click here and here to see more of Forte dei Marmi.


  1. I agree it’s very lovely & I can’t wait to get back there. The Sea Bass ravioli is calling me

    • Me too, I will be there 9th October for my ravioli.

  2. “you don’t need to leave your towel” to buy a Burberry lol lol
    Thanks for sharing!

    • It is quite a useful service really.

  3. Paying to go to the beach is tough to swallow!

    • It is not something we are used to in Australia.

  4. You have to pay in many European countries if you want a good spot on the beach. Spain is an exception. I do not like the idea of spending the whole day on the beach to justify what you have paid for your deck chair and the umbrella and the free beach spaces, just as you said, are few and overcrowded. For this reason, I prefer to go for a swim at the rockpool next to our mill…. although I must say that the water is quite cool as it comes from the mountain.

  5. I have put my toes in that water and it is very cold. It must be very refreshing in a hot summer day.

  6. I love this area with the mountains right behind the beach-in the US-you have hours between beach and mountains.
    When is the market?

    • The antique market in Forte dei Marmi is held every second Sunday and the preceding Saturday – usually the second weekend of the month, but not always. It is well worth a visit.

  7. […] original post here: Shopping on the beach « Bagni di Lucca and Beyond Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in Holiday Villas Rent Tuscany, Lucca e ha le […]

  8. How wonderful. I absolutely adore the beach. In Haiti we generally had to pay for beach access, and had boys selling wares, as well. What wonderful memories–a beautiful beach!

    • It is a lovely beach, but not nearly as good as our beaches here in Australia. We go there for its other delights.

  9. Any chance of a post on the antique market and best seafood pasta place, Il Fortino? At Ostia Lido (Roma) you can get a massage on the beach too, sand included. Actually the massage SHOULD be included; after you’ve paid that whopping great wad to sit (snugly) with others on the beach, some topless I might add. The massage gals are usually Asian, I noticed. One man opened his jacket to have it lined with watches and a woman; loaded down with scarves and jewellery all well displayed; hanging off her body. Amazing, a mobile market!!

    • I’ve done a few posts on Forte dei Marmi. I’ll forward them to you.

      • Thank you; I’ll look forward.

      • There is lots to see in Forte dei Marmi and some great shopping.

  10. I remember the Africans selling wares in Camogli, along with the folks selling “Coco bello” It was hard to keep my daughter from calling them over and begging me to buy her something.

    • We loved Camogli. We have only been once. I really liked the painted buildings. We were there the day before the big frypan festival. Clearly we need to go back.

  11. Paying for a beach spot is quite common in Europe, I believe, but as you say, hard for us Aussies to understand!

    • I don’t think ti would catch on here – ever.

  12. Paying for a beach spot and also having your towel lined up next to a complete strangers as it is so crowded (although the pictures of your one looked quite roomy) are both things that took a while to get used to.
    I love the beaches in Italy, but I really appreciate how wonderful they are in Australia.

    • That photo was taken very early in the season, before it got really busy. It would be packed in high summer. We don’t go to Forte dei Marmi for the beach. It has other delights.

  13. Looks like an amazing beach!

    • Forte dei Marmi is a great place to go for the day from Bagni di Lucca. You can drive through the beautiful hills behind Camaiora down to the beach or take the autostrada from Lucca.

  14. Having recently admired the Aussie beaches, and being a Scot – I’d have a really tough time with having to cough up – to lie in the sun, which I actually don’t have the patience, nor the skin, for 🙂
    Would you still have to pay for an evening stroll?

    • No, you don’t have to pay to walk on the beach. The area near the water is free.You pay to be in the areas with umbrellas and deck chairs, but they take up most of the beach. There are usually little strips of beach beside the walkways to the beach which are free. If you pay you get access to showers, dressing rooms and there is usually someone who will bring cool drinks etc to you deck chair. Some families go to the same beach every year for their holidays and rent at the same place each time.

  15. […] Shopping on the beach « Bagni di Lucca and Beyond Forte dei Marmi is only about an hour from Bagni di Lucca and we go often. We love to go to the monthy antique market and to have lunch at Il Fortino, where they serve the best seafood pasta I have eaten anywhere. Source: […]

  16. Yep, as a fellow Aussie paying for beach space seems bizarre – we saw the same thing in San Remo Italy and couldn’t believe it.

    • I guess it is what you get used to.

  17. […] more on the town click here, here, here and […]

  18. We will be traveling to Forte Dei Marmi from May 18-22. Will it be warm enough to stay at the beach for the day?

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