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If you’ve been in Forte dei Marmi with the idea of visiting one of the most exclusive and glam locations of Versilia, we regret to inform you that since the last decade the trend has reversed. The one and only protagonist now is Pietrasanta, just a few kilometers away, and located exclusively to say the least.
With everything fully booked from April to early October, Pietrasanta is one of the few places which, even without a seaview, attracts thousands of visitors during the holiday season by its charming landscapes, as well as cultural and gastronomic offerings.
The air you breathe is sparkling, filled with dates and nightouts, streets crowded with people and shops open till late at night. The revival of this town is largely due to its contemporary art scene that in recent years, following a strong participation of many gallerists, has become a prestigious seasonal exhibition – a showcase for enthusiasts and collectors from all over the country.
Flora Bigai, Barbara Paci, Paola Raffo, Giovanni Bonelli, Marcorossi artecontemporanea, Susanna Orlando, the Subbia Gallery exhibit works of prominent contemporary artists and a digest of the latest market trends. If you love marble and environments resembling old sculpture ateliers, with statues, plaster casts and religious art, we recommend giving a visit to Lunedì dello studio. It’s an old marble processing studio (on the other hand, we are in marble’s homeland) with bohemian corners and lots of atmosphere.
A TYPICAL DAY
Photo credit © Google
Our day begins with a breakfast at Bar Michelangelo, one of the main attractions in town with a wonderful view on the Duomo and the nature behind it, also being one of the few spots kissed by early morning sun. After a good cup of coffee and a newspaper it’s time to lie on the beach.
Photo credit © Texas Versilia
Speaking of which, we know the best one – the Texas Versilia beach. Large tiendas, capable of accommodating 6 people, equipped with stylish and comfortable sunbeds, cabins with showers and private baths, a giant swimming pool for some exercise, and a good seaside restaurant. The ideal way to move around is by bike – landscapes are all plain – but if you have a car just make sure you have a parking spot in Pietrasanta, which may be difficult to find here in the high season.
Photo credit © Texas Versilia
You could decide to go back to the city at 6pm for dinner, but if you have a couple more days enjoy a beach aperitivo at sunset, when the suroundings begin to quiet and cool down. Afterwards, a quick shower, and the party goes on!
THE BEST COCKTAIL BARS
Photo credit © B’art
Good news for lovers of great cocktails: new openings in the city are all about mixology and the latest trends in this field: ‘Marble & Fun – Parla Piano’ (Marble & Fun – Speak Easy) is the first speakeasy in town opened this year in Via del Marzocco, with 1930s-style furnishings recalling the moods of the prohibition. ‘B’art‘, opened a year ago in Piazzetta del Centauro in a collaboration with the Giovanni Bonelli gallery, and is home to the bartender Manuele Mallegni and his cocktail list of excellence, accompanied by finger foods. The place is charmingly arranged for more intimacy and niche positioning.
Photo credit © MUD
Filippo Di Bartola, a restaurateur by now more than well-known in the city via a restaurant that carries his name, has just opened ‘MUD‘ a new location placed inside a former gallery: marble, newly designed chandeliers, exposed brick walls, brass and velvet. This chic, minimal and cool place was designed to put customers and their desires in the limelight with an intent to create a refined and gourmet experience. In its concept the menu is virtually non-existent: there are a few traditional dishes and tasting options, but in a real MUD experience its guests pick a list of ingredients and confide in the hands of their chef, who will improvise the main dishes or appetizers right on the spot according to their preferences. How fun and intriguing is that!
WHERE TO EAT
Photo credit © Il Posto
If you like lively places, a chance of bumping into art world personas and some VIPs, then ‘Il Posto‘ is the place for you. Convivial and cheerful, informal and enjoyable, Il Posto offers a menu with a wide selection of meat and fish, and a rich wine card.
Photo credit © Enoteca Marcucci
Speaking of restaurants, we could’t skip ‘Enoteca Marcucci‘, with an absolutely magical and unique atmosphere. I suggest that you enjoy a good label among coutless drink proposals, accompanied by a simple cold cut of Tuscan delicacies.
Photo credit © La Dogana
If you wish to leave the old town, ‘La Dogana‘ is definitely worth it, just a few kilometers away. A finely restored farmhouse with an interior garden, U-shaped tables covered by a porch, lots of green and a sea view. The décor is sober and elegant but there is always a welcoming family atmosphere that warms the space in an instant. A sophisticated seafood cuisine with top quality ingredients meets the land’s traditions, leaving space for local dishes and produce.
Photo credit © Google
For lovers of eclectic and full-bodied restaurants ‘Il Marzocco‘ is the ideal place. Forget the fresh fish and tradition, here it’s all about inventiveness, oriental spices and fusion of flavors for an evening filled with creativity rather than gourmet food.
SHOPPING? OF COURSE!
Photo credit © ZOE Boutique
The main shopping destination in Pietrasanta is ‘ZOE‘, a boutique in Via Garibaldi that is so big it seems like a parallel universe, both for females and males. Dresses, jewelery, bags, shoes and other accessories have been selected with great taste and care. Among the brands available: Iro, Isabelle Marant, Marni, Humanoid, MSGM, Dries Van Noten, Forte_Forte, See by Chloé, and many more.
Photo credit © Elle Remodelista
Vintage enthusiasts are advised to stop by ‘Elle Remodelista‘ where Laura Ciregia will show dresses and jackets created with vintage fabrics inspired by the spirit of the 50s and the 60s.
WHERE TO STAY
Photo credit © Albergo Pietrasanta
The Albergo Pietrasanta is my absolute favorite choice. This four star downtown luxury with spacious and welcoming rooms also possesses a collection of artworks for everyone to admire. Walking in a corridor or coming down to the garden for breakfast, you will notice pieces by Alighiero Boetti, Luigi Ontani, Mario Schifani, Gino De Dominicis, Lucio Fontana, Giuseppe Penone and many others. In a city so prominent in the art world, there is no solution more attuned to the Pietrasanta mood.
Photo credit © Suite della Rocca
Alternatively, another amazing destination is Suite della Rocca. With antique loggia balconies overlooking the Duomo, restored with great attention to detail, it’s charming and intimate. An exclusive, unique option for couples yet also ideal for families.
This is Pietrasanta – Versilia as you have never imagined it.