Our trip to Italy was incredible. I delayed writing about the trip just as soon as we got back because a. we had so much personally going on (buying and selling a house!) b. I missed my kiddies terribly and wanted to spend as much time with them as I could and c. I needed to relish in the memories and soak in what this trip of a lifetime had given me before I could put it into words.
The trip of a lifetime it was. As I mentioned before, I went with four of my very best friends, my apartment-mates during my study abroad in Florence, and our fiancés(!!!) and husbands who have all developed serious bromances since. We bonded on this trip just like we did 11 years ago, over lots of chianti, endless bowls of pasta, laughter, hours spent in our dipping pools, late night games and pillow talk. No matter how busy life gets, we always pick up right where we left off and we’re so lucky to have each other and the memories we made on this amazing trip.
Yes, it was tough to leave Brian and Grace for 7 days and 7 nights. I was good in the beginning and the distraction of my uninterrupted time with my friends, husband, and amazing scenery (oh and wine) helped, but by the time we left the Milan airport for NY I was having panic attacks that I wouldn’t get home! Being so far away was tough and I missed them a lot but I knew this trip was special and would probably not happen again for a very long time so I did my best to enjoy the moment and trust they were just fine (which they were thanks to our amazing parents and babysitter, Sara!).
SO I’m going to start with Forte dei Marmi, a Tuscan seaside town directly west of Florence on the Mediterranean. Brian and I woke up late on Friday morning (like 11 AM late!) and wanted to take a day trip to the beach. We had asked the owner of our B&B La Locanda (more on that later) where we should go to the beach and he said “Forte dei Marmi of course”. Very upscale but so accommodating for tourists and beautiful, the best in Tuscany. So we went for it and headed out in our little Fiat and an hour later landed on this pristine beach town. It felt like the Nantucket or Palm Beach of Italy, everything was perfect and well maintained, and the shops were incredible. The buildings were all painted in pretty pastels with palm trees and the brightest flowers lining the streets. The town was relatively quiet when we got there but as the afternoon went on, the Italians started flooding in for the weekend.
We quickly learned that in order to get the most of our quick stay we would have to pay a day fee to a beach club to use their facilities. The beach is lined with these beach clubs, when translated actually called “bath clubs” each painted a different color with all of the umbrellas and lounge chairs to match. We picked the aqua one, La Perla, and were so happy with it. Owned by two older Italian ladies, our club welcomed us with open arms and set us up comfortably for the day. We parked ourselves on the most comfortable beach chairs and only got up to refill our proseccos and order prosciutto and mozzarella sandwiches. We walked the beach to see what the other clubs were up and you imagine a more perfect scenario with the mountains in the background and the different pastel colored beach clubs lining the beach and the sparkling Mediterranean, it was like heaven. I don’t think there was one other American on the beach which was kind of cool because we felt like we found an authentic spot and got a taste of how the Italians beach, and let me tell you, they do it right. My favorite was seeing them relax with their whole families, kids playing soccer for hours on end on the beach, the elderly playing cards under the shade of the cabanas, and everyone smoking cigarettes and having a grand old time. They all smoke cigarettes, it’s crazy.
I wish we had longer to stay at Forte dei Marmi so I could explore a little more in town but from what I saw it was spectacular. I’m sure we could fill a couple of days in this town with nothing but enjoyment and relaxation, oh well, we’ll have to go back!
If you’re traveling to Florence and have time for a day trip, I HIGHLY recommend Forte dei Marmi, you won’t be disappointed!