Forte dei Marmi Tuscany Between the Sea and the Mountains (There is Lard)

Do you love fashion, hiking or beaches? If you answered yes to this question, then Fort dei Marmi is a must visit destination for you. The town is among the most up-to-date and chicest in Versilia. Thanks to its beautiful villas immersed in pine groups, an impressive view of Apuan Alps, as well as the beautiful beaches, which makes the town a haven for tourists from all walks of life.

Pontile di Forte dei Marmi

Forte dei Marmi, located in the Tuscany region is one of the top summer destinations in Italy because of the standard services, vibrant nightlife, and its beaches. The site is ideal for those who love to walk and ride since it’s located in a natural plain beside the fascinating scenery.

Life in Forte dei Marmi originates from the Piazza Garibaldi, the central square, marked by famous spots including restaurants, bars, and various shops. From there, you can easily find the historic symbol in the region, the fortification – popularly known as the Fortino – constructed for security purposes by Leopold I.
The iconic pier (built in 1876) is a symbol of cosmopolitan Forte dei Marmi. Together with Fortino, the two sites gave the town the name “home of the Museum of Satire and Caricature. Pier was historically a place where marble extracted from quarries were loaded onto boats.

Forte dei Marmi was founded in Roman’s era and expanded significantly in the 16th century after the quarries were opened near the town. For the rest of century, the Fortress grew and developed through sheer renovation efforts. Towards 1788, the Fortress was completed, and around the 1800s, the Versilia town became a tourist destination and held similar status up-to-date.
It is the perfect destination for a luxury tour on a global scale with a wide beach area and an assortment of elegant villas based at the heart of the town. More so, Forte dei Marmi is also famous for its markets (in Vittoria Apuana, Piazza Marconi, and the antique) as well as festivals in honor of Saint Francis and Saint Hermes).
Additionally, the ancient traditions and hidden parts of the Apuan Alps are worth a visit as well. The sites will invite you to explore surprising and evocative paths in the upcountry.
A usual gathering is represented by an open market every Wednesdays in Pizza Marconi with various accessories, and frivolousness on display. The lively surrounding stretches along the seaside, which consist of a 10 km beach. The beach is made up of sections (called “bagni”) that provide visitors with unique environment and offers. This is composed of areas suitable for kids and families, for lovers and so on. The seaside is also ideal for shopping: there you will access an array of ateliers and boutiques.

Lastly, your tour will not end before taking some pictures, and the experience you get will always be fresh in your mind several years later.

Carrara marble tour

Carrara Marble

Carrara is based in a strategic location with proximity to popular destinations including Pisa, Lucca, Florence, and Cinque Terre. It is also located along major communication routes, such that if you are visiting Tuscany from the East (Riviera, Spain, France) or from the North, you will never miss the sight of the fantastic white mountains that stand stretches towards the horizon.

The marble mines located in the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany offers an incredible tour experience. Although you can tour the marble mines above the Carrara through a self-guided car tour, you’ll need to take a guided tour to reach the highest level of the Apuan Alps.

The marble quarries are the world’s most massive bedding that stretches along three major valleys (Colonnata, Torano, Fantiscritti) which branch out near Carrara town. The marbles caves are so unique that words can not describe the feeling you get once you get surrounded by the white, incredible marble mountains.

The unique art and archaeological feature is dated back to 2000 years ago. During this period, the Romans used the marble to built Rome and marked emperors celebration with it. Iconic museums in Italy such as the Rome Archaeological Museum, Vatican Museums, and Uffizi among others featured Carrara marble works.

Lardo di Colonnata

Lardo di Colonnata

Many thanks to its unique compatibility of taste and seasonality – the Lardo di Colonnata, strips of cured fat is an exceptional food of Tuscany and probably the perfect natural accompaniment to the bruschetta.

The curing and storage of the Lardo di Colonnata is exceptional in every aspect. First, the marble mold consists of a particular type of marble from marble-cutter referred to as Calanoni. It is considered as the ideal cure of the Lardo. The marble is washed with hot and called water respectively.

History

Lardo di Colonnata is the product of two great Tuscan products: pork and the white marble from the Apuan Alps. Pork is the main livestock product in the region while the marble used to make beautiful columns are of excellent quality.

On the one hand, the Romans focused on increasing the amount of marbles they could extract, while on the other, the Barbarians that controlled the region after the Romans focused on the rearing of pigs for pork and lard. The best lardo is produced in Colonnata.

The consistent mountain wind in Colonnata brings about a suitable environment for aging lard. The fat is stored in basins or marble tubs with ideal porousness. Lardo di Colonnata standards include aging the meat in marble and are regulated by IGP. As soon as you move away from the regulated region, you will notice a decline in the quality of lards.

Final thoughts

Now you have a basic understanding of Forte dei Marmi, Carrara marble tour, and Lardo di Collonata. As a tourist visiting Italy for the first time, and more so Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi is a must-visit location due to its the top-notch services, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches, not to mention the impressive view of Apuan Alps. The Carrara marble tour will guarantee you a one-on-one view of the famous marble quarries. And finally, the delicious taste of Lardo di Collonata will ensure your tour experience is one of its kind.

Who is Dario Cecchini? The Butcher of Panzano in Chianti

Are you visiting Tuscany any time soon? If yes, watching a butcher at work may not be at the top of your itinerary but we recommend that you take the chance anyway. Dario Cecchini is not just the most famous butcher in Tuscany. He has been referred to as the world’s greatest butcher and it’s easy to see why when you watch him at work with his various knives and cleavers. He practically transforms the act of butchering into an art. He has been known to attract such personalities as Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen and other such greats. People travel from near and far to watch him in small shop. With only 2 rooms in his shop, you will be lucky to get a spot.

Oh Dario!
Dario the Butcher seem to be very popular – source

His butchery is typical of any Italian butcher only better. All around, on counters, there are different cuts of meat that have been prepared in different ways depending on how they are supposed to be cooked. You will see seasoned meatballs, stuffed pork loin and many more. Dario doesn’t stop there. He ensures that every visitor who goes to see him gets a taste of some meat and some red wine. As you watch him preparing different meats, his small staff walks around handing everyone something to eat and drink.

Dario didn’t get started as a butcher. It runs in his family, with 6 generations before him making a living from this humble trade. He intended to become a vet and even went to veterinarian school to learn the skills of the trade. Life had other plans for him though and they were to transform his life forever. His father, who was a butcher, died suddenly and Dario had to step in and take over the business so as to be able to continue to provide his family with a livelihood. He did prove that he had a knack dealing with meat but vet studies didn’t go to waste. To this day, he ensures humane treatment of animals before they are killed and butchered.

So what makes him so different from other butchers? This famous butcher from Panzano in Chianti sets himself apart through his personality. He is open and welcoming and don’t be surprised if you walk into his shop and he stops what he is doing, cleans himself up and comes out from behind the counter to envelop you in a giant hug. At the same time, he can sometimes be heard reciting lines from Dante’s Inferno as he works. He enriches the lives of those around him with some kind of happy magic that comes from within.

Business has been good. From the 2 room butcher shop, he was able to open an art gallery next door, a Solociccia restaurant across the street. He has also utilized the top and the back of his shop to open 2 restaurants in one. During the day, you can enjoy a juicy MacDArio and if you come back in the night you will find Officina della Bistecca which can only be described as a carnivore’s haven and before each night starts, you will hear Dario shout a poignant question: to beef or not to beef? That is the question.

The Chianti area is also renowned for its wine, you can easily tour wineries with your own car or by a chauffeured mini van if you are travelling with your family or a group.