Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TUSCANY

We had a great apartment in Forte dei Marmi
During our travels last year, we heard of a town called Forte dei Marmi and decided to spend 4 days there this year.  Are we glad we did!  Situated on the northern Tuscany coast, Forte dei Marmi has long attracted the rich and famous (Giorgio Armani and Andrea Bochelli have villas there) and has all the fine restaurants and upscale shops (Gucci and Prada) that go with a chic, seaside town.  
A quiet, rainy Monday morning in FDM


In the center of the village are the remains of a fortress that was built in 1788 of marble from nearby quarries.  Hence the name Forte dei Marmi meaning Fort of the Marbles.  We had a lovely apartment with a patio and so enjoyed biking through the town and past the many beach clubs and restaurants that line the sandy beach. 
UNA Hotel

Our apartment at UNA
After booking our stay in Forte dei Marmi, I saw an offer from Luxury Link for 2 nights at UNA Hotel in Lido di Camaiore. Even though it was just down the road a bit, we signed on because it sounded so nice – and it was.  

Unfortunately, this has been a very rainy spring here in Italy but UNA has a wonderful indoor pool and spa. 
Indoor pool and spa at UNA
Wall surrounding Castiglione del Lago's old town
 Our voucher included a fabulous breakfast, massage and dining credit.  And since the hotel was not full, they upgraded us to a one bedroom apartment!

We then headed south to Lake Trasimena, the fourth largest lake in Italy.  Situated on the border of Tuscany and Umbria, it is the result of a shallow sea that covered this part of Italy 3 million years ago. We stayed in Castiglione del Lago which at one time was an island in the lake.  The center piece of the city is a medieval town atop the hill overlooking the lake.  

Cortona
Nearby is the city of Cortona, made famous by the book Under The Tuscan Sun.  Sitting high on a hill, it offers beautiful views over the valley with Lake Trasimeno in the distance.  The Etruscan walls surrounding the city are 3,000 years old.