Forget your prejudices about markets. The Forte market is something else. This is where you’ll find the must-haves you’ve seen on the chicest beaches of the world, the baubles worn by It Girls who collect followers on Instagram, plus the finest cashmere, furs straight from the runways of Paris and Milan and much more along this line! Here’s an insider view of the most interesting stalls this summer.
First, some technical details: the market is held Wednesdays and Sundays (a small version but just as popular) – always from about 8.30 am to 1.30 pm – on the little square of the merry-go-rounds in Forte dei Marmi, with two rings of stalls, one internal and one external.
Let’s start with the inside circle:
1. Furs by Elisabetta Panerai: bright colors and top quality, just what you’ll see next winter in Via Monte Napoleone or in Chelsea, in the shop windows or on the shoulders of the chicest women in town. All completely made in Italy and exclusive, with prices that start somewhere around 800-1000 Euro, but the expense is worth the beauty of the object. Have a look at the accessories in Dolce & Gabbana style at the entrance.
2. Ribes of Love. Super cool must-have accessories for teens, see the bracelets, necklaces, sunglasses and bags… You’ll feel like you’ve landed in Ibiza! For ladies of any age, the beautiful caftans of muslin and those with fine embroidery, great for evenings.
3. The Bijoux by Lorena Caravaglia Taddei stall may well be the most particular one I have selected. This fine lady from Milan who does not do many markets in Italy and, in general, prefers antique fairs, has a fantastic collection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings in bakelite and other resins. Some are vintage, others designed by artists, but all are rigorously French, as they tell us. Superb, very chic indeed!
4. Not far from Bijoux by Lorena Caravaglia Taddei – forgive me but I don’t recall the name – a stall with beautiful leather sandals signed Les Tropeziennes and some very elegant ballet pumps. They also have pom-pom sandals, another must-have for summer 2016. And the everlasting espadrilles for him and for her.
1. Pinotti: n addition to the downtown shop at Via Carducci no. 63, Pinotti also has 3 or 4 market stalls. They’re the top for cashmere, offering fringed or fur-trimmed capes, with colors running the gamut of tonalities from green to turquoise and then yellow, red, blue… Perfect for an evening at the sea side, they’ll cut a fine figure in the city as well, to bring back a taste of the summer just ended. The Hermes style bags in python-skin are also rather handsome.
2. Estro. There are so many must-haves at this stall that it is difficult to talk about them in just a few lines. Imported directly from Saint Tropez, here you will find the straw bags with pom-poms and those with the words that narrate the summer, the batik pareos, the very French colored hats. Near the little Fortinosquare, the same owners also have a shop for home accessories that merits a visit.
3. More straw bags, but this time made in Forte dei Marmi. This is Marì, 80 years of good humor and vitality. The grandmas of the 70s bought her bags and today their granddaughters are doing the same. They are flashy and fun, like the owner of this historical stall. A must-have!
4. Another historical stall, but no less fashionable! Quite the contrary. Every year, the Colibrì caftans offer a preview of what’s on the way to popularity for the next summer. Here you can find beach robes of Sangallo lace, caftans in silk and ethnic garments. The stall is at the market on Wednesdays and Sundays and the owners also have a shop in Forte at Via Mazzini no. 15.
5. There are a number of stalls with swim suits but these by Gianto Stock (still the external circle, both Wednesdays and Sundays) are special because of the careful finishing and perfect fit. Triangle, strip or balconette bikinis in solid colors, with sequins or embroidered flowers: you can choose among the colors of the season and the styles that suit you best.
In the mood for Africa? For a taste of ethnic in Versilia, the skirts and dresses by Massimigliano Martigli are the right thing: tribal prints, models that hark back to the 50s and all directly from London. Ready to return to the city with you, just add a black or brown cashmere and silk pullover.