Postcard from Forte dei Marmi, Part One: The Flowers

POSTCARD FROM MARTINCOONEY.COM

Postcard from Forte dei Marmi, Part One

The Flowers

 (I love Flowers)

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Stepping off the meandering local bus I had boarded in Pietrasanta 20 minutes or so previously I was immediately transfixed at the sight, the sound (or lack thereof) and, most beguiling of all, a most delicate yet powerfully fresh air…. a heady maritime flower-infused elixir that had just moments earlier been fanning waves upon the choppy waters of an April Mediterranean Sea.

Gradually, the slow realization began to settle that this was indeed no carbon copy of the communities nestled snugly side-by-side along seemingly the entire stretch of coastline south of carrara, all the way to Viareggio. Clearly, this place was paying no attention to the script.

By sheer coincidence my visit was to coincide with my birthday and so I was particularly chuffed to realize, as I slowly gained my senses, that not only had the town marked the occasion by generously festooning itself with a kaleidoscope of wildly colorful flowers, but had appeared to have gone to great lengths to ensure that only my favorite blooms were on show; saving their most dazzling displays for my two most favorites of all: Columbine and Foxgloves.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Given Forte dei Marmi’s exotic nature it still comes as something of a shock to realize that, bearing in mind that during the entire previous three-weeks I had been in Italy I had made Pietrasanta my home base, it took me over three weeks to discover the place. But strangely enough, Forte dei Marmi, its goings-on or the place itself, seem of little or no interest to those living beyond the berg’s impeccably manicured streets, for in all that time I barely heard mention of it, and as far as I can recall nothing whatsoever about, say, the flowers.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

I’m sure a much different scene would greet me if I stepped off that very same bus during the packed, swarming months of high summer, but as I strolled this curiously spotless (as in immaculately clean), prosperous, flower festooned seaside town last spring I can honestly say that I gradually came to the conclusion that I really think that I have yet to see a more picture perfect community in my life, not only in Italy but perhaps anywhere else for that matter.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

I’ve divided your Postcard from Forte dei Marmi into three parts. Part’s Two and Three will cover the incredible window shopping opportunities afforded by this most affluent of seaside towns, and Part Two will terminate at the far end of the long, straight popular pier. Believe me (Kris will vouch…) I am no shopper, window or no, and generally hold to the view that the replacement of goods is a necessity and definitely not a hobby. But the sight of so many amazingly inventive windows, each boldly attempting to outdo their equally outlandish neighbors, captured and retained my attention. Credit where credit is due – well done the unsung window dressers of Forte dei Marmi. And well done whoever it was who had the wonderful idea to turn this pleasant little town into a veritable springtime paradise.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

And so I present my Post Card from Forte dei Marmi, Part One: The Flowers

April 24th 12:57 to 4:11 PM

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

As the name correctly implies, Forte dei Marmi is dominated by its…

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Fort

The lower floor of the fort accommodates a spacious visitor information center, but upstairs, along with several local offices, I found a rather sumptuous gallery complete with the most extraordinary marble floor I have ever seen.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Immediately upon leaving the fort I found myself absorbed by a most extraordinary display of fresh, vibrant spring flowers.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Admittedly modest in scale I suppose, but having lived for the past 11 years at 7,300 feet in the Rockies the sudden and dazzling re-emergence of so many luscious spring flowers quite took my breath away.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

The entire square teemed with flowers – such aroma!

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Leaving the central square I slowly meandered my way through the handful of blocks that combine to create one very, very ritzy shopping mecca.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

In Postcard from Forte dei Marmi, Part Two we’ll take a look at some of those magazine spread shop windows.

But for now I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the flower-dappled, sun kissed avenues upon which those jewel-box stores ply their wears.

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

Thanks for stopping by.

See you next time!

Viareggio Postcard by MARTIN COONEY

Martin

The Flowers of Forte dei Marmi by MARTIN COONEY

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