friendships under the sun
Not necessarily summer. A weekend, a long weekend, is enough. Every occasion is good to return here, to your favorite place. To find life-long girl friends and add yet another piece to the mosaic of memories, loved ones, sensations that only Forte can give
Words Silvana Rizzi - Photography Alessandro Moggi
“For this year, don’t change, same beach, same sea...” suggested Piero Focaccia’s famous song in the 1960s. None of the beautiful fifty-year-olds interviewed by Forte Magazine would ever think of leaving the Forte beach for other shores. All six, today wives and mothers, super busy at work, proclaim in unison Forte’s many irreplaceable values in their lives. The rituals, for example, such as the Saint Hermes’ feast day, the first evening outings of the kids on their bikes, in groups with the children of their best friends. Just like they did at the same age. And, again, the aperitif at sunset down by the sea, dinners at the beach clubs, in the restaurants in the town center or in the trattorie in the hinterland, morning coffee in town, and not to be missed, a tour of the galleries in Pietrasanta.
Among all the values, the first is that of friendship. An inseparable bond, which has grown stronger over the years. “Not less than thirty”, the interviewees agree. “When we meet again after the winter, it seems like we had only left each other the day before,” says Monica Barzaghi, associate partner of RSM Italy. “The best time to confess, share secrets, news and, why not, let slip a few complaints about your husbands is the daily walk along the shoreline, your feet in the water”, continues Monica.
Everything is close by, within reach of a bike
The Apuan Alps, beyond the very green backdrop of pine trees, Tino and Palmaria in the background. Do you ever think about the clear water of the sea of these islands? “Woe betide you if you say the water in Forte is not beautiful, just take the pattino and go out to sea”, says Francesca Neri Antonello, interior architect and founder of FNA concept. “For me, I am a nomad and travel all year for work, Forte is irreplaceable. I would even miss the ritual of the morning question: what’s the water like today?” “It’s a fixed point”, she specifies, “where the beach club is my home. Here I find flavors, smells, rituals and friends, those of forever, whom I haven’t seen for months”.
“Versilia is the place full of memories”, Isabella Fumagalli, a Bocconian, now head of Private Banking & Wealth Management of BNL BNP Paribas, intervenes. “My mother was born in Forte, at her grandparents’ villa in via Ponchielli. This house is in my blood and Forte is my haven of serenity in times of crisis. I like to celebrate my birthday here. It is in September, when scrub and pine cones burn and the pine scent hovers in the air, as calming as any aromatherapy treatment”. And then, she comments, “I like today’s Forte, a refined location which, despite everything, has retained its character.”
For me, I am a nomad and travel all year for work, Forte is irreplaceable. I would even miss the ritual of the morning question: what’s the water like today?
Marilisa D’Amico, professor of Constitutional Law and Vice President at the Università Statale of Milan, adds: “Both my husband and I love Versilia even out of season. It’s the moment for creativity. New ideas are born while walking in the silence of nature”. In this atmosphere, her book “Una parità ambigua” originated, on the condition of women in Italy, from the days of the Greek colonies until today. “At the same time,” she adds, “I like to calmly enjoy the many pleasures of the place: chatting in the sun lying under the gazebo, dedicating myself to friends, shopping in the shops or at the market”.
For Francesca Falcone, interior architect, consultant in vintage design, her holiday at Forte is dedicated to the pleasure of reuniting the family clan with her sister Daniela and her children, who now live in Bologna. “Forte has consolidated the friendship between cousins,” says Francesca. “The Apuan Alps with their sparkling veins of white marble have enchanted me since I was a child,” she says. “So much so that visiting a quarry opened an unexpected world for me”. Today, the local marbles, such as Cipollino and Paonazzetto, are her preferred material in the renovation of interiors. «I go up to the quarries and visit the companies to personally choose the slabs. I sign them and explain to the technicians, the best in the world, the outlay of the project”.
“Arriving at Forte means feeling free”, declares Giulia Pessani, journalist, editor of Gentleman, the monthly magazine of the business daily MF-Milano Finanza. “It is enveloping and relaxing, because in a certain sense it is the countryside with the sea: it offers a complete lifestyle, from the beach to nature, from social life to sport, to culture. Everything is close by, within reach of a bike. And the same goes for the different stages in life: an explosion of energy and freedom when you are a child, reassuring and old rituals when you are an adult, but also fun, Capannina, small focacce at dawn, nocturnal raids among the quarries illuminated by the full moon when you are kids” concludes Giulia.
Le protagoniste della nostra storia: da sinistra, Isabella Fumagalli, Giulia Pessani, Marilisa D’Amico, Monica Barzaghi, Francesca Neri Antonello e Francesca Falcone.
Si ringrazia l’hotel Villa Roma Imperiale per la gentile ospitalità