Autumn in Versilia

The end of summer always brings some nostalgia, as if the most beautiful and cheerful period of the year was irremediably over and you had to wait another 12 months for it to come back again. Definitely, it is a lie. Especially in Versilia. It is true that the hottest and longest days are almost a memory already, but it is also true that temperatures are still pleasant and this territory in particular has many secrets still to be revealed and endless experiences yet to be experienced. The first thing you may notice is the different color of the sky: a limpid crystalline blue that reflects in the sea as in a mirror. Those who know this territory can see that autumn is coming precisely due to the changing of colors; it makes the landscape look like a different place to be discovered again and again.
Without the crowd of tourists, Versilia reveals its most intimate charm that is made of long walks on the now less congested beach; of idle afternoons in the cafes of its many historic centers such as Pietrasanta, Tuscany small Athens; evening shopping in Forte dei Marmi; the discovery of its nature through horseback rides in the pinewoods and on the coast, or trekking and mountain biking excursions in the Apuan Alps.
Please ask our staff at the reception; we will help you find the activity, the visit or the experience that better suits your tastes and interests.


September the month of a thousand events

September in Tuscany is a period full of events. Villa Gilda has organized shuttle services and guided tours to allow its guests to experience them all.
Let’s start this weekend (September 7-9) with the eighteenth edition of “Murabilia” (Lucca), one of the most awaited events in Italy for plants and flowers lovers, that will be dedicated this year to Japan and the Orient.
In September, the wineries of the region open their doors for those who want to discover the art of harvesting. Moreover, many Wine Festivals will take place in different Tuscan countryside villages, such as Montecarlo (this weekend), Scansano, Morellino’s hometown (September 16-17 and 23-24) or Greve in Chianti with its Chianti Classico Expo.
Great exhibitions will also open:
On September 15, the multimedia exhibition "Kandinsky Color Experience" opens in Montecatini Terme, to take its visitors inside the works of the great Russian painter
Starting from September 7, Pecci Center in Prato hosts "Color Code: the collection of Alessandro Grassi", an exhibition that collects photos and paintings, from Transavanguardia to Postmodern, celebrating the industrial-collector from Prato;
Last but not the least, maybe the most awaited event of the season: on September 21, Palazzo Strozzi in Florence opens its doors to "The Cleaner" by Marina Abramović, perhaps the most famous and controversial personality of contemporary art.
Camaiore Climbing & Trekking will take place on the mid-September weekend and Monteriggioni Walks & Talks the following one; both events are part of the Slow Travel Fest that gathers together the outdoor festivals of the Via Francigena which are dedicated to "slow journey": meetings, hiking and biking, art and music under the enchantment of the Tuscan Via Francigena Toscana
A month full of events ready to be experienced.


End of summer nights at Villa Gilda

Sun setting down in Versilia’s blue sea, painting the sky with orange, red and gold colors. Evening breeze through olive and lemon trees in the quiet garden. Citrus and flowers fragrance filling the air and a feeling of pure perfection that only beautiful memories can give you.
As Villa Gilda’s guest, you will experience this and much more on end August nights.
You can enjoy an aperitif on the scenic terrace, sipping good wine and eating some tasty local cold cuts and cheese and Mrs. Adua freshly baked focaccia bread.
On Thursdays and Sundays you can taste the delicious fish specialties, prepared especially for you by the chef of our restaurant “Gilda” in Forte dei Marmi. Every other night you can ask our staff to prepare you a quick pasta with the tomatoes cultivated in our own vegetable garden, or a salad or some cold dishes.
And after dinner? The garden of our Villa hides so many places where you can enjoy the fresh of the night: sun beds around the swimming pool allow you to admire the stars in the sky; on the comfortable sofas, you can read the books at your disposal in our library or spend some time chatting with your friends. Those little pleasant moments you can tell about when you come home, are precisely what makes a special and unforgettable memory out of your holiday.


Discovering FICO - Fabbrica Italiana Contadina

Less than two hours’ drive from Villa Gilda and Versilia's golden beaches, you find the largest food park in the world: FICO - Eataly World is a full immersion in the biodiversity of the Bel Paese. Oscar Farinetti, owner of the high-end Italian food mall chain Eataly, created in Bologna "Fabbrica Italiana Contadina": a place to learn, enjoy, shop and have fun.
Here, you will find educational and experiential itineraries, thought and developed to fulfil everybody's interests and desires, from tourists to families with children. You have 45 food corners, including thematic and starred restaurants , taverns, bistros and street food kiosks, where, between tradition and innovation, you can taste the most famous Italian recipes; you can ride a bike through a 9,000 square meters market where you can do your shopping, buy laboratory products, taste food, meet the producers and listen to their story.
The whole month of August is dedicated to "Il Trionfo del pomodoro" (Tomato's triumph) with many events and plenty of recipes inspired by the most famous red vegetable of Italian cuisine.
Villa Gilda provides its guests with a van service to drive them directly to the entrance of the park in Bologna and also a “Hands free shopping service”: you will have the chance to explore the place and do your shopping, always with your hands free. Ask the reception staff for any information and booking.


Versilia

Happy "Ferragosto" everyone!

Versilia

Here we are! The most important summer day, August 15th is about to come. You may wonder, where the (Italian) habit of celebrating August 15th comes from.
It has very ancient origins, dating back to Emperor August (18 B.C.), who established a period of holidays and celebrations named «Feriae Augustus» (Augustus' festivity).
As it often happened, Catholic Church transformed it into a religious celebration: the Assumption of Virgin Mary.
All around Italy people use to celebrate Ferragosto with traditional festivals and events: the most famous is probably Palio dell'Assunta in Siena. On August 15th, the city boroughs («Contrade») compete in a horse-race in the beautiful Piazza del Campo to win the Palio (an embroidered tapestry given as prize).
Another popular traditional event is Palo della Cuccagna (Cockaigne pole), a Celtic game that originated in Trentino during the Mozac Festival and that takes place all over Italy: two or more teams compete to catch prizes (usually food) at the pole's end.
What about Versilia? Of course, we celebrate August 15th with plenty of good food. Ferragosto lunch is the appointment Italian families can’t absolutely miss: a Lucullan meal that includes many fish dishes and ends with a cold slice of watermelon.
And in the afternoon, let's go to the beach and, according to the tradition, have fun throwing a bucket of sea water on those who walk on the seashore. A hilarious moment for all the children… and for adults too!
You can than decide to take a walk to aid digestion or simply go back home and rest.


The magic of Versilian nights

Sarzana

Summer nights in Versilia have always been renowned for its trendy bars and clubs, its seaside restaurants where you can taste excellent fresh fish recipes, its elegant shops that are the ideal place for those who love refined and luxury shopping.
But Versilian nights are also made of Renaissance squares, lit by the candles on the tables of outdoor restaurants, small bands playing live music, art exhibitions that transform the streets of a medieval village in an open air gallery, literary meetings held on the steps of a cathedral, theatrical festivals, classical and jazz music concerts.
Versilian nights are also the nights of Pietrasanta and its famous art galleries. The historic center of the town that can be considered the birthplace of marble sculpture, hosts this summer the works of Spanish artist Manolo Valdés.
Versilian nights are also the nights of Sarzana and its summer happenings, such as “Calandriniana” - the artistic event dedicated to paintings on large canvases ,that takes place in the homonymous square and allows curious and art expert to admire the artists at work – or “Soffitta in strada” that transforms the streets and squares of the town into a flea market
Villa Gilda’s guests can ask the reception about the most interesting events in the area; we will be glad to provide you any information. We can also book you tickets for shows or concerts, or a table at a restaurant of your choice and provide you a van to drive you wherever you want, without worrying about traffic or parking.


The night of falling stars at Villa Gilda

Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

Saint Lawrence night (August, the 10th), known as the night of the shooting stars, is maybe the most famous summer night.
The legend tells that if you make a wish whenever you see a falling star, your dream will come true.
Therefore, on the night between August, the 10th and the 11th, everybody is looking at the sky, hoping to see some meteors leaving their trails. Villa Gilda has many romantic places that allow you to watch the Perseids meteor shower. You can enjoy this wonderful phenomenon settled on the cozy armchairs of the Belvedere Terrace or lying on the comfortable sun beds at the pool side, where you can also admire the meteor trails reflected in the turquoise water.
Should anybody wonder why this astronomical phenomenon is related to Saint Lawrence, history tells us that falling stars are there to remind us of the burning coals the Saint died on to defend his faith; that’s why shooting stars are also known as Saint Lawrence’s tears.
Waiting for this magical night, we wish all your dreams to come true.


Wellness - massage

The beauty of wellness at Villa Gilda

Wellness - massage

Holidays are the opportunity that we give ourselves to finally get away from the stress of our daily routine.
When work commitments are over, you turn your cell phone off (at least your work phone), you pick up your lightest clothes from your closet, your sandals, sarongs and swimsuits, you pack your suitcase and finally leave!
Villa Gilda wants to make your holiday really unique. We have, therefore developed for you many activities that will allow you to achieve the highest grade of relaxation and take the time to take care of your self.
You won't have to drive to a wellness centre. You can stay at the Villa and we will make for you an appointment with a beautician who can perform you a manicure, a pedicure and a depilation, or an experienced therapist who will give you relaxing or decontracing massages, lymphatic drainage, Ayurvedic and reflexology sessions.
Moreover, if you don't want to neglect your sport training, we can organize private fitness classes, muscular awakening on the Bellavista terrace or private swimming and aquagym lessons.
Ask the reception staff: we will be happy to fulfill any request.


Gilda Restaurant: a romantic dinner on the beach

"Good evening, Sir. What would you like to order?" "A beautiful sunset for two, with a view on the sea".
That is what a romantic summer dinner is about. And when you are in a charming place, just a few steps away from Forte dei Marmi city centre, you’re almost reaching perfection.
Gilda Restaurant is the ideal place to enjoy fresh fish and Versilia’s specialties, dining at candlelight directly on the beach.
A refined cuisine, which is at the same time light and simple, prepared using only fresh fish and products of the highest quality,and an extensive wine cellar with the most exquisite local and national wines and champagnes, to perfectly accompany your dishes.
Gilda Restaurant is open also at lunch time, not only for the guests of the beach club or the Villa.
You can chose to have lunch on the cool veranda, surrounded by lush plants and colourful and fragrant flowers, or directly on the beach, shaded by elegant tents.
Every day you can enjoy a refined light lunch with seafood specialties.
Is there anything more magical than delighting your taste buds and your eyes, while refreshed by the sea breeze?


Grotta del Vento - Alpi Apuane

Discovering Grotta del Vento and Antro del Corchia

Grotta del Vento - Alpi Apuane
Grotta del Vento

Versilia’s territory is made of thousands of attractions, all worthy to be visited. Not only you can find golden beaches, blue sea, Renaissance villages, ancient medieval churches, parks and natural oasis, but also a unique and unrepeatable underground world, filled with charm and mystery. In the Apuan Alps there are some speleological complexes that are among the largest and most articulated in Europe. We organize for our guests excursions with expert guides that will lead you to the discovery of the Grotta del Vento, the first cavern found and explored in Versilia and the Antro del Corchia, the deepest in Europe.
Both visits are suitable for the whole family; cement paths and lighting systems have been installed to ease the access to both sites. Our staff will be happy to arrange for you a shuttle service to the sites and a guide that will accompany you on your visit. All our guides speak English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian.