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Forte dei Marmi is an expensive beach resort in Tuscany. Prices are generally high and have been pushed even higher by wealthy Russians.

We were staying at the excellent Una Hotel and wanted to venture out locally and try some restaurants. The Una Hotel is about 20 minutes walk from the beach and so there aren’t many local restaurants to choose from. This pizza place looked okay when we passed earlier that day (closed for lunch); there was a cosy courtyard and a sign showing pizza for around 8 Euros.

I checked their website and should have suspected something was wrong with the place there and then. It’s a spectacularly badly-designed website; the text is bitmapped and so Google translate can’t translate it, the layout is strange and it isn’t even clear that there is a restaurant involved. One thing you can see is a picture of their pizza – this isn’t the typical thin crust Italian pizza topped with a few fresh ingredients, this pizza is the doughy, thicker crust, dripping with cheese variety that people microwave after a late night of drinking. But I didn’t see the picture before we went.

We arrived and found a nice table. A half-litre carafe of house red was 10 Euros – which was okay for the area. I asked for a large bottle of San Pellegrino (EUR 3,50) but the waiter said they had run out and so I’d have to have two smaller bottles for EUR 2,50 each.

Looking at the menu, I started to read the small print under the pizza prices. This said: The price shown is not for a whole pizza but a pizza slice. So that meant that it was EUR 8 for one slice and EUR 32 for an entire pizza! As we already had our wine and water, we ordered two slices and caprese salad.

The salad was fresh, although not mixed nor assembled – just the basic ingredients next to each other in a bowl. The pizza slices were small and matched the description above.

Strangely the restaurant seemed popular with Italians. We ate and left without complaining. Looking back I suppose I should have made a fuss, but we were on holiday and just wanted to get out of the place. Total cost EUR 44 for two slices of pizza, half-litre of red house, two bottles of water and 3 EUR cover charge.

Address (should you want to suffer this place):

Via Colombo 80, Forte dei Marmi, Italy