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Literally meaning ‘Fortress of Marbles’, the city of Forte dei Marmi owes this name to the 1788 fortress that still dominates Piazza Garibaldi, the main square. The fort was built to defend the area against enemy attacks and today it has become a symbol of the old town and one of the places where the city's old festival celebrations take place every year.

August is indeed the time of year for the traditional celebrations of the Festa di Sant’Ermete - the festival that takes place in Forte dei Marmi in honor of the city's saint patron, Saint Hermes.

The Saint Hermes Festival always gathers crowds of citizens and tourists. This year, the date has been set for Saturday, August 26: that's when the Palio dei Bagni will open the celebrations. Italian for "lidos prize", Palio dei Bagni is a 60-year old event where a number of lifeguards from the local and nearby towns beaches all compete with one another. Once the competition is over, the historical parade will wind through the city streets with colour guards.

More events will bring the party on the next day, Sunday, August 27. This time the highlights will be bingo games in the main square, live folk music sessions, local wine tastings and the spectacular "focata", a great bonfire that was once lit for signaling from the beach.

Local artisans and vintage items collectors unite on Monday, August 28 within the city street market and in the evening, fireworks will light up the sky with colours to salute the year's Saint Hermes Festival celebrations - until next year.

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