The seaside summer camps (colonie marine) were set up in the nineteenth century to accommodate children with diseases such as tuberculosis and sea and sun were part of the cure. During the Fascist period, their primary function became propaganda. The colonie accommodated thousands of children and the most famous architects of the time were hired to design and build the impressive and modern structures of the camps. At the end of the war, propaganda ended and the colonie returned to their health and recreation function until the late 70s when Italians started to change their holiday habits.
Today, the colonie are mostly just ruins by the sea, but they are part of a long and rich history. There are many rehabilitation projects that have been developed over the years and Calambrone is a successful example of this, with the conversion of the former colonie into homes, hotels and spas. Colonia Firenze was the first camp built in Calambrone (1931-32) and it consisted of a series of pavilions at right angles to the coast, connected by a long corridor to the east, with dormitories, a refectory, kitchens and administrative offices. The complex is currently still in a state of neglect, but its recovery is part of an ongoing project.