Castaway to the gorgeous Italian coastline this summer and unearth hidden gems teeming with leisurely pursuits. There’s more than you would imagine: spellbinding ocean views, picture-perfect harbour villages, historic villas, Blue Flag beaches, and boatloads of fresh frutti di mare to tuck into! Let’s take a look at the gems of the Italian coastline.
If you’ve not discovered the treasure of the Ligurian coast, this is definitely your starting point. With its brightly coloured houses that tumble from the hills, Portofino is often compared to the villages of the Cinque Terre, yet this fishing village is an old-timer for seaside pleasures.
Sitting on its own peninsula, Portofino has been attracting an exclusive culture for decades. You’ll find a decadent lifestyle of super-yachts, fine dining restaurants, designer boutiques, cafés, and bars. There are several slivers of beach that are popular with locals and visitors alike - and we suggest you explore away until you find your perfect spot.
The hotels in and around this area are sublime: occasionally modern, sometimes historic, but always with enchanting views over the legendary Ligurian Sea.
Arguably the most romantic winding clifftop town of the Amalfi Coast, Ravello oozes a charming elegance. An unusual location for a town, Ravello was built in the 5th century to protect against invasion. Nowadays, you’ll find a rustic simplicity that’s been splashed with glamour.
Many writers have been charmed and inspired by its lofty location - from DH Lawrence who wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover here in the 1920s, to Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf, and the German composer Richard Wagner.
Many of its historic villas and lush gardens have been converted into palatial hotels. There’s a world of lemon-fragranced al fresco dining to discover here, which is always served up with heart-stirring views. As you head through the narrow streets, you’ll eventually land up in the Piazza Duomo, home to an almost century-old cathedral, just one of the reasons why Ravello is a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the summer months, Ravello plays host to one of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious music festivals.
Send your postcard this summer from Positano, an Amalfi Coast favourite. There’s a touch of drama as its disorderly pastel pink, peach, and terracotta houses dangle cliffside over the sea. Within the town’s steep streets, you’ll find a delightful sprinkling of elegance found in its fashionable shops and art galleries, as well as fascinating history due to its crumbling buildings, underground Museo Archeologico Roman, and places of worship.
Where Positano really stands out is with its sheer holiday spirit, thanks to its plentiful gelaterie and sunbeds on the beach, where you can unwind and listen out for the legendary call of the Sirens of Li Galli. For a more energetic pace, take the Path of the Gods, a marked trail that offers some of the best views of the region.
Porto Cervo is both unusual and elite all at once - and is unlike any other Sardinian town you’ll come across! The reason for all its peculiarity is that it was built in the 1950s as a seaside resort for the well-heeled, with a mélange of architectural influence from Greece, North Africa, Spain, and, of course, Italy. The result was a playful, affluent resort that’s enhanced by an abundantly beautiful coastline.
Its location in the heart of fashionable Costa Smeralda offers an amazing opportunity to roam about and uncover high-end boutique shops, galleries, and a sparkling yacht-lined marina, as well as the chance to taste the delicious dishes that Sardinia is famous for, yet often with a contemporary haute cuisine twist.
Forte dei Marmi
When it comes to beach resorts on the Tuscan coast, Forte Dei Marmi is one of the originals, and it’s the history that gives this sweeping world of white sands and beach bars more magnitude. The town has attracted many great residents, including the opera legend Andrea Bocelli and the celebrated fashion designer Giorgio Armani.
Ideal for families, the beaches, such as Bagno Angelo or Sant Maria Beach, are lined with neat rows of sun loungers and umbrellas, so you can bring a picnic and set up for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and watersports.
More inland, you’ll find an array of seafood restaurants and pizzerias to suit every taste, and plenty of bars that overlook the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Time your holiday with the weekly market for a fun way to discover Tuscany’s regional delights.
Capri is more than chic: she’s soaked in glamour, having been a holiday home to high society guests like Jackie Kennedy since the 1960s. The Romans built their impressive wisteria and bougainvillaea-swathed villas here centuries before, which still cling to sweeping cliffs with the beautifully blue Tyrrhenian Sea below.
Located on the southern side of the Gulf of Naples, Capri is in easy reach, but we recommend you stay on the island for a few nights because as the sun goes down and the day-trippers leave, Capri shows a different side.
While the daytime plays host to flashy cafés and unique designer boutiques, the evenings are a delightfully suave affair, where you can settle into a delectable restaurant in one of the island’s two harbours, Marina Grande and Marina Piccola. You can then wake up early in the mornings to experience the natural beauty and rich mythology before the streets fill up.
Clinging to the mountainside in the foothills of Mount Etna, the ancient town of Taormina is a must-visit destination on the island of Sicily. It’s an ideal spot if you wish to soak up history and the Sicilian sun.
For many centuries Taormina was ignored, until it became a stop for noble Europeans on their 18th and 19th century Grand Tours. This rediscovered appreciation is understandable, with its ancient Greek-Roman Theatre, impressive medieval castle, Palazzo Corvaja, a traffic-free main street, and beautiful panoramas over the Ionian Sea. You can head out on scenic boat tours around the cape to gorgeous grottos, and enjoy watersports like surfing and snorkelling, or simply kick back on the pretty shingle beaches.
Discover the real Italy with Citalia
Are you ready to discover the treasures of the Italian coast? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!
Visit citalia.com to discover the real Italy on your next adventure. Andiamo!
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