Sun and sophistication: 5 Italy beach holidays
Beyond the history and culture that is so richly abundant, Italy is also home to gorgeous lengths of coastline that will have you in disbelief. Whether you prefer to recline on crescent-shaped beaches of fine sand or explore rocky coves and dramatic coastal cliffs, there is bound to be something for you in Italy.
OUR BEST BEACH HOLIDAYS IN ITALY
Italy is bordered on three sides by sea: the Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian seas ebb and flow and shimmy against the shores of this ancient and historic land. Sardinia and Sicily, two of the Mediterranean's largest islands, are also Italian regions. It's unsurprising, then, that Italy beach holidays are vaunted as idyllic coastal breaks. Here are our top 5 beaches to while away your sunny summer holidays:
THE AMALFI COAST: POSITANO'S MARINA GRANDE
Marina Grande is a picture-perfect beach that lies beneath a colourful cascade of houses that spills down the vertiginous cliffs; a recognisable Italian beach that is the face of the Amalfi Coast. A battle-ready formation of bright umbrellas lines the beach, awaiting the daily descent of holidaymakers. It is a theatre of summer throngs throwing themselves at the beauty of this wonderful destination. There are few more attractive places for a beach holiday anywhere, let alone Italy. Marina Grande is Positano's main beach and can get very busy in the high season, and with good reason. Be sure to book a lounger so you can enjoy this scenic and lively and radiant beach.
ITALIAN SEASIDE HOLIDAYS IN PUGLIA: LAMA MONACHILE
This cove of brilliantly turquoise waters will strike awe into all those who visit it. The small beach is flanked on each side by rough cliffs; walls worn and scarred into shape by the told tales of time. The town of Polignano a Mare is poised proudly atop these sheer faces, almost extensions of them, and surrounds the beach, as if the buildings are meeting to verify its beauty.
While the swimming is wonderful, the true attraction of this beach is the historical town centre and the surreally attractive cliffs that hold the town aloft. The rocky seafloor will entice the most curious of explorers to scour its nooks and crannies with a mask and snorkel. The beach is located at the northern end of Italy's heel, a half-an-hour drive south east of Bari.
ON THE SOFT WHITE SANDS OF SICILY: FONTANE BIANCHE
Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is home to some magical seaside idylls. To the south of Syracuse, Fontane Bianche is our favourite of the island's long stretches of coastal paradise. This white sand beach slopes gently beneath the shimmering water of the azure Mediterranean, making it a great place for swimming and for families. The shores are lined with a buzzing summery scene: restaurants and bars spill into their outside spaces and tourists waddle with wilting ice creams. There is a variety of water sports available along the beach; rent a paddleboard and skim your way over the marbling aquamarine bay.
SANDY BEACHES AND MOUNT VESUVIUS IN SORRENTO: MITIGLIANO BEACH
From the littoral rocks of Mitigliano Beach on Italy's Tyrrhenian coastline, you can enjoy the vistas that stretch over the glistening cobalt blue all the way to the island of Capri. This pebble beach is a peaceful cove, where relaxing summer days slip by with utmost ease. Over the small peninsula, you will find another picturesque beach: Baia delle Sirene, where the crystalline waters are a looking glass into the rocky underwater world of the Mediterranean. The submerged rocks make these quaint beaches a dreamy destination for snorkelling enthusiasts.
COSTA SMERALDA, SARDINIA
Costa Smeralda is an inimitably beautiful stretch of coastline in northern Sardinia that is famous for its luxuriating beaches, plush beach restaurants, and glitzy resorts. While the resorts have been built up over the years, strict planning has meant they still slot seamlessly into the landscape. The most wondrous of these beaches is Pevero Beach, which consists of two different parts - Piccolo Pevero Beach and Grande Pevero Beach. Both have gradually sloping shores, making them ideal for the whole family to frolic in the shallows.
First published in Le Collectionist Magazine