Skip menu

For the latest information on COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy. Click here.

Spending your holidays by the sea in Italy means discovering iconic seaside resorts and landscapes. From the coves of Sardinia, to the glamorous resorts of the Amalfi Coast. Speaking of about 8 thousand kilometres of coastline with a variety of breathtaking, wild and pristine beaches. Dive into the gentle waves of the Mediterranean and let yourself be soothed by its crystal clear waters.

Sea 180 Search results
Nature
Positano - Costiera Amalfitana, Campania

Positano

A holiday in Positano, enjoying the enchantment of the Amalfi Coast Positano stands to the west of the fascinating natural terrace on the Tyrrhenian Sea that is the Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, the typical Mediterranean landscape of southern Italy reigns supreme, with white houses sloping down towards the sea and splendid beaches, alleys offering all the simple pleasures of life: the leisurely pace, refined boutiques, cafés and restaurants, and places that are custodians of history. Discovering the beaches The Marina Grande beach is Positano's most famous beach. It is 400 metres of sandy shore set in the inlet, where you may find yourself face to face with passing VIPs. The view and the facilities available encourage lounging, but once you have left your sunbed, it is worth heading to the pier to sail to the Li Galli Archipelago: three small islands in a marine reserve surrounded by crystal-clear waters, that legend has it are populated by mermaids. You can get there by dinghy or small boat. An intimate cove embraces Fornillo Beach, made of pebbles and gravel; it's reachable on foot and a snorkelling paradise because of its magnificent seabed. Continuing on foot, you can spend some quiet time on the Spiaggia di Laurito (Laurito Beach), where the cliffs are sheer, and nature is untouched. The jagged coastline of the Gulf of Positano is full of ravines on the turquoise sea. Climb aboard a gozzo, the traditional boats, and ask to be taken to discover little beaches in secret coves, including La Porta, San Pietro Laurito and Arienzo. Many hotels also offer stretches of private beaches. A divine trek A hike in the Monti Lattari, immersed in nature. The Sentiero degli Dei (Path of the Gods), was for many years the only link between the towns on the Amalfi Coast, before the main road was built. As you walk along, the Coast opens up to you from above and the view sweeps as far as Capri on clear days. You pass through forests of holm oaks and quench your thirst at the numerous springs; you will find vertiginous caves and precipices, the remains of cave villages, and the limestone spire Il Pistillo.   You arrive at the village of Nocelle, where you can freshen up before resuming your trek. For the more experienced and adventurous, a branch of the Sentiero degli Dei leads via an almost endless flight of steps to Cala Arienzo, usually reached by sea with little effort. A holiday resort dear to the Romans Roman aristocrats came to Positano and built extraordinary holiday residences here. There is much evidence of their fondness for this place, blessed with an enchanting landscape and a mild climate all year round, with the sea breeze alleviating the summer heat. Find artefacts of the ancient holidaymakers at the Roman Archaeological Museum - MAR, which houses a part of a 1st century AD villa, buried by the eruption of Vesuvius and brought to the surface after years of archaeological excavations. Positano Style Positano is a vertical village, perched on a rock overlooking the sea. Wander through the village's many stairways and alleyways, and don't miss a visit to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, a stone's throw from Marina Grande Beach. Once a Benedictine monastery, later abandoned and renovated over the centuries, today it offers the architectural spectacle of a pale stone façade and a yellow, green and blue majolica dome. Inside, look out for the precious Byzantine icon. Majolica has a long tradition in Positano, and in the village ateliers you can shop for ceramic objects, from plates to trinkets. There are many boutiques selling elegant clothes if you want to follow the “Positano style”: soft, fluttering dresses, kaftans, light colours, shirts and trousers in linen and lightweight fabrics, and the ubiquitous swimwear for him and for her. Over the centuries, Positano has seen a flourishing tradition of weaving, now reinterpreted in a contemporary, holiday mood. The style is completed with flip-flop shoes, also customised by the craftsmen. After the sea, the delights of the village Positano is also luxury and high society, and the whole area offers plenty of clubs, restaurants and bars. For evening entertainment, you can choose whether to stay up high in the venues clinging to the rock, in favour of the view, or in the beach clubs, where an aperitif at sunset is also a pleasant experience. Take a seat on the terrace of a restaurant. Some good choices are mussel soup or a lemon-scented seafood salad, linguine with scampi and fried fish. Among the cheeses of the Monti Lattari, fior di latte, the same cheese that you will find on pizza, is the most popular. And if your gastronomic interests do not end there, find out how to join a themed tour: olive oil tours among the olive groves, and wine cellars amidst the vineyards.
Nature
Villa Cimbrone, Ravello - Costiera Amalfitana, Campania

Ravello

Ravello, a terrace on the Amalfi Coast Perched on a hill over 350 metres above sea level, the municipality of Ravello is one of 16 on the Amalfi Coast, all within the province of Salerno. There is a unique panoramic view from this magnificent natural balcony, ideally positioned to admire one of the most magnificent coastlines in the world from above. The air is healthy and infused with the scents of the Mediterranean maquis, while the ancient villas embraced by flowering gardens testify to the love that noble souls had for the place. Ready for an itinerary that will sweep you off your feet? An ancient and dreamlike residence Villa Rufolo overlooks Piazza Vescovado, the heart of Ravello. It was commissioned in mediaeval times by the family whose name the residence carries, as a sign of luxury and power. Between declines and resurrections over the centuries, the villa has now returned to its original splendour, praised by the likes of Boccaccio, who dedicated verses to it, and Wagner. So much beauty will captivate you too, starting with the building that is a mixture of styles: Arab, Sicilian and Norman. Go past the entrance tower and be sure to climb to the top of the Torre Maggiore, where an open view of the entire Gulf of Salerno awaits you. Enter the rooms and then take some time to admire the wonderful garden spread over several levels. Cypresses and lime trees lead you to the Moorish cloister, where the colour of the flowers caresses your soul and envelops you in a romantic ambience: oleanders, hydrangeas, little mock orange flowers, among shrubs of fragrant rosemary and hawthorn. In July, the villa hosts the Ravello Festival series of musical events. On the Terrace of Infinity In Ravello they call it the Terrace of Infinity, the viewpoint of Villa Cimbrone. It's an elegant balcony decorated with eighteenth-century marble busts. You overlook the coast, lost in the blue of sky and sea broken only by the yellow of the lemon groves. The villa is an exclusive five-star hotel, but the gardens are open to the public. Breathe in the scent of wisteria, linger along paths lined with statues and small temples, pause in the Rose Garden and take an extended break in the Tea Room, with its Moorish-style gazebo decorated with Roman columns and sculptures. The name of Villa Cimbrone is also linked to Greta Garbo, who fled here in the spring of 1938 to live out her brief love affair with conductor Leopold Stokowski away from the spotlight. Look out for the plaque commemorating the starlet's stay here. Experiences in the village Start from Piazza del Vescovado, the centre of Ravello's historic village, a cluster of narrow streets and colourful houses clinging to the rock and surrounded by greenery. Here stands the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and San Pantaleone, with its bronze portal decorated with 80 figurative tiles and the lavish chapel devoted to the town's patron saint. It is fascinating to visit the ceramic workshops, to buy beautiful objects but also to chat with the craftsmen: they will be able to tell you a lot about their handicraft skills, a precious tradition handed down through generations. If the subject intrigues you, visit the Coral Museum, a small, colourful world created by collector Giorgio Filocamo. Pack your swimsuit Although located on high ground, Ravello also has its own outlet to the sea. Here on the Amalfi Coast, the must-have garment to carry with you at all times is your swimsuit, because wherever you go you will come across enchanting bays and secret coves. The beach in Ravello is located in the hamlet of Castiglione and can be reached both by sea and by land via the state road and down a flight of a couple of hundred steps. From below you can see the noble palaces of Castiglione, and on the other side the silhouette of the village of Atrani with its central church. All the rest is crystal clear sea and cliffs, which cast their shadow over the bay in the afternoon. A visit in the early morning hours is therefore recommended if you are looking for sunshine.
Nature
Vietri sul Mare - Costiera Amalfitana, Campania

Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare, a sparkling ceramic town on the Amalfi coast. Whether you are a ceramics enthusiast or not, the minute you set foot in Vietri sul Mare, you cannot help but be dazzled by the colours of its majolica tiles that draw a shimmering mosaic and light up the entire village, from the historical monuments to the squares and courtyards. Yet it is not because of its famous ceramics that Vietri sul Mare is called the 'first pearl of the Amalfi Coast', but because of its strategic position in the area, i.e., the one furthest to the east, the very first stop on this magical stretch of the Campania coastline coming from Salerno. A colourful country Blue and yellow will be the colours that will be immediately imprinted on your eyes, even from a distant point. These are the colours of the majolica tiles adorning the dome of Vietri sul Mare Cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and located at the highest point of the historic centre along a panoramic terrace. Ceramics is a theme that you’ll constantly find at every corner. You will find them in another religious building, right next to the cathedral: the 17th-century Arciconfraternita dell'Annunziata e del Rosario. Cladded in majolica are the three façade panels, as well as ceilings and flooring. It is again the polychrome majolica tiles that stand out at the Villa Comunale, a surprising place often compared to Gaudí's Parc Güell in Barcelona. Walls, avenues, fountains and the sinuous handrails of the paths are a riot of majolica mosaics, red, yellow, blue and dove-grey tiles. You are right inside a joyous explosion of colours, while below the blue expanse of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the coastline of the Gulf of Salerno. Here you will find nothing but unique pieces Stroll through the alleys of Vietri sul Mare, admire the hundreds of compositions that adorn the village of Etruscan-Samnite origin and visit any of the countless shops. Whether you shop or not, you will still come away enchanted because the masters will welcome you with a great sense of hospitality, eager to tell you the centuries-old history of the art of Vietri ceramics, a tradition that began in the Renaissance. You will amazed by the clay cooking process and the hand-painting of what are always and only unique pieces: vases and tableware, decorative paintings depicting landscapes, in an infinity of artefacts in contrasting colours. Pantone “Vietri yellow” If you do go shopping, don't forget to favour yellow, in a unique shade that they know how to reproduce only here, so well that it is known worldwide as “Vietri yellow”. The bright light of the Mediterranean makes it stand out in all its beauty. Among the subjects, the typical Vietri one is the donkey, mainly in emerald green, a theme that goes back to the 19th century. A statuette reproducing the animal will be a nice souvenir, a symbol of the entire Amalfi Coast, which once was a means of locomotion along the mule tracks for transporting men and goods. If curiosity drives you to learn more about this art, Vietri boasts three exhibition spaces dedicated solely to ceramics: the Provincial Ceramics Museum in Villa Guariglia, the Cargaleiro Museum and the Solimene Ceramics Palace. Fine sand and shallow waters The Marina di Vietri offers a stretch of coastline characterised by fine golden sand and a shallow and gently sloping seabed, an ideal setting for families with children and the elderly. You can opt for the free beach or the beach equipped with every comfort of the resorts. Nearby you will also find the La Crestarella beach dominated by the so-called tower, the Schiarata and the Cancelluzzo Beach: the latter is free, with pebbles mixed with sand, and can only be reached by sea, which you can do by hiring a pedalo from Marina di Vietri. Two out-of-town trips There are two recommended visits if you travel a little further from Vietri sul Mare. Go to Albori which has two quiet little beaches in its inlet, not very popular since you have to walk down 200 steps. The water is crystal clear and a small stream flows into the sea at this very spot. Two beach clubs and a refreshment stand will be useful for equipment and refreshment. When the sun sets behind the rock, climb up towards the fishing village, delightful with its whitewashed houses and the scent of lemons as you walk. Raito is famous for its stairways, the only way to get around this scenic village. Visit the Villa Guariglia with its Museo Provinciale della Ceramica (Provincial Museum of Ceramics) and surrounded by a marvellous terraced park, as is typical on the Amalfi Coast, where vegetation is wrested from the sea and rock with a skilful technique.
Nature
Vulcano - Isole Eolie, Sicilia

Vulcano

Vulcano: the Aeolian island with a relaxing open-air spa If you want to make peace with nature, de-stress and detox from sedentary habits, Vulcano, with its full-of-life, primordial and, above all, healthy elements, is the island for you: its irrepressible volcanic temperament and spectacular, untamed landscape will help you relax and regain your inner balance. Welcoming and friendly Vulcano, a UNESCO World Heritage site less than a kilometre from Lipari, is the closest to the coast among the seven islands of the Aeolian archipelago. On this strip of Sicilian land, under the benevolent gaze of the ancient dormant “Vulcano” volcano, you can delight in the benefits of the thermal and sulphurous waters and an unspoilt seascape, for a holiday far from the masses. The island is very compact, so the best way to travel is by scooter or bicycle. A healthy volcanic vigour According to Greek mythology, Vulcano once housed the forges of Hephaestus, the god of fire and blacksmiths, who was served by none other than the Cyclops. Even though the last eruption on the island, composed of four original craters, was recorded around 1890, the ancient volcano continues to make its presence known through fumaroles, the jets of steam on the crest and on the seabed, and the sulphurous muds renowned for their therapeutic properties. Despite the overwhelming smell of sulphur, if you’re passing by Vulcano, you cannot miss out on the exciting experience of diving into the thermal mud baths, natural volcanic pools with curative properties. It was first made accessible to the public in the 1960s, when the superficial crust covering the pool was removed, without altering the natural habitat. This open-air spa offers remarkable benefits: it can sooth inflammation and pain, heal the skin and is a real pick-me-up for the respiratory system. A hike to the summit with breathtaking views Why not follow your mud bath with a dip in the island's crystal-clear waters? Or this might be your final stop for a well-deserved refreshment after a challenging hike to Vulcano’s Great Fossa Crater, at 391 metres above sea level. It is a somewhat strenuous seven-kilometre route, but is suitable for everyone. We recommend hiking during the cooler hours of the day: it is a three-hour round trip, but it is well worth it for the breathtaking 360-degree views of the archipelago at the summit. Jurassic park in lava stone Starting from Porto Levante, in the northern part of the island, you can head along a paved road to the Vulcanello peninsula: one of the three original eruptive craters of Vulcano, whose activity has shaped a surreal landscape known by the locals as the 'Valley of the Monsters'. Here, on a carpet of fine black sand, nature has fashioned a bizarre kind of Jurassic Park out of lava rock. When you let your imagination run wild, in these sculptures eroded by water and wind you will begin to see fantastical prehistoric monsters, crouching beasts and menacing creatures: in reality, nothing but bubbling lava formations solidified by a sudden cooling of the air. Black beaches with reflective natural pools After tackling monster valleys and volcanic treks, you deserve to treat yourself to some seaside relaxation. The shores of Vulcano are famous for their dark beaches and seabeds, where the lava stone plays with the sunlight’s reflections as it filters through the water, creating striking effects, especially at sunset. You can get a great picture of this at the Sabbie nere (Black Sands) beach, in the bay of Ponente, perhaps the most famous beach on Vulcano. From here, you can hire a boat and visit the enchanting Cavallo cave. Then there is the nearby Pool of Venus, which can only be reached by sea but is well worth the effort: also known as Bagno delle Vergini, it is an immense natural pool of tuff and basalt with inviting turquoise waters. Relaxation and nightlife: all in one beach If, on the other hand, you want to pamper yourself with a dip in bubbling water heated by sulphur vapours, you should stop by Fumarole beach, protected by a wall of rocks and Mediterranean scrubland, nestled in the bay of Ponente. Easily accessible by taxi boat or by taking a downhill path from the main road, Asino beach, private and secluded during the day, becomes a popular destination at night: this well-furnished cove hosts a fantastic bar where you can spend unforgettable evenings amid music and cocktails, the sea and starlit skies.
Nature
Panarea - Isole Eolie, Sicilia

Panarea

Panarea, the smallest island of the Aeolian Islands Panarea is the smallest and lowest of the 7 Aeolian islands, but also the oldest, geologically speaking. With its rocks and islets, it forms a kind of “archipelago within an archipelago” in the stretch of sea between Lipari and Stromboli. An unspoilt paradise in the Sicilian sunlight, at sunset becoming the queen of nightlife, epicentre of Aeolian social life. Exclusive destination with an ancient heart Discovered in the 1960s by a large community of artists and intellectuals in search of a lost Eden, a set celebrated by legendary films, over the decades the island has become a popular destination for tourism and the international jet set, attracted by its black beaches, thermal mud baths, whitewashed houses overlooking the sea, amidst patches of bougainvillea, capers and prickly pears. In the small town of San Pietro, the centre of the archipelago's summer nightlife, among clubs and discos to dance until dawn, among boutiques and restaurants, you can also visit a small branch of the Lipari Archaeological Museum: it preserves artefacts that testify to the island's ancient history, from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age, almost all from the prehistoric village of Capo Milazzese. The fumaroles, the breath of the ancient volcano Traces of the ancient volcanic activity can still be found in the vapours of a series of fumaroles, which emanate from the cracks between the rocks of the Calcara beach and from the sea, where the gas escaping from the seabed forms columns of bubbles visible on the surface. In contrada San Pietro, a thermal spring also gushes out at a temperature of 50°C, used by the island's inhabitants for therapeutic purposes. A single concrete strip crosses the island: no cars are allowed here, but scooters, bicycles and Piaggio Ape cars can be hired to get around. Everything is so cosy that you can reach the other two hamlets on the island, Drautto and Ditella, directly on foot or, if you are tired or laden, aboard the Aeolian taxis, charming little gigs on wheels designed to transport people and luggage. The beaches: beautiful and all to conquer Most of Panarea's coastline consists of high, jagged cliffs, from which it is difficult to access the sea. The beaches here are few and not all within walking distance; however, they are among the most beautiful in the entire archipelago. Only a couple are accessible by land: Cala Junco, along the southern coast of the island, an enchanting natural pool with crystal-clear turquoise waters, protected by high cliffs, also famous for the prehistoric village of Punta Milazzese behind it, consisting of the remains of 23 oval huts. Along the same path, you will also come across Cala degli Zimmari, in a bay backed by a cliff and Mediterranean scrub, the only sandy beach on the entire island, known for its characteristic red colour that, by contrast, gives the sea that washes it a unique cobalt blue hue. Sea excursions and romantic traditions In Panarea, the most popular sport is to rent a boat and head out to sea, to discover the many little-visited coves nestled between its cliffs, islets and seascapes. If you reach Panarea in sweet company, one destination is a must: just 3 kilometres from the east coast is the islet of Lisca Bianca. Formerly exploited as an alum quarry, it houses among its ravines the famous Lovers' Cave: according to legend, lovers who kiss under its rocky vault will remain united for life.
Nature
1220820022

The Gargano National Park

The Gargano National Park, an island full of biodiversity The Gargano National Park is situated in the spur of Italy, the promontory extending into the Adriatic Sea in the northern part of Apulia. It is a unique area, where 35 per cent of all Italian botanical species can be found, reflecting an equally wide variety of landscapes, from the sea of the Tremiti Islands to important wetlands that lap against dense forests. This is an ancient land, rich in culture, art and spirituality, with a diverse beauty. A surprising microcosm of different habitats The guiding thread of every visit to the Gargano National Park is to observe the variety of its habitats, which is reflected in a mosaic of landscapes. In an area no larger than an average Italian province, you will discover fine sandy beaches interspersed with high cliffs with caves and natural archways, coastal lakes and wetlands, stretches of Mediterranean bush bordering on thousand-year-old forest, karstic plateaus with sinkholes alternating with hills and steppe plains on which there are white villages such as Rodi Garganico, Vieste, Peschici on the coast or Ischitella, Mattina or Monte Sant'Angelo, all with sea views. If we add to this the fact that, from a geological perspective, the promontory was originally an island separated from the rest of the Italian peninsula, the variety is further increased by the presence of endemisms, i.e. species that only exist in this region, for example the campanula garganica or the Tremiti cornflower. This explains why the Gargano promontory astonishes naturalists and will amaze you too. The sculpted landscape of the Gargano The high white cliffs of the Adriatic coast seem sculpted, and the karst valleys that the action of rain makes deeper and deeper also appear sculpted. There are at least 4,000 sinkholes, cavities of karstic origin, to be found in the park: the one at Pozzatina, in the municipality of San Nicandro Garganico, is the most impressive. It is 132 metres deep and looks like a basin covered by a dense wood of holm oaks and oak trees. On the coast are several caves and natural arches formed by the force of the sea, which can be visited by boat from the ports of Vieste and Peschici. The wetlands of the Varano and Lesina lagoons The first person to chronicle the wetlands in the Gargano park was none other than the Swabian emperor Frederick II (1194-1250). In his treatise De arte venandi cum avibus (the art of hunting with birds), he describes falconry and the birdlife he observed mainly in Apulia in the marshy areas of Frattarolo and Lake Salso, today in the municipality of Manfredonia, known as the Swamps of Frederick II, which are rich in reed thickets, ideal places for birdwatching. In the northern area of the park, behind the dunes, are the lakes of Varano and Lesina, basins of brackish water that were created by the accumulation of debris that filled in coastal bays. Today, the lakes are considered important wetlands, as resting stations for migratory birds on their way from northern Europe to Africa. The entire limestone area of the Gargano is also rich in springs and pools of water that are vital for amphibians and reptiles. The animals and plants of the Gargano park Among the animals you can see in their natural habitat in the park is the Italian roe deer, an endemic subspecies that only lives here, as well as numerous wild boars, fallow deer, weasels and wild cats. There are numerous birds nesting in the Gargano, around 170 species, including five different types of woodpeckers, diurnal birds of prey, ospreys, the rare lesser duck eagle, as well as ducks, herons, wild geese and flamingos. There are some centuries-old trees, true monuments of nature, such as the 13-metre carob tree in the park of Pugnochiuso, in the municipality of Vieste, or the two 30-metre high Aleppo pines in Vico Gargano, where there is also a 17-metre high holm oak with a 5-metre diameter trunk, near the Capuchin monastery. As for the beech forests of the Foresta Umbra, these were designated a Unesco Natural World Heritage Site in 2017. And then come the flowers: 85 species of wild orchids of all colours and shapes bloom in the clearings and steppe grasslands. The Tremiti Islands The archipelago of the Tremiti Islands, 12 miles off the Gargano coast, is also part of the park and is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Due to the crystal clear waters, the caves and the wealth of underwater life, they are a paradise for diving enthusiasts. There are five small islands, of which only two (San Domino and San Nicola) are inhabited, two others (Capraia and Cretaccio) are little more than rocks, while Pianosa is inaccessible because it is in the Protected Marine Area nature reserve. San Domino, where the accommodation establishments are located, is covered by a dense forest of Aleppo pines that descend to the sea, shading small sandy coves and rocks: the ideal place for those who love to be surrounded by nature alone for a holiday by the sea.
City
Sirolo

Sirolo

Sirolo is a balcony town overlooking the Conero Riviera. Just set back from the coastline, its centre slopes gently towards the Adriatic Sea from which a green strip of pine forests and Mediterranean maquis separates it. The mediaeval village offers striking views, archaeological treasures and a memorable panoramic balcony, while the beaches are among the most beautiful in Le Marche. What to see in Sirolo The historical centre of Sirolo developed around the structure of an 11th-century castle, of which a defensive stronghold can still be discerned in the bell tower and the city walls. Its alleyways lead to the square of the Church of St Nicholas, from which there is a belvedere overlooking the coast. Below the cliff on which Sirolo rises, there are several beaches, accessible from the sea or by walking along paths through the Mediterranean maquis: the most famous is the beach of the two sisters, so called because of the two stacks that enclose it at one end. Equally beautiful are the beaches of San Michele and Sassi neri, partly equipped and partly free, which can be reached on foot from the Parco della Repubblica, and the Urbani beach, the largest, which can be reached from Via Bosco. In summer, the beaches are connected to the centre by shuttles. Many other coves and inlets dotted along the coastline, however, are only accessible by sea. After a day at the beach, towards evening, you can take a walk in the archaeological area The Pineson the site of a necropolis of the Picenian civilisation where the Tomb of the Queen of Sirolo with a chariot, a buggy and numerous ornamental objects. The exhibits are on display in the Antiquarium Statale in Numana, but its reconstruction can be seen in the visitor centre of the Conero park, located in the centre of Sirolo. The Conero Promontory Park The Monte Conero Regional Park protects the only rocky bastion on the Adriatic coast between Trieste and the Gargano. It was set up at the end of the 1980s thanks to the efforts of local citizens' committees and environmental associations to put a stop to speculation in an area of great natural and scenic value, a thin strip of land where many different landscapes coexist in just a few kilometres: the countryside, woods, cliffs and the sea. Today, it is possible to visit the Conero Park on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike along some 20 trails with the sea on the horizon: you can cross the promontory (8 kilometres) or follow shorter paths to discover the rock engravings (700 metres), the ring of Roman caves and the hidden quarry (2.3 kilometres), the brackish lakes of Portonuovo (2.3 kilometres) or to see the stacks of the Two Sisters Beach (5.4 kilometres) from the cliff top. The underground city of Camerano Eight kilometres from Sirolo, don't miss the Camerano caves. They are called caves, but in reality it is an underground city excavated by man, no one knows exactly when or why, formed by a complex of tunnels that occupy the underground of the city between Piazza Roma and Via San Francesco in the area known as Rupe del Sassone, traditionally called the devil's holes. A plausible hypothesis is that these are the remains of an ancient underground aqueduct later extended in the Middle Ages and also used as a place of worship, as suggested by the ornamental motifs and religious symbols found there. During the bombing of World War II in July 1944, more than 2,000 locals took refuge there for 18 days. Today they are one of the most fascinating places to visit on the Conero. Find out more www.turismosirolo.it
City

Ancona

Ancona: sentinel on the Adriatic Sea At the northern end of the Conero promontory, the city of Ancona stands on a natural harbour dominating a wide stretch of the Adriatic coast. Its historical centre, a few metres from the ferry embarkation point, holds art treasures, beautiful buildings and that liveliness that only port cities possess. To be discovered on foot, from the port to the Duomo, to the Cardeto park and the Passetto beach, where Ancona's inhabitants go to enjoy the sea, Ancona is a city that knows how to amaze. A stroll through historical sights and the sea view Upon arrival in Ancona, by car or from the station, one of the first monuments to attract attention is the pentagonal building at the entrance to the old port, the so-called Mole Vanvitelliana, named after its architect Luigi Vanvitelli, built as a lazaret for quarantine of people and goods coming from overseas, now converted to a space for cultural events. Continuing towards the maritime station, one can see the 15th-century Palazzo Benincasa and the Loggia dei Mercanti, the most important secular building in flamboyant Venetian Gothic style. Entering the historical centre, along Viale Mazzini, you can see the Renaissance Fontana del Calamo or Tredici Cannelle, with its bronze masks. Heading up towards the acropolis, after visiting the Mercato delle erbe (Herb Market), Art Nouveau structure in iron and cast iron, you will see the beautiful Church of Gesù, also by Vanvitelli, overlooking the sea. Next, the Roman Amphitheatre, rediscovered in the 19th century, and the Cathedral of St Ciriaco, Roman-Gothic basilica built on the remains of a temple dedicated to Venus and an early Christian basilica: spectacularly dominating the city and port. If you walk down towards the old harbour you can see the Arch of Trajan from the 1st century AD and the Clementine Arch, an 18th-century work by Vanvitelli. To the south, Cardeto Park a green area on the hill of the same name where you can walk with the sea on the horizon: inside you will find the old lighthouse and the suggestive monumental Jewish cemetery, among the largest in Europe. Must-see museums in Ancona The National Archaeological Museum of Marche exhibits the largest collection of artefacts in the entire region from the Palaeolithic to the Classical period, where visiting the 16th-century Palazzo Ferretti with its rich decorations and splendid views of the port and bay of Ancona is possible. Ancona's history is reconstructed in the City Museum with documents, exhibits, models, educational panels, maps and videos. The Pinacoteca Comunale in Palazzo Bosdari exhibits masterpieces such as Titian's Gozzi Altarpiece, his first autograph work, Lorenzo Lotto's Sacred Conversation, and works by Sebastiano Del Piombo. A unique experience is offered by the Omero Tactile Museum, housed in the Mole Vanvitelliana, offering the rare opportunity to learn about art through touch, thanks to life-size plaster casts of sculptures, models of famous monuments and archaeological finds. Ancona’s beaches The best-loved and most popular beach for the people of Ancona is Passetto, a tongue of sand under the green promontory, which has the peculiarity of including more than 500 “caves” dug into the rock from the 19th century until the 1960s by locals. The reason? To store small boats and fishing gear. Each “cave” is enclosed, like a garage, with salvaged material of various kinds and colours: a picturesque ensemble. Less frequented, because access is difficult, is the Scalaccia beach at Pietralacroce. It is reached by steps, not always easy. Once there, however, the effort will be amply rewarded. Also beautiful and wild is the Mezzavalle beach, continuation of the Portonovo bay, of sand and gravel: reached by two steep paths to be tackled with suitable boots. What to eat in Ancona Among the most typical dishes of Ancona cuisine is stockfish or dried codfish cooked with potatoes, tomatoes and herbs. If you are wondering why cod – a fish from northern Europe – the answer lies in the frequency of trade contacts between Ancona and northern European countries. Here, as in many other towns in the Marche, we eat brodetto which is a typical fish soup, and the wild mosciolo of Portonovo, a type of mussel that lives on the Conero coast, recognised as a Slow Food presidium.
City
Numana

Numana

Numana: between the blue sea and the Rosso Conero Numana is a colourful fishing village on the Conero Riviera with large, easily accessible beaches. This village is in the Marche region and in its lively historic centre there is a fascinating Antiquarium museum, which documents the very ancient origins of the Picentes settlements on this coast. Excursions by boat or canoe can be organised from the little port of Numana, while the green hills invite you to discover the hinterland along the Rosso Conero wine route with its thousand scents. What to see in Numana A stroll through Numana invites you to discover a pleasant historic centre that runs along the Costarella, a gentle flight of steps that connects the village on the slope to the beaches and the sea. At the top of the promontory, above the harbour, you will see the Arco di Torre, what remains of the bell tower of a church or watch tower destroyed in an earthquake in 1930, next to which is a bronze monument dedicated to fishermen. The belvedere is where you will want to go on summer days to enjoy the breeze that is always blowing there and the view of the coast. Not to be missed is a visit to the Antiquarium, a small museum documenting a major archaeological discovery: the trousseau of the Tomb of the Queen of Sirolo (6th century B.C.) found in Sirolo in the I Pini archaeological area. In the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, you can admire a cedar wood crucifix, a Byzantine work from the 13th century. Also of interest is the Town Hall, housed in a building dating from 1773, which was the summer residence of the bishops of Ancona. For beaches, you can choose between the two bays close to the cliff (the Spiaggiola and the Spiaggia dei Frati), or the large beach south of the harbour that extends to the hamlet of Marcelli, with bathing facilities and toilets for families. Numana’s turtle cove For several years, the municipality of Numana has been collaborating with the Riccione Cetacea Foundation to ensure the rescue, care and rehabilitation of sea turtles. A “turtle cove” has been created in Numana: once the turtles have recovered from injuries or accidents, they are placed in a fenced-off area in the sea near the harbour. Here they continue to be observed and monitored by marine biologists and volunteers to assess if and when they are finally fit to return to the sea. The moment of releasing them into the wild is always filled with emotion. The Rosso Conero wine route Numana is surrounded by vineyards which make good starting points for exploring the Rosso Conero wine route. This winds its way from Ancona to Osimo, between the towns of Numana, Sirolo, Camerano, Offagna and Castelfidardo, between the cliffs and the countryside. Here, some twenty wineries produce Rosso Conero DOC and Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG, wines made from Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes that are influenced by the presence of the sea, the limestone soil of the promontory and the micro-climate of the coast. Full-bodied and fragrant, Rosso Conero wine is ideally paired with meat dishes. Find out more: www.turismonumana.it/en
City
Recanati

Recanati

Recanati: the Infinite City Recanati is the birthplace of the greatest Italian poet of the 19th century, Giacomo Leopardi. Here, everything refers to him and his poetic inspiration: the palace where he was born that preserves his “sweaty papers”, Silvia's house, the hill of L'Infinito. The splendid views of the countryside, the elegance of the village, and the remarkable works of art that are housed there make Recanati an essential stop on any trip to the Marche region. A stone's throw from the sea of Porto Recanati and the Conero Riviera. In the village of the poet Giacomo Leopardi The “native wild village” of Leopardi (1798-1837) will enchant you with its favourable position on a very scenic hill, but also with its beautiful palaces and the beautiful walkway along the walls, on which you can stroll and enjoy the view of the sea. A visit to Leopardi's birthplace, a palace still inhabited by his descendants, is very interesting: you can see the rooms where he grew up, the elegant library with rare volumes of his “mad and desperate study”, his room overlooking the more modest home of Silvia, the young daughter of his coachman with whom he was enamoured. In the village there is the place that inspired the poet with his best-known poem, L’Infinito: it is the kitchen garden of the monastery of Santo Stefano, on top of a hill a few steps from Leopardi's house, reopened to the public in 2019 thanks to the FAI. You will also find the square from Il sabato del villaggio and the tower from Il passero solitario, of St Augustine. Leopardi is credited with the presence in Recanati of the World Poetry Centre, housed in the convent of Santo Stefano, and the Centro Studi Leopardiani created in 1937 to stimulate research and reflection on the poet's work, which is celebrated on 21 March, World Poetry Day, and in June with a festival dedicated to him. Also worth seeing in Recanati are the Cathedral of San Flaviano, the civic museum of Villa Colloredo Mels, an art gallery exhibiting four important works by Lorenzo Lotto, and the Museum of Emigration from the Marche, which documents, with stories and testimonies, the diaspora of the 700,000 who left the region in search of fortune. Another illustrious citizen of Recanati was Beniamino Gigli, one of the most acclaimed opera tenors of the 20th century. In the Persiani Theatre, inside the Sala dei Trenta, at the level of the third tier of boxes, his dressing room has been reconstructed in his memory, and the Beniamino Gigli Museum houses stage costumes. Porto Recanati As cosy is the atmosphere in Recanati, as lively and cheerful is that of Porto Recanati on the coast. During the day, wide beaches of fine gravel, mostly with facilities, offer all kinds of services: there is one close to the village and a more secluded one, the Pineta, which borders on the green. In the evening, Porto Recanati comes alive in the area around the Svevo castle (actually 15th century), which hosts concerts and evening shows in its courtyard named after Beniamino Gigli. The castle tower can be climbed to see the panorama of the coast. Its rooms house a picture gallery with an important collection of 17th-century paintings (from Luca Giordano to Rosso Fiorentino) and a nucleus of Macchiaioli painters (from Giovanni Fattori to Silvestro Lega). Also on display are archaeological finds from the excavations of the old Potentia, the Roman colony founded in 184 BC in the hamlet of Santa Maria, where the remains of a Roman domus with a mosaic floor and frescoed walls are visible. Find out more www.comune.recanati.mc.it www.portorecanatiturismo.it
Nature
Atrani - Costiera Amalfitana, Campania

Atrani

Atrani: a charming, tiny village with an ancient heart Less than a kilometre from Amalfi, Atrani's geographical position makes it a strategic point for exploring the entire Amalfi Coast, of which it forms part. An ancient world in miniature, we are in the smallest Italian municipality by surface area, rich in history that attests to the passage of many peoples. The only town on the Costiera to retain the fascinating atmosphere of a fishing village in the south of Italy, Atrani is distinguished by its handful of small houses that cluster on the hillside from the beach. An inspiring place, then and now The village of Atrani is of Roman origin, at which time it was called Atranum. Afterwards, everyone passed through here: Etruscans, Greeks, Normans, Swabians, French and Spanish, attracted by its position as a vantage point over the sea, along the valley of the river Dragone with the high, impregnable mountains behind it. The landscape has always been the same, and the view is one of the most evocative on the Coast. Take a leisurely stroll through narrow alleyways, courtyards and walkways protected by arches, along the ups and downs of steps that all converge on the sea. This is enough to explore the places most steeped in history. Leave your car behind, and if you feel like a scenic walk, you could walk straight from Amalfi. There is peace in this natural hollow of the Amalfi Coast, protected from noise and traffic. A coffee in the piazzetta Head towards Piazza Umberto I, better known as the piazzetta, and sit down for an espresso coffee in this welcoming spot, looking out towards the sea since it was created as a mooring for boats on stormy days. Visit the Church of San Salvatore de' Bireto overlooking the square: it was first built in the year 1000, although today it is in pure Neoclassical style. It was here that the investiture of the Doges of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi took place. Marvel at the number of small churches in the village, peek inside to admire their paintings and statues. Make sure not to miss the Church of the Carmine and the Church of S. Michele Fuori le Mura, among others. At the trattoria Even the eating establishments here in Atrani exude the scent of history, and a gastronomic stop provides an authentic taste experience in an inspiring setting. Take a seat at a table in the open air, under umbrellas or in the discreet glow of the lighting in the evening. Some taverns set up tables under arches used for sheltering fishermen and storing nets. If you are in the area in July, head to Atrani on the 22nd. On this date, celebrations are held in honour of Santa Maria Maddalena and the typical celebratory dish is the Sarchiapone: cannelloni made from cylinders of long pumpkins, stuffed with minced meat, fried and bathed in tomato sauce. Atrani also has a long tradition in the production of fresh pasta. Come and enjoy it here, flavoured with the bounties of the sea. And at all hours, including the end of the meal, try the pasticciotto. The people of Campania claim that the best is that of Atrani: a crumbly pastry, which in the local version contains a filling of custard and sour cherries. A dip in the bay The sheer cliffs surround a small beach of sand mixed with fine gravel, partly free and partly with bathing facilities, divided in half by the Dragone river. The sea is clear and calm, somewhere between green and blue. Take a swim and look up for a glimpse of the village with its small colourful houses and churches; beyond, you can see the verdant, towering mountain. And head back there in the evening to watch the fishermen set off to fish for lampreys.