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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.

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Nature

Amalfi

Amalfi, Queen of the Coast A landscape of outstanding beauty has made Amalfi famous throughout the world. The imposing mountains that surround it tumble into the turquoise sea, with a powerful scenic effect. This is the queen of the Amalfi Coast, which bears her name: the stretch of Tyrrhenian coastline recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here, in addition to a fabulous sea, you will find treasured historical remains, a charming village, and enchanting nature. Choose your beach Amalfi offers relaxing days by the sea, always immersed in a splendid landscape. The most accessible beach is Marina Grande, in the town itself. It is made up of sand and pebbles, fully equipped and full of lidos, bars and restaurants. It is very convenient, and therefore often crowded in peak season. It is suitable for families and children, and also easily reachable for the elderly. In contrast, the Spiaggia del Duoglio is ideal for those who prefer more secluded situations. Reaching it is already an experience, taking a green path and a flight of 400 steps leading to a cove with perfect water. You can also reach this area on small boats departing from the pier in Amalfi, and if you want to go sunbathing, start early in the morning, because in the afternoon the cove is shaded. If you are travelling by boat, don't miss the Santa Croce Beach, which can only be reached by sea. A break in the greenery After relaxing by the sea, you can explore the inland by heading up into the mountains. The recommended itinerary is in the Valle delle Ferriere Nature Reserve, an easy walk that takes about three hours. You pass through woods and alongside streams, encountering the ruins of the ironworks that supplied the Maritime Republic of Amalfi with iron and that gives the valley its name. This is a peaceful spot, away from the crowds, among waterfalls and the ancient mills once used to manufacture the famous Amalfi paper. On this excursion, visit the sleepy town of Pogerola, on the Monte Falconello hill, and enjoy the view from up there. In the heart of the town Amalfi was a flourishing Maritime Republic from the 9th to the 11th century, a trade centre in the Tyrrhenian Sea towards eastern markets.Its history is told by the very structure of the town perched on the ridge, which will remind travellers very much of a souk. Houses are concentrated in clusters, very close to each other and connected by a maze of alleys and stairways. Explore the labyrinth, and then head for the main architectural wonder: the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle, the central cathedral dominating Piazza Duomo with its imposing staircase. Romanesque in layout and rebuilt several times over the centuries, today it is impressive for its neo-Moorish or Arab-Sicilian style façade, of which it is a superb example. The interior leads to the Cloister of Paradise, a peaceful place surrounded by a portico of decorated arches, also of Moorish influence. Some people even get married here Because of its unrivalled location and fairytale setting, Amalfi attracts more and more couples, also from abroad, who choose it for their wedding celebration. The Town Hall provides 3 locations for civil ceremonies. The Salone Morelli located in the Casa Comunale, the Arsenale della Repubblica with its majestic mediaeval structure, and the former Capuchin Convent. Non-residents are also allowed to celebrate the rite in the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle. Elegant hotels, gardens and excellent food provide the perfect finishing touches to a memorable reception. 5 experiences in Amalfi amidst views and flavours The Emerald Grotto can be reached either by lift or on small boats. The karstic cavity has stalactites and stalagmites, but it is the colour of the sea that steals the show: an emerald that plays on the reflections of the rays filtering through the entrance crevice, in a thousand shades. On the seabed is an underwater nativity scene, which divers pay homage to on major religious festivals. In the evening, once the day is over, climb up to the highest point of the town of Amalfi, coinciding with the Cemetery. You can only get there on foot by walking up the steps and through the alleys of the old town. The panorama of lights, reflections of the sea and old houses is truly incomparable. When the Marina Grande beach empties out at sunset, indulge in an aperitif on the terraces of the bars, delightful lounges right by the sea. Sfusato Amalfinato is the typical Amalfi lemon, with its tapered shape and juicy, fragrant flesh. Have a limoncello at the end of a meal, sample one of the many pastry delights of which it is the basic ingredient, and a lemon and chocolate ice cream from one of the street kiosks. A plate of pasta is the best way to appreciate the flavours of Amalfi: Scialatielli ai frutti di mare, Paccheri al limone or a simple Scarpariello, because tomato and basil have a unique taste here.
Tourist destination

San Mauro Mare

San Mauro Mare: the Romagna Riviera you weren’t expecting Relaxation and tranquillity are the keywords that define a holiday in San Mauro Mare. This small and reserved seaside resort on the Riviera Romagnola, located between Rimini and Cesenatico, is ideal for an intimate and safe stay for the whole family, without giving up the comfort and fun typical of the area. State-of-the-art bathing establishments, a Blue Flag beach, clean sea and shallow waters, protected play areas and well-equipped green parks make San Mauro Mare a little gem that will win you over. San Mauro Mare and the beaches, oops, the Great Beaches Characterising this small but cosy village on the Romagna coast is the Grandi Spiagge facility. Here, in fact, the establishments have decided to join forces and since 2000, with the aim of creating a beach without borders where everything is available to everyone, they have been offering services that you will not find anywhere else, from whirlpool baths to aromatic vapour baths, all seasoned with the typical Romagna welcome. The icing on the cake is Fido Beach. Dedicated to four-legged friends, this area of the long San Mauro Mare beachfront offers ample space between beach umbrellas, bowls, cots and leashes, a shower and drinking fountain, as well as dog-sitting and veterinary advice. https://www.grandispiagge.it/fido-beach/ Choosing to spend your holiday in San Mauro Mare does not only mean relaxation. Fun is guaranteed thanks to animation programmes on the beach during the day and a rich calendar of evening events curated by the Amaresanmauro association. Theatre by the sea, foam parties, open-air cinema, concerts, cabaret shows and markets are just a few examples of the many activities that take place during the summer. https://www.amaresanmauro.it/eventi Culture and gastronomy on the Romagna Riviera, from the Casa Pascoli Museum to the flavours of the Rubicon Valley Just seven kilometres away from the coast is the capital, San Mauro Pascoli, an ideal place to take a short break from the beach and indulge in a few hours of culture. The small historic centre holds some not-to-be-missed gems such as the Town Hall built in the 18th century, the former Church of San Sebastiano, now used as an exhibition hall, and the small Casa Pascoli Museum, where the Italian poet was born and spent his early years. That, however, is not the only place in the area linked to Giovanni Pascoli, and if you are curious to discover more, you can participate every Thursday morning, from June to September, in the free guided tours of the Itinerari Pascoliani (Pascoli Itineraries) to discover the art treasures and typical features of Romagna that marked the poet's life. http://www.casapascoli.it/servizi/notizie/notizie_homepage_museo.aspx Keeping fit without giving up good food The local gastronomy is based on the tasty blue fish of the Adriatic, as well as the rich, genuine flavours of the Rubicon Valley such as tasty homemade soups, dreamy grilled meats, and vegetables from the 'Pascoli vegetable garden'. All accompanied by the ever-present piadina romagnola and a glass of the excellent locally produced wine. If you want to keep fit during your stay in San Mauro Mare, however, you will be spoilt for choice. The area lends itself well to outdoor sports such as cycling, beach volleyball or tennis at the swimming and sailing school located right on the coast. And for a different day out, drop by the kart track to race go-karts and quads on the Italian Minimoto Championship circuit.
Nature
Cinque Terre National Park

Cinque Terre National Park

Liguria, Cinque Terre National Park: amid paths and the sea It is one of the smallest in Italy as well as the most densely populated: the Cinque Terre National Park, with its atypical landscape, strongly altered by man, has become a World Heritage Site. The true identifying trait of the Cinque Terre offering its visitors a network of footpaths dotted with scenic routes that they cannot help but fall in love with. The network of trails For centuries, the Cinque Terre paths were the only form of connection between one village and another. We are talking about a network of 120 kilometres, which today allows you to cross the length and breadth of the entire territory, offering you various routes. You can choose, among many, the Terraced Vineyards Itinerary, running from Riomaggiore to Corniglia, but only if you are an experienced hiker, because it is over 8 kilometres long and with 73 metres of altitude difference. You will walk along cultivated gardens, up to the ridge of the Costa Corniolo: from here you will admire the Montenero Point to the east and the Gulf of the Cinque Terre to the west. Then, with the ancient steps, partly in stone and partly carved into the rock, you descend towards Manarola, with its scenic views. You will also be fascinated by the Ancient Settlements Route, connecting Riomaggiore to Fossola. An even longer, 11-kilometre path runs between dry stone walls, flanked by the Rio Major stream, among alders and black elder trees. For the more romantically inclined, we recommend the Via dell'Amore, an entirely paved walkway overlooking the sea, which allows you to reach the village of Manarola in no time from Riomaggiore, offering enchanting views. And again, the Sanctuary and Church Itineraries, like the one that starts from the village of Monterosso and heads towards the Sanctuary of N.S. di Soviore, alternating steps and long stretches of dirt road, through houses, Mediterranean scrub and dense woods of holm oaks and chestnut trees. Or the path to the Sanctuary of Reggio, which winds along the valleys between Monterosso and Vernazza between 500 and 350 metres above sea level. Do not miss the Monterosso Literary Park, dedicated to Eugenio Montale, to experience first-hand the emotions that the Ligurian poet was able to express in his verses, in an embrace between sea and land. The Marine Protected Area The wonderful offer of the Cinque Terre National Park continues with the routes offered in the Protected Marine Area. Routes for swimming, such as the 700-metre-long swimming route in the Cinque Terre MPA, starting in Vernazza, continuing along the coast, bordered by small buoys to prevent recreational boating. The same stretch of coastline is suitable for snorkelling and kayak excursions, enhancing an extremely scenic stretch of sea, among starfish, lobsters and barracuda. Diving also for the disabled, for a barrier-free sea experience, such as the one at Punta Corone in Monterosso. The route is marked by a summit supported by pegs and is striking for its seagrass meadows. The Cetacean Sanctuary The waters that bathe the five jewel-like villages, nestled between the sea and the hills, are particularly important from a biological point of view and so rich in nutrients that they can be compared to those in the Atlantic. The perfect way to end your stay in the Cinque Terre National Park is to visit the Cetacean Sanctuary. In this area, in fine weather, you can witness a magical spectacle of whales, dolphins and sperm whales finding an ideal habitat for food and reproduction in the Ligurian Sea.
Point of interest
Marsala

Marsala

Marsala, the town of wine and salt Marsala is the name of a town, and also a wine. Both are elegant and rich in history. The town is enclosed within the ramparts of the 16th century, when it experienced its own Renaissance that enriched it with palaces, churches and monasteries. Wine is the product that made it world-famous, thanks partly to the vision of an English merchant who adapted it to British tastes. In the beautiful old town you can visit the vestiges of its past, as well as the historic wine cellars that uphold the prestige of its finest product, while on the coast salt is produced in the spectacular salt pans. Amid Baroque and nature Those who approach from Porta Nuova are greeted by a string of beautiful Renaissance and Baroque buildings, such as the Monastery of San Pietro, which houses the Civic Museum, with an archaeological section and an area dedicated to the Risorgimento. Garibaldi and the Thousand landed at Marsala to accomplish the feat of the Unification of Italy. A little further on you come to Piazza della Repubblica, Marsala's gathering place, with the beautiful Palazzo VII Aprile with its clock tower and Baroque cathedral - although the façade was not actually completed until 1956. Next door is the Tapestry Museum, where eight Flemish tapestries, a gift from a Spanish king, are on display. A few steps away is the Convento del Carmine, now the Museum of Contemporary Painting, with works by various Italian artists including Cassinari, Maccari, Marchegiani, Pomodoro, Sassu, Sironi, as well as temporary exhibitions. To immerse yourself in Marsala's more ancient past, visit the Baglio Anselmi Archaeological Museum, in the building of a former winery on the seafront. Several artefacts are on display, recounting the foundation of the city (then called Lilybaeum) by exiles from the Phoenician colony on the island of Mothia. Don't miss the wreck of a Punic ship that was probably shipwrecked during the battle of the Egadi Islands in the First Punic War; it is located off the Isola Lunga near Punta Scario. There are also Roman mosaics and an extraordinary collection of amphorae documenting trade in antiquity. The museum visit is completed in the Archaeological Park with the Roman Insula, the site of a large Roman villa from the 3rd century AD with baths, cisterns and the remains of an early Christian necropolis. The bustling hub of Marsala is its central Fish Market, which has recently been renovated. By day, it is the place where the catch from the Stagnone and the Strait of Sicily comes in, and by night, it is the centre of nightlife where you can dine and stay up late. The Marsala wine that pleased the English Wine has always been produced in Marsala, since Phoenician times, but it was towards the end of the 18th century that an English merchant, John Woodhouse, sent a few barrels of local wine to England to be tasted by his customers, adding, however, a dose of brandy so that the wine would not spoil during the voyage. This is how the Marsala we know today was born, a liqueur wine much appreciated by the English who imported it in great quantities from then on, making the fortune of local producers: Florio, Rallo, Donnafugata, Pellegrino, whose historic cellars are still located in the centre of Marsala. The Stagnone Reserve and Mozia The Stagnone Reserve is a lagoon to the north of Marsala, 2,000 hectares of shallow and very salty waters with four islands: the Big Island, which acts as a barrier to the lagoon, the island of Santa Maria, a strip of land, the Schola (meaning “school”), because in Roman times it housed a school of rhetoric, where Cicero is said to have taught when he was quaestor of the city of Lilybaetano, and Mothia (Mozia), an island on which a Phoenician city stood from the 8th century BC, which ancient sources describe as rich in beautiful palaces, one of the most important trading bases in the Mediterranean antiquity. Conquered by Dionysius of Syracuse, Mothia was destroyed in 397 B.C. and never rebuilt, so its ruins are “intact”, with no overlays - a true paradise for archaeologists. The survivors in fact founded Lilybaeum, present-day Marsala. The island of Mozia now belongs to the Whitaker Foundation, an English wine producer which bought it and started excavations in the early 20th century, and it is open for visits. The salt pans of Marsala and the windmills On the coast to the north of the city, overlooking the Stagnone, are the Salt Pans of the Marsala Ettore and Infersa Lagoon, one of the most spectacular places on the west coast of Sicily, with stretches of water that take on different colours depending on the season, against which you can see the outlines of windmills surrounded by mounds of white salt. It is a place that is not only very poetic and picturesque, but also of great historical and environmental interest, structured to give visitors the all-round salt experience: here one can take walks along the salt pans, visit mills that are still in operation, enjoy tastings, manually harvest salt with the salt workers and dive into pools that are not in production, but still fed by the hydraulic circuit, where one can float in salt solutions with different concentrations and lie on the salt crust. For more information: www.turismocomunemarsala.com
Nature

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare: holiday in luxurious nature Monterosso al Mare is the first stop to the Cinque Terre tour, this stretch of the Ligurian Riviera is included in the list of World Heritage sites by Unesco thanks to the respectful human interactions with its landscape, honouring it and its sublime beauty. Monterosso village is the biggest of the 5 that make up the Cinque Terre. It is the only one to boast large and beautiful beaches that are easy to access. Ideal for a family holiday enjoying the beauty of nature. Fegina beach, a stunning beauty The allure of the Cinque Terre is largely due to its rugged territory. In Monterosso, nature is uncontested. However, amongst the 5 villages of the coast, it is the only one to boast a wide, comfortable sandy beach, Fegina. Fegina beach is defined by Forbes magazine as “one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world”. Starting from the train station, it’s quite convenient to access, you just go down a few steps and find your spot in the sun. You can choose the free section or areas serviced by bathing establishments. In the maritime area of the Parco delle Cinque Terre the water is breathtakingly blue, as it is in a protected zone. The coast is made up of sand mixed with pebbles. Children are at ease here so parents can relax on loungers. At the edge of the Fegina seafront you can also stop at the cliff by the Aurora tower. Slightly further on there is the small beach, Spiaggia della Stazione, at the end of the promenade, which points towards Levante. You’ll see the giants’ beach, Spiaggia del Gigante: recognisable by the large 14 metre statue depicting the god Neptune that dominates it. Immediately after the sailing club, it’s just a short wander to reach Portiglione beach. In the footsteps of a great poet: Eugenio Montale The poetry in I limoni e Punta del Mesco, (the lemon tree and the Cape of Mesco) from the Ossi di Seppia (cuttlefish bones) collection by the noted Italian poet and literary Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale, from Genoa is definitely worth a read. reading the verses you will invisage all the wonder of Monterosso al Mare. Its sounds and scents, the lyrical landscape denoted in his wording will captivate your senses. Montale spent his childhood holidays in the Liberty style family residence here. Named Villa delle Due Palme, although he recalls it as Pagoda Giallognola. It stands on the first slopes of Mesco, along he Fegina coast. The Eugenio Montale Literary Park was inspired by it. The house is now a private residence which offers accommodation in one section of it. You can admire it from the outside and also avail of one of the walks organised by the Literary Park Institution. The colourful houses in the village, the monuments and the vegetation combine to offer views of a tantalising mixture of culture and nature. Strolling in the village It is a pleasure wandering down the carruggi, the small streets of the Ligurian towns. You’ll enjoy the stairways and squares in the old village, speciality food shops, focaccerie, bars and restaurants. Take some time to visit the Church of San Giovanni Battista, its facade decorated with black and white stripes. The San Francesco Church with adjoining Capuchin Convent has precious paintings inside to view. From the outside you’ll find a magnificent view over the entire Cinque Terre coastline. 5 ideas for an unforgettable stay in Monterosso al Mare Monterosso is the perfect starting point, or finishing point when visiting Cinque Terre. The first recommendation would be to leave the car at Monterosso al Mare and get the train that follows the coastline. Comfortable, price efficient, eco friendly and you get to enjoy the fabulous views. Alternatively you could walk along the marked pathways. A visit to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Soviore in the hills would be highly recommended. You can stay there overnight and book a table in the restaurant. For those who would like to get there on foot, there is a lovely path leading there from the village. Staying in a farmhouse in the hills, immersed in silence and greenery would also be an excellent choice. Lastly you could go to the pier and plan a boat trip to enjoy the wonders of the Gulf of Poets.