7 of the most affordable and beautiful resorts in Italy
With the EU is preparing to let qualified visitors foutside the block visit for leisure travel and Italy announcing a ‘green collarWill be available from mid-May, seaside vacations in the country will soon be possible for many for the first time since 2019. While a number of tourist destinations are already registering strong bookings, consider that with A long and varied coastline, Italy can offer, in addition to its famous beach havens, many beautiful and affordable places that are less known to international travelers.
Here, Italian experts Philip Curnow, founder of Delicious Italy, a Rome-based site specializing in the country’s travel and gastronomy; Francesca Montillo, culinary instructor, author and tour operator who directs Lazy Italian Food Adventures; and Cassandra Santoro, owner of Italian trip, a company specializing in personalized Italian itineraries, discusses some of their favorite resorts to maximize travel dollars and euros.
While these destinations do not attract the number of visitors typically present before the pandemic on the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, “they will be busy during the peak summer months,” Montillo says. “Going to the beach in Italy is a way of life, and something almost all Italians look forward to all year round.” But she points out that, as many of these resorts will be frequented by Italians, “there is always a sense of authenticity in the experience.
Francesca Montillo: “In my opinion, Otranto is one of the most charming towns in the region. The crystal-clear waters are gorgeous against the whitewashed buildings, the sand is fine and white, and the breeze makes it a great place for windsurfers. The beaches are not very large, so in high season, arrive early to secure a spot. Porto Badisco and Frassanito Beach are recommended. Moving away from the beach, the town itself is very interesting. Otranto Cathedral, Aragonese Castle, and St. Peter’s Church are must-sees if you spend time here.
For accommodation, Montillo suggests the Miramare Hotel, which is’ right on the water and reasonably priced. The rooms are spacious, the service is good and the staff are friendly. Corte di Nettuno is ideally located just steps from the water, offers great amenities, has bilingual staff and a large garden.
CAMPANIA: SANTA MARIA DI CASTELLABATE
Philip curnow: “Santa Maria Castellabate is a fishing village along the Cilento coast with a historic center and the tower of Palazzo Perrotti built on the waterfront. The backdrop remains so eye-catching that it provided locations for the film, Benvenuti al Sud. And what a beach. Punta Licosa is widely considered to be one of the clearest waters in the Tyrrhenian Sea, perfect for diving. The flat sands made fishing easy. Porte le Gatte is still the mooring place for small boats.
Unlike the nearby Amalfi Coast which draws international crowds, Curnow says Santa Maria Castellabate “is very local, with many Neapolitans coming here for their summer weekend getaways. He describes the region as a “very inclusive tourist territory, where accommodation is spread out and varied, from the historical past dimore to seaside resorts and accommodation in the hills leading to old Castellabate. There is something for everyone. It gets very busy here in July and August so book early. “
For accommodation, Curnow suggests La Giacaranda, a charming property (six rooms) with a Mediterranean garden; and the apartments in the Belmonte Palace. [Palazzo Belmonte, a grand 17th-century structure overlooking the sea with a private beach, pool and five-acre garden, will be open this year from July 16 to the end of September. Rooms at Palazzo Belmonte start at €298 per night for two. Minimum stay two nights; special offers for bookings of four to seven nights.]
Cassandra Santoro: “It may no longer be a secret, but Scilla, the mythical town in the Strait of Messina, is still an affordable and fun seaside stopover, visited mainly by Italians. You will find sandy beaches and crystal clear waters to enjoy during your stay. Beach clubs are also very affordable. panino con pesce spada (swordfish sandwich) in one of the beach bars for a delicious no-frills lunch.
After a visit to the beach Santoro recommenda to take a walk through the streets of the old fishing hamlet, Chinalea [designated one of the most beautiful villages in Italy], which is part of Scilla. “Stay until the end of the day to watch a memorable sunset over the coast.”
For accommodation, Santoro suggests Il Casato, a small hotel on a 16th century seaside property in Chianalea with a renowned restaurant. About a 15-minute drive from Scilla, Santoro loves the modern Blu infinito; there is a wonderful view of the coast and an infinity pool.
Francesca Montillo: “Tropea, known as” the pearl “of the Tyrrhenian Sea, is a wonderful destination as it offers pristine warm waters, sandy beaches, plenty of water sports, an interesting historic town center, and plenty of delicious restaurants. The city is also known for its seafood and famous sweet red onions, so the cuisine will be mainly fish-based and these onions are found in countless restaurant dishes.
Tropea’s coast stretches for several kilometers in length, which Montillo says allows a number of public beaches and plenty of opportunities to hire umbrellas from beach clubs.. The constant breeze that Calabria is famous for makes it an ideal place for sailing and surfing, she adds. “Tropea is gaining more and more recognition, so of all the beaches in Calabria this one is probably among the busiest, but for good reason.” If you want to avoid the crowds, Montillo points out that Calabria, like Puglia, enjoys a long summer. “I always tell my travelers to consider visiting in late May and June and September. You will still be able to enjoy the water, with fewer people and cheaper accommodation. ”
For accommodation, Montillo offers several four star properties: “Rocca della Sena Hotel is a beautiful beachfront hotel within walking distance of several beaches. The good life offers great views and is also within walking distance of several beaches. the Hotel Tropis is ideal for families and has a private beach.
Francesca Montillo: “If you want a place that is mostly frequented by locals or expats returning home for the summer, I recommend Soverato. The water is particularly clean, the sand is fine and the crowds are contained. There are limited spiaggia libera, or free spots, so unless you hire an umbrella from one of the many clubs, hit the beach early in the morning. I recommend Lido San Domenico. All the beaches are surrounded by lovely cafes, so having your morning cappuccino before you hit the water won’t be a problem. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a great choice of restaurants, gelaterias, bars, nightclubs and long walks on the promenade. Montillo says to stop by Pasticceria Perri, known for its excellent cappuccino and morning pastries, and the large open-air market held in the city on Fridays.
When friends are visiting the area, she suggests staying at Il Nocchiero and Gli Ulivi Hotel. “In high season, a room [standard double] at Nocchiero it’s a little over 100 €. A good deal considering the perks, such as location, its own beach, and all the other amenities you would expect from a hotel. The Gli Ulivi hotel also costs around € 100 per night. An excellent price for the quality and location, in my opinion. The proximity to the beach, shops and the main promenade is worth it. ”
THE MARKET: SENIGALLIA
Cassandra Santoro: “Although Les Marches is near Tuscany and Umbria, it’s still a spot under the radar. Among the offerings in the area are stretches of beach and clear waters along the Adriatic coast. The region is also known for its good wines – verdicchio among others – its local cheeses and good restaurants. It is a destination less visited by international travelers, and hotels and restaurants offer reasonable rates, even in high season. While this region may be off the beaten track for many, it is still a favorite getaway for Italians, especially Romans, so book ahead. Some visitors even book beach clubs in advance for the summer months.
In the Marche, Santoro loves Senigallia, popular for its spiaggia di velluto (velvet beach), thanks to the soft sand. “There are plenty of beach clubs and places to dine and relax whether you’re a solo traveler or a family of five,” she says. Santoro notes that the town is also great for an afternoon passeggiata. “Stop in Piazza Roma, a local gathering place, and Rocco Roveresca, a 15th-century fortress and one of the area’s most popular sites.” In the morning, Santoro says to visit Foro Annonario, a city monument built in neoclassical style, where you will find food markets as well as various shops. the Rotonda a Mare is another landmark, right on the water’s edge.
For accommodation, Santoro says Terrazza Marconi is a place to consider if “you want comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation on the beach”. For a special dining experience, she suggests La Madonnina del Pescatore.
THE MARKET: CUPRA MARITTIMA
Philip Curnow: “Cupra is actually a town in two parts: a seaside resort founded in the 19th century where Liberty-style villas still frame the seafront, and a historic center where fishermen returned after a day’s work to protect themselves from pirates in marauding. Locals are the main clientele of Cupra, which proudly flies its blue flag, Bandiera Blu [a designation indicating high-quality water and beach areas]. The sandy beach is wide and orderly – ball and racket games are prohibited – and stretches along the coast to the nearby Grottammare. Water sports such as sailing are encouraged and surf canoes and pedal boats are available.“
Cupra is very economical even compared to the rest of the Adriatic coast, says Curnow. “There are a handful of beach restaurants and pizzerias, but there are other dining options elsewhere, such as in Marano and across from the town’s church. The beach fills up in August, but at all other times in the spring and summer it remains incredibly tranquil with sagra break the beat.
For accommodation, Curnow suggests Casa Albergo Liberty, with 15 apartments, close to the beach. [Bookings in July and August are on a weekly basis, from Saturday to Saturday.]