Italy is gorgeous, with its history, art, gelatos, vineyards and canals. But it also has a brilliant coastline to boot! So while most travelers dream of the cobbled streets of Rome, the art of the Vatican museums, the piazzas of Florence and the dreamy gondolas of Venice, the coastal towns have a charm of their own, and Oh My God, are they gorgeous or what?
Here is a list of 8 coastal towns that you MUST add to your Italy plan this year! We have definitely earmarked this blog! So here are the coastal Italian towns to die for!!
8. Polognani a Mare, Puglia
This beautiful fairy town rises dramatically over a cliff which overlooks the Adriatic Sea. With a history dating back centuries, this coastal town has also been a key port for the country. Various settlements have left their mark here, but currently it is a very pretty town overlooking the azure waters of the Adriatic, with whitewashed buildings and an intricate cave network. It also offers a great cliff diving location.
Don’t forget to dine at the Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, which is one of the world’s most amazing dining experiences, with the cave lit up by aquamarine reflections. Located 34 kms. from the Bari airport, it isn’t so hard-to-get.
7. Portofino, Genoa
It was the quintessential Mediterranean fishing village in the Italian Riviera. But now yachts and private sail boats are a frequent spotting on the crescent shaped harbor here. Located in the Genoa district of the Italian Riviera, it is a gem. A great coastline, awesome cuisine, shopping avenues and a pretty, pretty demeanor, makes it a favorite with the travelers. Many of whom can be seen on the silver screen, when not sunbathing on their yachts here.
Portofino is 45 kms. from Genoa airport. Trains from Milan and Rome also come to Genoa, from where it is a short bus/train ride away.
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6. Manarola, Cinque Terre
The smallest but prettiest village in the Cinque Terre hiking trail, Manarola has some iconic appeal. The locals speak Manarolese and the town is very picturesque, as you can see its image is pretty much a postcard for Coastal Italy. The Cinque Terre hiking trails has gained so much fame, that the locals have put a limit on the number of people who can visit.
Manarola is also 10–17 min. by train from La Spezia, where you can change for trains throughout Italy like Rome, Florence and Pisa.
5. Capri, South Italy
An island of pleasure, located off Naples, it is home to some amazing beaches, great places to eat, leather souvenirs and limoncello liqueur. Places of attraction here are the uphill Ana Capri and the Blue Grotto, a cave with beautiful aquamarine illumination. An idyllic destination for roman emperors, revolutionaries from Russia and the rich and famous, it is quite the star on the Italian Coastal trail.
You can get a ferry across from Naples to get here. Naples is connected by trains to the rest of Italy, and is just 2 hours away from Rome.
4. Cefalu, Sicily
Located an hour away from Palermo, which is the capital city of Sicily, Cefalu has completely offbeat and laid back vibe. Like other islands off Italy, it has a history that dates back thousands of years, but the natural beauty of Cefalu is its biggest badge. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and think of the movie The Godfather, when you think Sicily. It is a different experience all together, being here.
One can take a ferry to cross the Strait of Messina to get here from the mainland, Alternatively Sicily has 3 airports.
3. Cagliari, Sardinia
The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari’s Sardinian name ‘Casteddu’ translates into ‘Castle’. With golden-hued palazzi and domes dominating the horizon one should make it here by the sea, it is an experience to remember. A generous selection of Roman ruins, a fashionable beach town and a rich history, makes this town a gem in the Mediterranean. A great hiking destination this is too.
2. Ravello, Amalfi Coast
As you start your drive from Sorento, the cliff faces are dramatic, the hairpin bends and the ocean below makes the ride a thrilling albeit beautiful one. Beyond the small beaches of the Amalfi town, as you go higher you reach Ravello, a quaint little town, with cats and orange trees for company. Beautiful villas overlooking the Mediterranean will make your stay worthwhile. Also, if you are in this region, try to make a day trip to the ruins of Pompeii, though the views from here will make a strong case for giving it a skip!
1. Positano, Amalfi Coast
Oh! The pastel coloured buildings perched atop mountains that rise up from the sea are a delight for the travelers who come here, looking for their sweet spot. Head out to the beach to sunbathe, or stay back at the bars frequented by the legendary John Steinback during his stay here in the 60’s. The moorish architecture, the elegant harbor, the beautiful beaches will make you fall in love with this town, on the southern end of the Amalfi coast, and if you are looking for a trip to Capri, hop on to a ferry. Get to Capri and then take a ferry back to Naples to head back to base.
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